Narratives and Critical Literacy in Health Websities for Children

by Nickolas Komninos

This paper deals with the story-telling narratives that are created in edutainment
websites that inform children about health and well-being, from a critical
literacy approach. These story-telling narratives are employed by the website
designers to capture the interest of children, to nurture empathy and to
encourage participation.
The research results are presented highlighting key points and relevant strategies
for text interpretation by the children, considering: the critical literacy of
children of different ages; observing the development of strategies for interpretation
of meaning; and the strategies adopted to overcome semiotic confusion
or possible misinterpretation that could hinder the aims of fostering
equitable interconnections.
This paper furthers understanding of the role story-telling plays in websites
designed by adults to inform children and aids safe child autonomy and
multiliteracy skills. This fosters communication ecology across generations and
communities of practice. Better multimodal text construction that involves
both adults and children, rather than just adults, can lead to greater child
empowerment, participation and social action. Child metalanguage and child
recognition of reading pathways in-line with their digital and critical literacy
development is also analysed. Guidelines and best practices for greater child
empowerment are also presented.

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