Teaching Matters

PS8 R3 Critical literacies and localities: Localising the practice through fairy tales

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 2 December 20202 Dec 2020


Critical literacies and localities: Localising the practice through fairy tales


Nita Novianti, School of Education, CALE


Connected to place

Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Room 3




The practice of “’critical literacy’ should look, feel, and sound different in different contexts” (Vasquez et al., 2019, p. 300) and “be contingent on localised context and the material resources, including human, that exist in these contexts” (Alford & Jetnikoff, 2016, p. 111). These arguments highlight the importance of considering and using the local contexts where students live as the resources to design and teach critical literacy. Localities then become a key tenet in critical literacy practice, which is unfortunately scarcely explored. This presentation will report some of the key findings of participatory action research involving two Indonesian teacher educators with a focus on teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language) pre-service teachers to design a localised critical literacy instruction using fairy tales for primary students. Data were collected from collaborative sessions with the teacher educators, pre-service teachers’ fairy tale-based unit plans, and researcher reflections. Using the place and the community where students live as one of the resources for the instruction has allowed the pre-service teachers to design an English unit infused with critical literacy skills. They connect the issue(s) raised in the fairy tale used as the main text of instruction to the local context. This connection at the same time facilitates intercultural understandings of the target culture represented in the text and students’ local culture. While admitting the many challenges encountered in localising the instruction, both teacher educators and pre-service teachers agree that localising their English instruction can make their teaching and learning more meaningful and empowering.


Alford, J. H., & Jetnikoff, A. (2016). Orientations to critical literacy for English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) learners: A case study of four teachers of senior English. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 39(2), 111-123.

Vasquez, V. M., Janks, H., & Comber, B. (2019). Critical literacy as a way of being and doing. Language Arts, 96(5), 300-311.

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