Advertisement

Beyond School: Digital Cultural Practice as a Catalyst for Language and Literacy

  • Inge Kral
  • Sumathi Renganathan
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)

Abstract

While enormous research effort has gone into the study of indigenous children in school, in part because research in institutional settings is easier, research in ‘out-of-school’ settings or among youth who have left school is relatively rare. Set against a social literacies backdrop, this chapter fills an existing gap in the language and literacy debate by providing a much needed theoretically grounded contribution to questions associated with indigenous education and language in Australia and Malaysia. We show how through participation in a meaningful community-based digital media project, indigenous youth are transformed into confident individuals who are in control of their own learning and literacy practices. Highlighted here is the manner in which indigenous youth are using digital resources to mediate language and culture maintenance.

Keywords

Semai Malaysia Australia Informal learning Digital media 

References

  1. Alphonsus, A. (2011, November 8). Empowering the sons of toil. Free Malaysia Today. Available from: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2011/11/08/empowering-the-sons-of-toil/
  2. Banks, J. A., Au, K. H., Ball, A. F., Bell, P., Gordon, E. W., Gutierrez, K. D., Heath, S. B., Lee, C. D., Lee, Y., Mahiri, J., Nasir, N. S., Valdes, G., & Zhou, M. (2007). Learning in and out of school in diverse environments: Life-long, Life-wide, Life-deep. Seattle: The LIFE Center and the Centre for Multicultural Education, University of Washington.Google Scholar
  3. Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecology framework. Human Development, 49, 193–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barton, D., Hamilton, M., & Ivanic, R. (Eds.). (2000). Situated literacies: Reading and writing in context. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Barton, D., Ivanic, R., Appleby, Y., Hodge, R., & Tusting, K. (2007). Literacy, lives and learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Benjamin, G. (1976). Austroasiatic sub-groupings and prehistory in the Malay Peninsula. In P. N. Jenner, L. C. Thompson & S. Starosta (Eds.), Astroasiatic studies, Part I (pp. 37–128). Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  7. Benjamin, G. (2012). The Aslian languages of Malaysia and Thailand: An assessment. In P. K. Austin & S. McGill (Eds.), Language documentation and description (Vol. 11, pp. 136–230). London: SOAS.Google Scholar
  8. Blanchard, J., & Moore, T. (2010, March 1). The digital world of young children: Impact on emergent literacy. A White Paper: Research presented by the Pearson Foundation, Arizona State University, College of Teacher Education and Leadership.Google Scholar
  9. Brader, A., & Luke, A. (2013). Re-engaging marginalized youth through digital music production: Performance, audience and evaluation. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 8(3), 197–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carew, M., Green, J., Kral, I., Nordlinger, R., & Singer, R. (2015). Getting in touch: Language and digital inclusion in Australian Indigenous communities. Language Documentation and Conservation, 9, 307–323.Google Scholar
  11. Chupil, T., & Joseph, J. (2003). Creating knowledge for change: A case study of Sinui Pai Nanek Sengik’s educational work with Orang Asli communities in Malaysia. ASPBAE indigenous adult education case study series, Mumbai.Google Scholar
  12. Crystal, D. (2008). Txtng: The Gr8 Db8. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Department of Statistics Malaysia. (2008). Population and housing census of Malaysia, 2000: Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. Putrajaya: Department of Statistics Malaysia.Google Scholar
  14. Drotner, K. (2008). Informal learning and digital media: Perceptions, practices and perspectives. In K. Drotner, H. S. Jenson, & K. C. Schroder (Eds.), Informal learning and digital media (pp. 10–28). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. Garcia, O. (2014). Commentary: En/countering Indigenous bi/multilingualism. In L. T. Wyman, T. L. McCarty, & S. E. Nicholas (Eds.), Indigenous youth and multilingualism: Language identity, ideology and practice in dynamic cultural worlds (pp. 207–214). Abingdon/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Gaskins, S., & Paradise, R. (2010). Learning through observation in daily life. In D. Lancy, J. Bock, & S. Gaskins (Eds.), The anthropology of learning in childhood (pp. 85–118). Plymouth: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  17. Greenfield, P., & Lave, J. (1982). Cognitive aspects of informal education. In D. A. Wagner & H. W. Stevenson (Eds.), Cultural perspectives on child development (pp. 181–207). San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  18. Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life and work in communities and classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Heath, S. B. (1990). The children of Trackton’s children: Spoken and written language in social change. In J. W. Stigler, R. A. Shweder, & G. Herdt (Eds.), Cultural psychology: Essays on comparative human development (pp. 496–519). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heath, S. B. (2012). Words at work and play: Three decades in family and community life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hinton, L. (2014). Foreword. In L. T. Wyman, T. L. McCarty, & S. E. Nicholas (Eds.), Indigenous youth and multilingualism: Language identity, ideology and practice in dynamic cultural worlds (pp. ix–xiv). Abingdon/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Hull, G. A. (2003). At last. Youth culture and digital media: New literacies for new times. Research in the Teaching of English, 38(2), 229–233.Google Scholar
