Examining multiple readings of popular culture by ESL students in Hong Kong

Jasmine LUK, Wai Yi, Diane HUI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

The integration of popular culture into English language learning has recently been formalised in the Hong Kong New Senior Secondary curriculum, with the development of critical reading indicated as one of the key objectives. Whether and how students respond to popular culture texts is, however, under-researched. The present paper reports findings from a study that investigated how a group of 33 senior secondary (Grade 11) students from three schools representing different levels of academic performance in Hong Kong conducted reading of an authentic print English advertisement. In small groups, the students articulated in Cantonese, their first language, an analysis of the text including its purpose, target audience, and intended impacts. Insights from Stuart Hall’s three major decoder positions (dominant reading, oppositional reading, and negotiated reading) were drawn on to conduct a qualitative content analysis of the students’ reading. The findings showed that three-quarters of the students irrespective of their English proficiency levels displayed evidence of critical consumption of the text, but many seemed to have constructed oppositional or negotiated reading positions due to their failure to appreciate linguistic creativity, and spontaneous evaluation of the visual images. The authors argue that language curricula in schools should strengthen students’ critical multimodal literacies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-230
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2016

Fingerprint

popular culture
Hong Kong
student
curriculum
language
Popular Culture
ESL Students
school
small group
English language
creativity
content analysis
school grade
linguistics
evaluation
learning
performance
evidence
Group

Keywords

  • Popular culture
  • critical multimodal literacies
  • critical thinking
  • decoder positions
  • dominant
  • negotiated reading positions
  • oppositional

Cite this

LUK, Jasmine ; HUI, Wai Yi, Diane. / Examining multiple readings of popular culture by ESL students in Hong Kong. In: Language, Culture and Curriculum. 2016 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 212-230.
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Examining multiple readings of popular culture by ESL students in Hong Kong. / LUK, Jasmine; HUI, Wai Yi, Diane.

In: Language, Culture and Curriculum, Vol. 30, No. 2, 11.10.2016, p. 212-230.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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