"Multiliteracies: Connecting with the Language Classroom"

With students today increasingly engaging in social and multimodal textual practices beyond the classroom and through a variety of technologically-facilitated digital and virtual environments, the English Language and Literature Teachers Association (Singapore) saw a need to organise a special conference for language and humanities teachers titled "Multiliteracies: Connecting with the Language Classroom".

Held on Monday, 28 May 2007 at the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre, it was the third ELLTA(S)-organised teachers' conference supported by the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation.

The keynote address was delivered by Professor Koh Tai Ann, Dean of Students and Professor of English Literature at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. Assistant Professor Dr Lim Sun Sun from the Communications and New Media Programme at the National University of Singapore followed with the morning's plenary on the topic "New Media, New Literacies: Making The Most Of Prosumption". In the afternoon, Nanyang Technological University's Assistant Professor Mark Chavez from the School of Art, Design and Media touched on "Approaches To Creative Visual Literacy In Instructional Education" for the second plenary address.

The common thread running through the presentations was the importance of providing students with analytical skills in a media-saturated world. The need to teach linguistic, visual, digital, cyber, curriculum and critical literacies and show how these are constructed and how they must be navigated, deconstructed, negotiated, reflected upon and reconstructed in order to understand has never been more urgent, and the workshops offered at the conference gave teachers the opportunity to learn how they could implement a multiliteracy curriculum in their classrooms.

Areas covered by workshop facilitators include cultivating audience awareness though blogging, developing oral communication skills through broadcasting and teaching grammar in the English language through storytelling and animation.


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