SLP Intertextuality and transfer in culturally

Intertextuality in diverse
Why teachers’ increased awareness of
intertextuality resulted in increased
effectiveness for diverse students.
Rebecca Jesson
SLP workshop
February 2011
But first, two tasks…
Story to be recalled
Problem to be solved
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
Story to be recalled (at a later time).
 A general wishes to capture a fortress
located in the centre of a country. There
are many roads radiating outward from the
fortress. All have been mined so that while
small groups of men can pass over the
roads safely, any large force will detonate
the mines. A full-scale direct attack is
therefore impossible. The general’s
solution is to divide his army into small
groups, send each group to the head of a
different road, and have the groups
converge simultaneously on the fortress.
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
Problem to be solved.
 Suppose you are a doctor faced with a patient
who has a malignant tumour in his stomach. It is
impossible to operate on the patient, but unless
the tumour is destroyed the patient will die. There
is a kind of ray that can be used to destroy the
tumour. If the rays reach the tumour all at once at
a sufficiently high density, the tumour will be
destroyed. Unfortunately, at this intensity healthy
tissue that the rays pass through on the way to
the tumour will also be destroyed. At lower
intensities the rays are harmless to healthy tissue,
but they will not affect the tumour either. What
type of procedure might be used to destroy the
tumour with the rays and at the same time avoid
destroying the healthy tissue?
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
How did you solve the problem?
 10% can come up with answer
without any initial story
 30% (of the rest) can come up with
answer given story but not cued to
use it (noticed it independently)
 75% (of the rest) can solve it using
initial story once they are told that it
is relevant (applied it)
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
The traditional transfer paradox
 Notoriously hard to get people to
‘transfer’ in experimental situations–
learning does not seem to transfer
 Theories of learning rely on learners
basing new learning on prior
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
5 minute Discussion
 What can we as teachers do to help
children transfer / use what they
know in the current situation?
(transfer in)
 What can we as teachers do to help
children learn in ways so that they
will use their knowledge in future
contexts? (transfer out)
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
General conditions for transfer
 Classrooms can either afford or constrain
transfer of learning (Greeno, Smith, &
Moore, 1993) (and learners need to
perceive these affordances).
– ‘focusing phenomena’ (Lobato, Ellis, &
Munoz, 2003) to cue relevant prior knowledge
– ‘framing’ (Engle, 2006) authorship / time
 Knowledge that can be flexibly recreated
in new contexts, rather than reproduced in
form (Gee, 2001).
– ‘situated meanings’ (Gee, 1999)
– ‘Authoritative, connected knowing’ (Greeno,
2006) – acting with ‘conceptual agency’
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
 Component processes
– Incorporation of students’ resources.
That is: Instruction that values and
builds on student ‘resources’ (Bishop,
O'Sullivan, & Berryman, 2010; Lee,
2009; McNaughton, 2002)
– Making what is implicit or assumed
explicit and able to be controlled. Maori
and Pasifika students identify the need
for clarity and guidance around what is
required and can be given directly
(Amituanai-Toloa, McNaughton, Lai, &
Airini, 2009; Bishop, et al., 2010)
Processes imply transfer of
Transfer is:
Preparation for future learning
(Bransford & Schwartz, 1999)
– Students use prior knowledge to make
sense of what is taught (transfer in)
(Schwartz & Martin, 2004)
– Students use current learning to make
sense of future learning (transfer out)
So how to achieve ‘double transfer’?
 How can learners draw on their existing
knowledge for writing?
– Incorporation of the familiar
 How can learners build knowledge for
writing (that will be ‘cued’ for future
- Unlocking the unfamiliar
This implies building
intertextuality – connections
between texts
 Texts drawn from multiple sources, an
exponential network of connections.
 References to other texts (either implicit or
explicit) as an inherent feature of all texts
(Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993;
Hartman, 1995; Lemke, 1992).
 Specific reference to an individual
‘intertext’ (Lemke, 1992) or genre (Bloome
& Egan-Robertson, 1993).
Intertextuality and young writers
 Therefore, writers use, could use or should
use knowledge of a variety of texts as a
resource for writing
– carefully draw on such knowledge as a
strategy for composing
– acquiring increasingly flexible expertise as
 Writers’ various sources of knowledge
depend on individual intertextual histories:
Intertextuality is necessarily idiosyncratic
(Cairney, 1992).
