Radio waves and curriculum pathways: Jamaican “at risk” learners construct media



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Journal of Media Literacy Education


This paper explores radio play as an alternative space for learning language and literacy for Jamaican students labeled as ‘at-risk’ learners. Through the creation of a make-believe radio station in the classroom, students developed oral language skills as a necessary precursor for social literacy. They connected reading and writing activities and the simulated classroom radio station promoted the development of learners’ self-efficacy. The students’ use of the learning space as newscasters, hosts, writers and reporters revealed that those who took risks in learning language and literacy in these spaces subverted the label of ‘at-risk-learners’ and repositioned themselves as risk-takers in constructing literacy. Pedagogies of enjoyment and empowerment emerged in learners’ autonomous spaces as radio play was the catalyst for listening to speak, speaking to write and writing to read in the Radio-Active Classroom setting.


The National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Journal of Media Literacy Education 10 (1), 42 - 58

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radio play, Jamaica, secondary education, at-risk, situated cognition, literacy, education