Critical Literacy in high school preparation language programs:challenges and possibilities

Alford, Jennifer H. (2005) Critical Literacy in high school preparation language programs:challenges and possibilities. Curriculum Perspectives, 25(3).


Internationalisation of the high school student body is firmly on the agenda in state education in Queensland and many other states in Australia. Fee-paying students from overseas, principally neighbouring Asian countries, have long been finding their way into mainstream high school classrooms via private language colleges that provide intensive language and content high school preparation courses. Recently, such students have been actively recruited as a result of advancing international policy at the macro state level. This new strategy to enroll overseas students in high schools means that there is a growing demand for language preparation courses to introduce those students, whose language proficiency is lower than the level expected by high schools, to the language, content and cultural requirements of the high school curriculum. Inevitably, this raises questions about the relationship between the nature of high school preparation (hereafter HSP) courses and the constantly evolving mainstream high school curriculum itself. At a recent teachers’ conference, a group of secondary English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers remarked that those students who come to high school via HSP are disadvantaged if they are only ‘prepared’ in traditional language education ways for a system that now requires a more critical approach to language study. This paper outlines some of the issues and difficulties surrounding the incorporation of critical literacy into HSP course design and presents one example of how a HSP course has begun to integrate a critical perspective on language study into an existing program.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,327 since deposited on 22 Jun 2006
53 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 3517
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Critical Literacy, ESL
ISSN: 0159-7868
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics) (200405)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LANGUAGE STUDIES (200300) > English as a Second Language (200303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Jennifer Alford
Deposited On: 22 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:16

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page