Doing Critical Literacy: Texts and Activities for Students and Teachers (Paperback) book cover

Doing Critical Literacy

Texts and Activities for Students and Teachers

By Hilary Janks, Kerryn Dixon, Ana Ferreira, Stella Granville, Denise Newfield


166 pages | 214 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415528108
pub: 2013-07-03
Hardback: 9780415528092
pub: 2013-07-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203118627
pub: 2013-07-18
from $26.48

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Compelling and highly engaging, this text shows teachers at all levels how to do critical literacy in the classroom and provides models for practice that can be adapted to any context. Integrating social theory and classroom practice, it brings critical literacy to life as a socio-cultural orientation to the teaching of literacy that takes seriously the relationship between language and power and orients readers to the social effects of texts. Students and teachers are drawn into the key questions critical readers need to pose of texts: Whose interests are served, who benefits, who is disadvantaged; who is included and who is excluded? The practical activities help readers grasp complex issues.

Extending the theoretical framework in Hilary Janks’ Literacy and Power with a rich range of completely new, up-to-date activities that translate theory into practice, Doing Critical Literacy is powerful, relevant, and useful for both pre- and in-service teacher education and for use in schools.


"… a wonderful collection of tried, contemporary, multi-modal activities and invitations for exploring critical literacies. What is so powerful about the activities … is that each one is extremely well theorized and yet very accessible."

Vivian Maria Vasquez, American University, USA

"You’ll be blown away by Doing Critical Literacy. A pedagogic masterpiece, it is the perfect companion to Janks’ Literacy and Power. Teachers everywhere will be waiting to try out the clever, engaging and challenging activities with their students."

Barbara Comber, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

"… not only a ‘must read’ but a ‘must do’ in literacy education. The diverse activities invite both students and teachers to engage critically in innovative classroom practices that offer a range of identity positions from which students can read and write, listen and speak. A compelling text that is long overdue."

Bonnie Norton, University of British Columbia, Canada

"The explicit and careful approach of this book will enable teachers who have not ventured to teach for critical literacy to do so and thus potentially play a role in shifting teachers’ practices and fostering students as text analysts in line within the broad democratic project. … A valuable contribution. "

Jeanne Prinsloo, African Media Matrix, Rhodes University, South Africa

"… a welcome resource for those who wish to introduce students to critical literacy using thought provoking activities. Complex ideas can be understood clearly in this engaging activity volume. Teachers can use it with students to teach critical literacy in a fresh and accessible way."

Kate Pahl, University of Sheffield, UK

Table of Contents

1. Language and position Hilary Janks 2. Identity and diversity Hilary Janks 3. Language and language varieties Kerryn Dixon 4. Grammar as a resource for critical literacy Hilary Janks 5. Critical visual literacy Ana Ferreira and Denise Newfield 6. Time, space and bodies Kerryn Dixon 7. Everyday texts Hilary Janks, Ana Ferreira and Stella Granville 8. Digital technologies Kerryn Dixon and Hilary Janks 9. Redesign - from critical awareness to social action Hilary Janks

About the Authors

Hilary Janks teaches English language literacy in the School of Education at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kerryn Dixon lectures Foundation phase students, in the School of Education at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ana Ferreira lectures in English in the School of Education at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Stella Granville has recently retired from Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a teacher and teacher educator for many years. Her research has been in the areas of critical literacy and academic literacy.

Denise Newfield lectures in the School of Literature, Language and Media at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics