Connections to Language Curriculum | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Connections to Language Curriculum

    Media literacy is the result of study of the art and messaging of various forms of media and media texts. Media create biased environments within which people communicate. A bias of print is linearity. A bias of image is gestalt. Media texts can be understood to include any work, object, or event that communicates meaning to an audience. Most media texts use words, graphics, sounds, and/or images, in print, oral, visual, or electronic form, to communicate information and ideas to their audience. Whereas traditional literacy may be seen to focus primarily on the understanding of the printed or spoken word, media literacy focuses on the construction of meaning through the combination of several media “languages” – images, sounds, graphics, and words.

    Media literacy explores the impact and influence of media and popular culture by examining environments such as social media and texts, videos, songs, games, action figures, advertisements, clothing, billboards, magazines, newspapers, photographs, and websites. These environments and texts abound in our electronic information age, and the messages they convey, both overt and implied, can have a significant influence on students’ thinking. For this reason, critical thinking as it applies to media environments and texts assumes a special significance. Understanding how media texts are constructed and why they are produced enables students to respond to them intelligently and responsibly. Students must be able to differentiate between fact and opinion; evaluate the credibility of sources; recognize and understand biased portrayals of events, individuals and groups.

    Students’ repertoire of communication skills should include the ability to critically interpret the messages they receive through various media and to use these media to communicate their own ideas effectively. Becoming conversant with media can greatly expand the range of information sources available to students, their expressive and communicative capabilities, and their career opportunities.

    To develop their media literacy skills, students should have opportunities to consume, analyze, produce and reflect on a wide variety of media texts (e.g., graphics, animations, designs, podcasts, videos, blogs, news feeds) and relate them to their own experiences.