  23. Jewitt, C., & Kress, G. (Eds.). (2003). Multimodal literacy. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  24. Kamaruddin, K., & Jusoh, O. (2008). Educational policy and opportunities of Orang Asli: A study on indigenous people in Malaysia. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 4(1), 86–97.Google Scholar
  25. Karim, W. J. (2001). Minorities of the minority: Language death and patterns of cultural extinction. In R. Rashid & W. J. Karim (Eds.), Minority cultures of Peninsular Malaysia: Survivals of indigenous heritage (pp. 69–74). Penang: Academy of Social Science (AKASS).Google Scholar
  26. Keegan, T. T. (2013). Indigenous tweeting for language survival: The Māori-language profile. International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, 2(2), 184–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kral, I. (2013). The acquisition of media as cultural practice: Remote Indigenous youth and new digital technologies. In L. Ormond-Parker, A. Corn, C. Fforde, K. Obata, & S. O’Sullivan (Eds.), Information technology and indigenous communities (pp. 53–73). Canberra: AIATSIS Research Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Kral, I., & Heath, S. B. (2013). The world with us: Sight and sound in the “cultural flows” of informal learning. An Indigenous Australian case. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 2(4), 227–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kral, I., & Schwab, R. G. (2012). Learning spaces: Youth, literacy and new media in remote Indigenous Australia. Canberra: ANU E-Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kulick, D. (1992). Language shift and cultural reproduction: Socialization, self and syncretism in a Papua New Guinean village. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McCarty, T. L., Romero-Little, M. E., Warhol, L., & Zepeda, O. (2009). Indigenous youth as language policy makers. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 8(5), 291–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2010). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. Online version. http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas.Google Scholar
  34. Nicholas, C. (2005, July 4–5). Integration and modernization of the Orang Asli: The impact on culture and identity. Paper presented at the Ist International Conference on the Indigenous People, organized by the Centre for Malaysian Pribumi Studies, University of Malaya, Ministry of Culture, Arts & Heritage, Department of Museums & Antiquities and the Department of Orang Asli Affairs, Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
  35. Nicholas, S. E. (2014). “How are you Hopi if you can’t speak it?”: An ethnographic study of language as cultural practice among contemporary Hopi youth. In T. L. McCarty (Ed.), Ethnography and language policy (pp. 53–75). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Odango, E. L. (2015). May Sasabihin and Kabataan “The youth have something to say”: Youth perspectives on language shift and linguistic identity. Language Documentation and Conservation, 9, 32–58.Google Scholar
  37. Renganathan, S. (2016). Educating the Orang Asli children: Exploring indigenous children’s practices and experiences in schools. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(3), 275–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Renganathan, S., & Chong, S. L. (2009). Disparity in school’s literacy practices and that of home: Understanding Orang Asli children’s educational needs in Malaysia. Paper published in the proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities, ICSSH, Singapore.Google Scholar
  39. Renganathan, S., & Chong, S. L. (2010). Exploring multiliteracies and social practices of the Orang Asli children in Perak. Report submitted to the Educational Planning and Research Division, Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  40. Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Schecter, S. R., & Bayley, R. (2002). Language as cultural practice: Mexicanos en el Norte. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  42. Smith, K. J. (2003). Minority language education in Malaysia: Four ethnic communities’ experiences. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 6(1), 52–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Street, B. V. (Ed.). (1993). Cross-cultural approaches to literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Street, B. V. (Ed.). (2001). Literacy and development: Ethnographic perspectives. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Thurlow, C., & Mroczek, K. (Eds.). (2011). Digital discourse: Language in the new media. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. UNESCO. (2003, March 10–12). Language vitality and endangerment. UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group on Endangered Languages. Document submitted to the International Expert Meeting on UNESCO Programme Safeguarding of Endangered Languages. Paris.Google Scholar
  47. UNESCO. (2011). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  48. United Nations. (2005). World youth report 2005: Young people today, and in 2015. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  49. Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Engaging young people: Learning in informal contexts. Review of Research in Education, 30, 239–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Wyman, L. T., McCarty, T. L., & Nicholas, S. E. (Eds.). (2014). Indigenous youth and multilingualism: Language identity, ideology and practice in dynamic cultural worlds. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge Kral
    • 1
  • Sumathi Renganathan
    • 2
  1. 1.The Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Universiti Teknologi PETRONASSeri IskandarMalaysia

Personalised recommendations