DR. HILARY JANKS
UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND
Johannesburg, South Africa
“Doing Critical Literacy”
September 15, 2013
1:00 p.m. Eastern time zone/New York/USA
As a professor in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Janks teaches an undergraduate course in New Literacies for pre-service teachers, Postgraduate Courses in systemic functional linguistics, and Literacies and research methods. She also spends much of her time supervising doctoral students. As a teacher educator, Dr. Janks has been committed to improving the quality of language and literacy education in South Africa, and other multi-lingual contexts, for most of her academic life. She works in poorly resourced schools with children learning through the medium of English, even though it is not their home language. Dr. Janks’s research lies in critical literacy which is concerned with the relationship between language/literacy and power, diversity, access and design, and redesign. She argues that without recognizing the interdependence of these four axes, possibilities for transformation are limited. Other research interests include academic literacy, postgraduate pedagogies, language policy, reconciliation pedagogies, critical multiliteracies, and language literacy and identity with a focus on habitus. Among her many professional identities as teacher, researcher, and research advisor, she works hard to devote time to writing and for designing classroom materials.
Dr. Janks has published widely across international journals, and has presented numerous times across the globe. Her most recent publication, and the focus of her web seminar, is entitled Doing Critical Literacy: Texts and Activities for Students and Teachers, Dr. Janks’s book is immediately engaging and demonstrates how teachers of all age levels can do critical literacy in the classroom. She provides models for practice that can be adapted to any context. Theoretically grounded in social theory and classroom practice, Dr. Janks’s book presents critical literacy as a socio-cultural orientation, a way of teaching literacy that takes seriously the relationship between language and power and orients readers to the social effects of texts. Across a range of different texts, Dr. Janks positions students and teachers to critically read and respond to texts with questions such as these in mind: Whose interests are served, who benefits, who is disadvantaged; who is included and who is excluded?
Another of Dr. Janks’s most influential books is entitled Literacy and Power. In this book, she argues that there are four orientations to critical literacy education: domination (power), access, diversity, design. All are integrally significant and must operate together to create and must operate together to create possibilities for redesign and social action that serve a social justice agenda. Each of these orientations is detailed in the book, and Dr. Janks develops new theory in the argument for interdependence and integration. Access Dr. Janks’s website.
Janks, H. (2012). The importance of critical literacy. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 11(1), 150-163.
Janks, H. (2011). “District Nine” and constructions of the other: Implications for heterogeneous classrooms. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 10(2), 39-48.
Janks, H. (2009). Sharing writing, sharing names. In A. Carter, T. Lillis, S. Parkin & D. Barton (Eds.), Why Writing Matters: Issues of Access and Identity in Writing Research and Pedagogy (pp. 167-168). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Benjamins.
Janks, H. (2005b). Deconstruction and reconstruction: Diversity as a productive resource. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 26(1), 31-43. doi: 10.1080/01596300500040078
Janks, H. (2005a). Deconstruction and reconstruction: Diversity as a productive resource. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 26(1), 31-43. doi: 10.1080/01596300500040078
Janks, H. (2001). Critical language awareness: Curriculum 2005 meets the TRC. Southern African Linguistics & Applied Language Studies, 19(3/4), 241.
Janks, H. (2000). Domination, access, diversity and design: a synthesis for critical literacy education. Educational Review, 52(2), 175-186. doi: 10.1080/713664035
Janks, H. (1999a). Critical language awareness journals and student identities. Language Awareness, 8(2), 111-122.
Janks, H. (1999b). Critical language awareness journals and student identities. Language Awareness, 8(2), 111-122.
Janks, H., Dixon, K., Ferreira, A., Granville, S., & Newfield, D. (2013). Doing critical literacy: Texts and activities for students and teachers (Language, Culture, and Teaching Series).
Janks, H. (2010). Literacy and power. New York NY: Routlege.
Janks, H. (2009). Chapter 3. The language teacher’s repertoire: What effective teachers should know and be able to do. In Teaching Language in the South African Classroom. Braamfontein: Macmillan.
Janks, H. (2009) Chapter 15. Critical Language Awareness: Teaching the relationship between language and power. In Teaching Language in the South African Classroom. Braamfontein: Macmillan.
Janks, H. (2009) Writing: A critical literacy perspective. In R. Beard, D. Myhill, M. Nystrand, and J. Riley. (Eds). The SAGE Handbook of Writing Development. London: Sage.
Janks, H. (2008) ‘Critical literacy: methods, models and motivations’. In: Cooper, K. and White, R.E. (eds). Critical Literacies in Action. Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Janks, H. (2008) ‘Teaching language and power’. In May, S. Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, Volume 1 of Encyclopedia of Language Education. Second Edition. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Janks. H. and Locke, T. (2008) ‘Discourse awareness in education: a critical perspective’. In Cenoz, J (ed) Knowledge about Language, Volume 6 of the new, revised Encyclopedia of Language and Education: Dordrecht: Springer.
Janks, H, and Comber, B. (2006) ‘Critical literacy across continents’. In Pahl, K. and J. Rowsell (eds). Travel notes from the New Literacy Studies Instances of Practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Janks, H. and Sethole, M. P. (2006). ‘Reaching out and reaching in: “We had to develop ourselves before we could be developed”. In Cooper, K. and White, R. (eds). The Practical Critical Educator. Dordrecht: Springer.
Janks, H. (2005) Engaging students online. In T. Welch and Y. Reed (eds) Designing and Delivering Distance Education: Quality Criteria and Case Studies from South Africa. Braamfontein: NADEOSA.
Janks, H. (2003) Seeding change in South Africa: New literacies, new subjectivities, new futures. In Doecke, B, D Homer and H Nixon (Eds). English Teachers at Work. South Australia: Wakefield Press and the Auatralian Association for the Teaching of English.
Janks, H. (2001) Identity and conflict in the critical literacy classroom. In: Comber, B and Simpson, A. (Eds) Negotiating Critical Literacies in Classrooms. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.