Critical Media Literacy: A Curriculum for Middle School English Teachers

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Hale, Jennifer J
English as a Second Language; Media Literacy; Language Proficiency; Media Education; Critical; Constructivist; Middle School; Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education; Curriculum and Instruction
project description
This project provides an introductory, critical media literacy curriculum for middle school English teachers, which is designed to build upon students’ academic language proficiency and critical-thinking skills through media-based content. The targeted proficiency level ranges from high-intermediate English language learners to native English speakers.The curriculum focuses on developing the critical-thinking skills needed to analyze complex media messages. This process helps students to discover how media is socially constructed and how it aims to convey particular messages for particular purposes. The teacher’s goal is to facilitate students’ understanding of media in order for them to become more conscientious of their own media usage, as well as develop a deeper understanding of the effects of media messages. The curriculum also asks students to compare their own life experiences to those portrayed in the media; students create a final project that addresses these conclusions. This final step validates students’ personal experiences by providing a creative space to express their individual identities.The materials were developed from research in critical theory, constructivist theory and sociocultural theory. Included sample lessons also align with the Common Core State Standards.