Ethnicity and multiliteracy

The many effects class, ethnicity, and gender on literacy and learning are made evident in the writings of Comber (2004), Alloway and Gilbert (2002), and Moll et al (1992). Specifically, class has a significant effect in the literacy and learning of children, as higher-class children have more learning resources available to them than lower-class children (Comber, 2004). Ethnicity is also a factor in the literacy and learning of children, as every ethnic background has its own unique effect on a children’s attitudes towards literacy and learning (Moll et al, 1992).

The effects of gender on literacy and learning are also apparent, as Alloway and Gilbert (2002) discuss. According to them, learning materials (such as books) encountered by children early in their learning reflect social mores regarding gender, and the effects of these are compounded by how adults treat children, including the kinds of activities and play that are encouraged depending on the child’s sex. Understandably, all this influences how children act out their roles as part of society. For example, according to Lingard (2002), boys receive the message that they are expected to be aggressive and disruptive, which ultimately creates learning barriers as they attempt to conform to what they believe is expected of them. As Alloway and Gilbert (2002) point out, girls are generally ahead of boys in literacy tests.

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