Developing Critical Literacy Skills

Strategies talked about during the discussion

Becoming Media Literate Through the 3Rs
Review � to examine and investigatethe content of the message.
Reflect � take time toconsider the content and format of the message. This is where our own personal beliefs, opinions and stances come intoplay.
React � take a stand or�decide on an action to take in response to it�. After reading consider, �What can I do to support this issue?�

Super 6 reading strategies

  1. Making Connections
  • Iknow�about this topic.
  • A goodreader interacts with the text and brings his/herexperiencesto what he/she reads.
Studentsmake three types of connections:
  1. relating text to self (personal experiences)
  2. relating text to other text (one book to another)
  3. relating text to the world around them
2. Predict/Infer
  • Predictingwhile reading requires some intuition, but predicting is also based on using one�s experiences,solid clues from the text, and the ability to anticipate what could logicallyhappen next.
    • Ask,�What do you think will happen next?� Read on to see if that happened.
    • Inferringinvolves complex thinking.
    • Whenstudents infer they act as detectives gathering logical clues to piece togetherthe solution to some mystery.
    • Anotherway to say inferring is �reading between the lines.�
    • We useclues to infer what the author means when he/she doesn�t explicitly tell us inthe text.
3. Questioning
  • Self-questioningbefore reading peaks the reader�s interest and gives purpose to reading.
  • Questioningduring reading provides clarity and predictions to keep the reader engaged.
  • Goodquestions words are: why, how, when, where, who and where.
4. Monitor and Clarify
  • Goodreaders constantly make sure they understand what they are reading.
  • Goodreaders correct mistakes in understanding by rereading and looking for answersto what is confusing them.
  • Goodreaders make sure they understand the meaning, and stop to figure it out whenthen don�t understand.
  • Rereadingis a good idea!
5. Summarizing
  • Summarizinginvolves remembering what one has read, selecting only the most importantpoints to share, and ordering those in a logical manner.
  • Whenstudents summarize, their comprehension improves.
  • Retellingis important � have students practice retelling.
  • Retellthe reading in order.
6. Evaluating(Making Judgements)
  • Whenreaders evaluate, they judge and defend their opinions of the text, rankimportant ideas, critique the author�s writing, rate the book, and decide ifthey did well as a reader.
  • Askyour child, �Did you like the book? Whyor Why not?� Also, ask what is yourfavorite part? Why?� �What is your least favorite part? Why?�

Types of Questionsto develop CL

Textual Purposes
  • what is the text about? How doe we know?
  • Who would be most likely to read and or viewthis text? Why
  • Why are we reading this text?
  • What does the composer of the text want us toknow?
TextualStructures and features:
  • What are the structure and features of the text?
  • What sort of genre does the text belong to?
  • What kind of language is used in the text?
Gaps and Silences
  • Are there gaps and silences in the text?
  • Who is missing from the text?
  • What has been left out?
  • What questions about itself does the text notraise?
  • Who is marginalized?
Power and Interest
  • In whose interst is the text?
  • Who benefits from this text?
  • Which positions, voices and interests areprivileged in the text?
  • Who is excluded from the text?
  • What is the text written in this way?
Interrogating the composer:
  • What kind of person and with what interests andvalues, composed the text?
  • What view of the world and values does thecomposer of the text assume that the reader holds? How do we know? (gender,race, class, power relations)

CARS (Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support)

  • The author's credentials: look for biographical detailson their education, training, and/or experience in an area relevant to theinformation. Do they provide contact information (email or postal address,phone number)? What do you know about the author's reputation or previous publications?
  • Quality control:information texts should pass through a review process, where several readersexamine and approve the content before it is published. Statements issued inthe name of an organisation have almost always been seen and approved byseveral people.
You can sometimes tell by the tone, style, or competence ofthe writing whether or not the information is suspect. Anonymity, bad grammaror misspelled words suggest carelessness or ignorance, neither of which putsthe writer in a favourable light.
  • Timeliness. Some texts, like classic novelsand stories, are timeless; others, like texts about computers, have a limiteduseful life because of rapid advances in knowledge. We must therefore becareful to note when information was created, before deciding whether it isstill of value.
  • Comprehensiveness. It is notalways possible to give a comprehensive picture: nobody can read every singlething on a subject. It is always a good idea to consult more than one text.
Indicators that a text isinaccurate, either in whole or in part include the absence of a date or an olddate on information known to change rapidly; vague or sweeping generalisations;and the failure to acknowledge opposing views.
  • Fairness requires the writer to offer abalanced argument, and to consider claims made by people with opposing views. Agood information text will have a calm, reasoned tone, arguing or presentingmaterial thoughtfully.
  • Like comprehensiveness, objectivity isdifficult to achieve. Good writers, however, try to minimize bias.
  • Moderateness. If a text makes a claimthat is surprising or hard to believe, the reader needs more evidence thanmight be required for a lesser claim. Is the information believable? Does itmake sense?

Support for the writer�s argumentfrom other sources strengthens their credibility. It can take various forms:
  • Bibliography and references. Whattexts did the author use? Are these listed? It is especially important forfigures to be documented. Otherwise, the author might just be making up thenumbers.
  • Corroboration. It is a good idea totriangulate information, that is to find at least three texts that agree. Ifother texts do not agree, further research into the range of opinion ordisagreement is needed. Readers should be careful when statistics are presentedwithout identifying the source or when they cannot find any other texts thatpresent or acknowledge the same information.