This talk introduces the contexts in which teachers and students are learning new literacies today through a three part format, starting with a survey of the ways in which globalization is affecting education in general and English language teaching in contexts such as Brazil in particular. It will then move into a discussion of the new literacies being developed to negotiate the digital world, and conclude with a section raising questions about how these literacies may be developed to meet specific local needs. The paper raises questions about whose interests global English serves, to what extent it may be a homogenizing force and to what extent and under what circumstances, it can enable learner autonomy and encourage bi- or multilingualism. As visual imaginaries join language in creating frameworks for making sense of the world, how are these changing the ways we imagine our identities, our choices, and our capacities for changing our lives and our world? What are the implications of these globalizing forces for how we understand the role of education, the nature of knowledge, and the scope of literacy as a social practice?
This event is partially supported through a grant obtained by Ruberval Maciel from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Ruberval was a Visiting Associate of the Centre from September 15 to January 15 2010 and is now continuing as an Adjunct Associate of the Centre working in The Critical Literacies Research cluster. His research project is: Curricular Innovation and teacher development in the public sector in Brazil.