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Waves The Diaries Of International Students in Wellington NZ 2004

The ability to respond competently to realworld reading tasks. (Bormuth, 1975) Readers literacy depends on the context of the situation, not on a specific achievement level. (Guthrie, 1983)

A person is functionally literate when he has acquired the knowledge and skills in reading and writing which enable him to engage effectively in all those activities in which literacy is normally assumed in his cultural groups. (William Gray, 1956)

In broad terms, literacy is the ability to make and communicate meaning from and by the use of a variety of socially contextual symbols. Within various levels of developmental ability, a literate person can derive and convey meaning, and use their knowledge to achieve a desired purpose or goal that requires the use of language skills, be they spoken or written.

Literacy practices are the general cultural ways of utilizing written language which people draw upon in their lives. The mechanisms determining the literacy makers position is determined by contexts, socialization processes, political and ideological processes and human agency.

The documentary looks into the literary practices of Chinese students from China in two different mode.

The literacy practices of Chinese learners in China have been largely constructed from the social practices, values and norms privileged in the mainstream academic context and educational policies. In the documentary, Rose shares how her teachers take control of her class and what is expected from her is clearly defined by the education system and her parents expectation. She recalls that her friends would be baffled to know that she does other things than memorizing and writing notes.

Chinese teaching approaches emphasize knowledge transmission through the use of textbooks. Students try to absorb and digest what is being transmitted. Here teachers do not emphasize knowledge transmission. Instead, they emphasize autonomy and knowledge application. In this type of society, the groups interest and values are privileged over than of the individual.

is student-centred, discussion-based and interactive. In the dialogic tradition, responsibility for learning belongs to the learner, not the teacher. Students are independent learners and are given the freedom to choose what suits them the best and their interest. Learners must construct knowledge rather than just passively absorb it.

emphasis on active student participation in the learning process, favours collaboration and creativity over competition and stress.

The documentary shows that out of 4 students, two students Ken and Rose have adjusted to their new life while the other two, Lin and Jane seems to be emotionally struggling to fit into the new place.

Rose Initially felt very lonely and frustrated. Expected teachers to order and direct her. Says that schools in China are boring and strict Became more confident after choosing subjects that interest her. Was amused with the teachers who were more flexible and approachable. She could accommodate herself in the new environment of learning. She has the freedom in choosing her subjects unlike in her own country

She felt that individuality is given more emphasize. Ken He copes well with the school environment but is emotionally attached with his parents. He socializes well with the Kiwis and enjoys his schooling too. Lin and Jane Has conflicts in socializing, feels that they should be in the circle but the same time wants to maintain their values and still attached to their homeland sentiments.

These practices are authentic when teachers capitalize on discourse interaction in community structured classrooms in which literacy is functional. literacy learning is no longer as simple a business as empowering or disempowering people; instead, as a series of classroom events. Learning process is much more meaningful and personal growth is also emphasized.

The documentary revealed that students experienced loneliness and hardship, and they also found they could not always count on their parents for help. Some students felt that this changes is good for them and they intend to develop on them while others like Jane feels that this changes are only temporarily and she wants to go back after her graduation.