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Unlocking Literacy Across the Curriculum

All teachers teach basic literacy: students learn any subject by reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These days, we also need to teach more advanced literacies, such as knowing how to use technology and manage information.

But how can we teach all of those literacies? Is there a simple approach that makes sense of literacy in science, history, art, literature, computers, math, drama, and media?

The Communication Situation

Yes. The communication situation is the key to unlocking any form of communication in any subject. Whenever someone uses a medium to express an idea to someone else, there is a communication situation.

Every communication situation has five components: sender, message, medium, receiver, and context.

Communication Situation

Students can use the communication situation to analyze and evaluate literature, computer programs, textbook chapters, historical documents, protests, architectural designs, and any other form of human communication.

To learn more about the communication situation and how you can use it to teach your subject, check out this set of short videos:

Why Teach Communication Skills?


Who Is Sending the Message?

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What Is the Message?

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What Medium Should I Use?

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Who Is Receiving the Message?

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What Is the Context of This Message?

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