Textual Literacy 2.0

Module 1 - Module 2 - Module 3 - Module 4 - Module 5 - Module 6


There are many times when the best writing is still available only in printed books, magazines and newspapers, but there are some categories of writing and text that are rich and timely on line in digital formats. Certain contemporary writing is readily available online as is much international news coverage.

Students must learn to understand difficult passages and develop their own concepts whether the source be the printed page or a digital page. This skill set is text literacy, not digital literacy. We do not have paper literacy or analog literacy.

Pick one of the following two activities to complete with your partner. One concentrates on contemporary writing. The other makes use of international news.

Contemporary Writing International News
Learning from role models . . .

We can deepen our own sense of personal style and enhance our writing effectiveness by learning from the example of contemporary writers who have a strong style.

Pick one article from this New York Times series of "Writers on Writing" that has a particularly vivid style and see if you can figure out 4-5 writing strategies your writer employs to achieve this style.

Write a list of the 4-5 strategies you identify and explain which you might try adding to your own repertoire.

When is imitation dangerous or unwise?

We can expand our understanding of world events by putting ourselves in the "shoes" of citizens in other lands who might view events quite differently than people and reporters from our own country.

Pick a current news story with international importance such as the following:

  • the conflict between India and Pakistan
  • the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel
  • the U.S. war against terrorism
  • a possible war with Iraq

Visit at least 3 foreign newspapers (in languages you understand) and compare their coverage of your event with your own country's news coverage.

What new insight or perspectives did you gain by reading these articles?

To what extent do digital resources lead to the enhancement of the range, the depth, the complexity and the originality of student thought and production?

Conditions of use: These materials may be used without charge by individual visitors to this Web site, but schools, districts, consultants, companies and any other organizations may not use these pages for group sessions without explicit permission and without purchase of rights. Click here for information on site licenses and costs. In no case may they be downloaded or whacked to be served or distributed or used on any network without explicit written permission from the author and copyright holder.