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Protacio shares strategies for addressing disciplinary literacy

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Article by Francis John F. Faderogao

Dr. Maria Selena O. Protacio, associate professor of literacy studies in Western Michigan University, spoke in a seminar on “Strategies for Addressing Disciplinary Literacy” at CPAf Rooms 303-304 on January 26, 2018. The Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (CSPPS) of CPAf organized the said event.

Dr. Protacio emphasized that literacy is not just reading and writing but also the ability to read, write, speak, listen, view, and visually represent. Engaging all those processes within the context of a given discipline defined disciplinary literacy. 

Unlike content area literacy, which is a generic strategy and can be applied in different subjects, disciplinary literacy requires specific skills and activities for each discipline, according to Dr. Protacio. Because of this new sort of ideas of disciplinary literacy, she acknowledged the need to expand the meaning of texts and use of various types of texts in different disciplines.  For instance, a Social Studies teacher may use maps instead of textbooks to support discussions.

Dr. Protacio also shared an article entitled “Every Child Every Day” that contains six literacy experiences children should have every day to be successful and engaged readers. According to the article, as cited by Dr. Protacio, every child reads something he or she chooses, every child reads accurately, every child reads something he or she understands, every child writes about something personally meaningful, every child talks with peers about reading and writing, and every child listens to fluent adult read aloud. 

For Dr. Protacio, reading is not just reading words but comprehending and understanding them so that meanings are made.  Creating meaning is the ultimate goal of reading. To improve reading comprehension of students, Dr. Protacio shared some strategies such as thinking and reading aloud, using a variety of texts, and critical reading.  

At present, the educational system in the country used a K-12 curriculum. Considering disciplinary literacy to the new curriculum will require inclusion of literacy instruction, professional development of teachers through training, literacy coach, assessment of the resources provided to schools, and school-wide reading initiatives for students. 

The activity was part of Policy Seminar Series conducted regularly by CSPPS. It was attended by UPLB staff and students, and representatives from different higher education institutions in CALABARZON.

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