Introducing Critical Literacy to Pre-Service English Teachers through Fairy Tales


The need for a more critical approach to EFL teaching and learning is undeniable, yet little has been done to prepare teachers for teaching with this approach. This article reports one of the cycles on my action research study, involving a teacher educator and 35 pre-service English teachers. Together with the teacher educator, a unit on critical literacy was developed using fairy tales as the core text. In the unit, we introduced pre-service teachers to critical

 literacy through the critical reading, analysis, and rewriting of fairy tales for social transformation. They were assigned to rewrite a fairy tale as a form of social action and to reflect on the choices made in the rewriting process. The re-written fairy tales and the accompanying reflection essay were analysed using a rubric adapted from the four dimensions of critical literacy (Lewison et al., 2002). The re-written fairy tales and the reflections suggest the pre-service teachers’ growing understanding of the non-neutrality of text, ability to read from a different perspective and offer an alternative one, and ability to identify socio-political issues, such as stereotypes, and to subvert them.

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