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You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.
- George W. Bush

Keynote speech: Visual/Verbal Texts Symposium

What: Delivering the keynote speech, and a paper, at the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures “Visual/Verbal Texts” conference
Topic: “Co-authoring Picture Books: How Young Audiences Semiotically and Critically Interact with Professional Authors During Author Visits”
When: June 25-27
Where: University of Winnipeg

Instruction in children’s literature, like so many learning experiences, is changing in the twenty-first century because of the immersion in contemporary technologies such as Web 2.0 tools, animation, and access to hand-held or mobile devices. Through their own agency, children are increasingly choosing tech-enhanced media, especially since children are given opportunities to be positioned as co-authors when they use these tools. How then do we as educators and researchers integrate 21st century technologies without compromising the integrity and significant role of traditional children’s literature? Comparing author visits from three Canadian children’s authors, we explore how young audiences semiotically and critically interact before, during, and after author visits. My findings demonstrate that children’s literature is still very much alive in schools and that professional authors and educators may better engage with young audiences when they give students opportunities to act as co-authors who simultaneously mediate words, pictures, and multimodal materials together. See crytc.uwinnipeg.ca/pdf/Visual_Verbal_Texts_Program.pdf.

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