Literary texts included in textbooks of Portuguese and literacies in L1 education
Author(s)Balula, João Paulo Rodrigues
Silva, Ana Isabel
Matos, Isabel Aires de
Primary and Middle School Education
Development of lifelong reading habits
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AbstractAt a time when the tendency is to embrace immediacy and the easy path, the reading of literary texts from different periods, genres and countries becomes an essential activity for gaining linguistic, cultural, historical and world knowledge. Literature, as a complex phenomenon, enables the dialogue between the contemporary reader and the generations that preceded him/her, contributing towards the discovery and interpretation of differences and continuities. The acquisition of a particular semiotic baggage that comes from the reading of literary texts, as well as the ability to question oneself and to intervene in the real world, enhance a reader-text dialogic interaction, which is capable of generating important educational effects. Thus, its relevance to the training of autonomous, competent and critical readers stands out. In light of the above, using as a theoretical framework the Portuguese government guidelines relating to literary education - the National Reading Panel, the Curriculum of Portuguese language for Primary and Middle School Education and the Common Core State Standards for Portuguese - we selected a total of eight textbooks of Portuguese – six for primary school education and two for the first two years of middle school –, by five different publishing houses, and we examined their literary texts, bearing in mind that the work developed in class is strongly influenced by their availability in textbooks. In this paper, we aim to: i) present and discuss the outcomes of our study, by shedding light on the main characteristics of literary texts included in textbooks of Portuguese and their impact on literacy practices; ii) investigate the importance and diversity of the texts included in the textbooks analysed, highlighting the ways in which they might contribute towards the training of autonomous and critical readers. The main results of our research are (1) a great difference in regards to the texts available in textbooks prior to the government guidelines outlined above, prevailing recent narrative texts by authors representing different quadrants of the Lusophone world, and (2) a lack of diversity in literary forms, cultural contexts and time frame, a diversity that we find necessary for the development of lifelong reading habits.
Center for Studies in Education, Technologies and Health (CI&DETS). APEL - Associação Portuguesa de Editores e Livreiros.
Balula, J. P., Amante, S., Silva, A. I., Melão, D., & Castelo, A. (2015, March). Literary texts included in textbooks of Portuguese and literacies in L1 education. Paper presented at “10th IAIMTE Conference 2015: Languages, Literatures, and Literacies”, University of Southern Denmark, Odense.