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Why ELLs Should Be Taught To Critique the Media

Immigrants to the United States often use the commercial mass media to help them learn English, and they are susceptible "to swallow the value system," warns Elizabeth Thoman, the founder of the Center for Media Literacy. She's quoted in an article posted on the center's Web site that makes the case that teachers of English as a second language should tap into the growing media literacy field to develop lessons.

One goal of teaching English-language learners about the media would be to help them avoid being passive and vulnerable to media messages, and enable them to make good selections as consumers and to question the information they receive, according to the article.

It sounds like a good idea to me.

The article, which was first published in 2002 in Language Magazine, gives some practical help for where to start, such as giving students a questionnaire about their perceptions of the media.

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