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Diane Mavers: Redesign in copying

Date: 15 June 2010 Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies Meeting Room 1

Copying is generally conceptualized as exact replication and is judged by likeness to the original. From this standpoint, inaccuracies in writing are deemed to be a consequence of carelessness. Reporting on the copying of non-fiction texts in classroom-based research, this seminar investigates how, in these adjustments, children redesign the prior design of others. A pedagogic concern associated with copying is that children do not engage with meaning, that they do not have to think for themselves. If, as social semiotics purports, all text-making entails processes of meaning-making, then, in their copying, what do children attend to, and why? Framed by the notions of re-production, redesign and re-contextualization, the seminar investigates how children engage in 'semiotic work' as they (re)shape meaning in lexis, capitalization, punctuation marks, spacing, presentation and layout in response to the particular curriculum task in the pedagogic context of the classroom. The analysis focuses on selection, omission and change by examining which features remain constant and where substitutions, transformations, amendments and additions are made. Findings are interpreted in the light of video and interview data. The relationship between 'reading' and text-making in copying has implications for debates around representation and knowledge, and policies and practices in assessment.

Diane Mavers, Institute of Education

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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