Teaching literacy in multicultural classrooms: Towards a pedagogy of 'Thirdspace'

Year: 2002

Author: Kostogriz, Alex

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores the possibilities of what I call 'Thirdspace' pedagogy for ESL literacy education, one that interrogates some of the assumption commonly held by politicians about the acquisition of 'cultural literacy' and, related to this, social, political, and historical perceptions of cultural-linguistic difference. By drawing on the concept of 'Thirdspace', I seek to challenge dichotomising and essentialising tendencies in thinking about the education of L2 learners, with the aim of locating literacy learning on the fault-line between cultures - in the space of radical openness. The 'trialectic' of pedagogic spaces and the political strategy of Thirding in classroom communities of difference is examined, to suggest how this approach may be used productively in reconceptualising literacy pedagogy in/for conditions of multicultural life.