 Because of idiosyncrasy, essential that
children’s ways of meaning are understood
and taken up (Harris & Trezise, 1999).
Intertextuality and transfer
 Intertextuality provides a basis for
– making reading/ writing links in classrooms
– prior knowledge links to texts from students’ other
 Drawing on prior knowledge requires that reading
and writing perceived and framed as intercontextual
 Theories of intertextuality show teachers that they
– Knowledge: of and about texts (Lemke, 1992);
– Composition: strategies for writers (Cairney, 1990,
– Interaction: intertextual agendas of teachers and their
poly-contextual students may diverge (Harris, Trezise,
& Winser, 2002).
What would Instructional design look like?
1. Explicitly teach students to seek
intertextual connections
expanding students’ intertextual histories,
identifying existing knowledge of texts,
building discourse knowledge.
2. Enable identification of intertextual
connections to cue the prior learning
necessary to make meaning in the
current text (incorporation)
3. Develop a common intertextual history:
guide learners in developing intertextual
connections (unlocking)
What would teachers need to be
aware of?
1. the divergent intertextual histories of
the poly-contextual participants in
2. the intertextual positioning created by
teaching, and one’s own intertextual
3. reading and writing as dialogic
What would instruction need to
provide for learners?
 Permission to draw critically from
other texts as an aid to composition
and comprehension
 Shift from writing as ‘creating’ and
inspiration to writing as
‘appropriating’ tools for own purposes
Research question
 Theoretical ideas compelling but as
Wilkinson & Son (2011) note – very little
evidence of effectiveness
 GIVEN a demonstrably effective
intervention with Pasifika and Maori
• which accelerated progress in writing to double that
expected within a year
 WHICH USED (inter alia) intertextual
theories as a basis for building teachers’
Pedagogical Content Knowledge
Research question cont.
 THEN selecting effective teachers:
 CAN WE identify their instructional
practices with an intertextual focus
using the instructional design
Observed intertextual teaching
practices of case study
(primary) teachers
 Four recurring practices identified:
1. “Borrowing” from reading to writing
2. Making “tools” (e.g. writing frame) for
future application to writing
3. “Layering” knowledge across multiple
4. Embedded discussion and “uptake”
1 Borrowing -the reading /
writing links
“So we’ll have a look at the
difference between the
descriptions of that setting, and
look at how it changed, and
hopefully you’ll be able to take
some of those ideas”.
1. Borrowing (not emulating)
 Reading for ‘borrowing’ (incorporation, situated
meanings, shared intertextual history)
 Teaching of awareness through meta-language
(unlocking the unfamiliar)
 Permission to borrow (appropriation, agency)
 Potential for critique, therefore repositioning of
writers (only borrow the best bits)
Transfer to secondary?
 Should a case to be made for
‘borrowing’ from texts in secondary
(mismatch between texts students read
and those they write?)
 What features of texts can be
‘borrowed’ in the different content
 Which texts offer resources for
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
2.Creating tools to make texts
We did something about a limpet sticking to a rock – I can’t
remember what.
(The teacher reaches back to the workbook and chart made
during that previous lesson)
I stuck to my position…
like a limpet sticks to a rock…
And a little challenge up there as well – to try and
use the checklist that we developed last week for a narrative
Do you remember doing the data chart with me
last week? It was this one, right ?
(flicks back through teacher’s workbook)
2. Tools to make texts cont…
Just behind the board…there is a big huge, orange
[sheet of] cardboard up there.
So as I walked around yesterday, I had a look at some
of your highlighted words, words that you identified,
were really amazing, from that text.
Okay and we are going to put them up there.
And what we are really going to try hard to do this term,
we are going to try really hard to understand the
vocab and use the vocab again.
Even though it’s not the words that we thought of,
because we didn’t come up with any of these
words, the authors came up with them, but that
doesn’t mean we can’t use them.
Ok we can borrow some ideas and put them into the
stories that we write…
2. Tools to make texts cont…
 Authorship of tool (framing)
– Making generalisations using meta -language
 Texts: charts, frames, checklists and
posters created by students
– Charts etc used as the link
– displayed in the environment
– some learning resided in these charts
 Theoretically, charts ‘cued’ relevant prior
knowledge (focusing phenomena)/ framed
learning as relevant for future application
Transfer to secondary?
 What ‘tools’ would be useful for
secondary students to create based
on texts?
 Would tools differ between content
 Which texts would be useful as a
basis for creating a tool?
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
3. Layering of multiple texts
“I want show you yesterday’s group’s work, but what they came
up with…
They brainstormed some clothes that ‘Dan’ wore, some
personality traits, of their own Dan. Attitude of their own
Dan, and physical appearance (teacher records this on
own brainstorm)
So think of some words that would describe your character…
They talked about personality. They talked about the clothes
that their character liked to wear. They talked about
physical appearance, and attitude… Culture – you might
think about your Dan’s culture.
If you think back to the description of Miss Trunchball, we got
lots and lots and lots about her physical appearance.
They talked about the size of her legs. I wonder what
Dan’s legs are like?
If you think back to Foolish Jack. Try to use some of those
ideas that you came up with. We talked about his socks
and his hair and his ears…
Just build the character, he’s your character...”
3. Layering of multiple texts:
Ok – so a complete narrative, how are we going to be
successful at that WALT. What do we need to be able to do?
What could we use to help us plan?
The checklist
Ok, what else? When we read stories, what do we use
Use the author’s techniques
We could use the conference checklist
What else can we use?
Old stories
Old stories? For guidance?
Other ideas
Your imagination
What else can we use to help us plan this out? ……
What type of mapping have we used before?
Story maps
Have you all done a story map before?
What else do we do….?
So you think to be successful at writing a complete
narrative we are going to have to plan.
3. Layering of multiple texts
 Multiple examples (resituating,
– Systematically varied experience
– Comparisons/ links between texts
– Generalisations about texts
 Links to created texts (multiple layers
–shared intertextual history)
– Students’ writing (via books/ sharing)
– Tools (e.g. charts and signs)
Transfer to secondary?
 How might Secondary classes be
organised to facilitate the ‘layering’ of
texts for students?
 Would this differ across content
 Which texts could be ‘layered’ in this
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
4.Embedded discussion
Student – It’s a ti-gon.
Student – That’s what we said
Teacher- A ti-gon?
Student -A ti-gon
Student - What’s a ti-gon?
Student - It’s a type of half lion…
Student -Is it real?
(discussion continues)
4.Embedded discussion
Student 1
Student 2
Student 1
Student 2
Student 2
Ok , any other words on there that
you don’t know?
Yes miss
that, El Dorado
What do you think that El
Dorado is?
a city, or a village
like a city, or a place…like a village?
Miss, it’s a place of gold.
it’s a place of gold?….where does
that give that away? (referring to the
Miss, I’ve seen the movie
4. Embedded discussion
 Intertextual links affirmed through ‘uptake’
(Bloom & Egan Robertson, 2003)
 Discussion as the main pedagogical tool
for incorporation
 Opportunities for ‘true’ discussion
(compared with ‘class discussions’ which
are teacher led Q&A sequences)
Transfer to secondary?
 What are the opportunities for
embedded discussion in Secondary
 How might different content areas
embed discussion around texts and
 Discussion about which texts?
Woolf Fisher Research Centre
The University of Auckland
So effectiveness of explicit intertextual
1. Framing (conceptual agency)
– Students as appropriators of
knowledge resources
– Creators of tools – based on own
experiences with texts and created for
students’ future use
2. Situated meanings
– Inter-contextuality of reading and
– Multiple examples: ‘re-contextualising’
So effectiveness of explicit intertextual
3. Agency and situatedness in
– By incorporating the teaching of
composing strategies which explicitly
draw on situated textual knowledge
– giving permission to investigate and
appropriate the features of texts that
work to achieve authorial purpose.
Conclusion – intertextual theory
repositions writing instruction to
be more culturally responsive
 Intertextuality as incorporation and
unlocking of textual knowledge
 Textual inquiry (by students, with
authority to talk) as building situated
and authoritative textual knowledge

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