Literacy Archive Project (Revision)


Final Draft of Literacy Narrative


Sponsors in a literacy contribute to the ones who are getting sponsored by in a various way. They usually play an important role in a literacy narrative. In people’s minds, sponsors are usually remembered as someone who influenced a lot on their literacy learning. The better the quality of a sponsor, better the outcome of the people who are getting sponsored. The amount of asset, knowledge and other surroundings determine the quality of the sponsors. Sponsors help filling gap between the society’s academic expectation toward the students and the student’s ability to meet them. How sponsors affect to the students are described in student’s literacy narratives, and teachers often take sponsor’s role for the students. Teachers can determine the trait of the writer’s story as a sponsor. Teacher’s characteristic may lead the students to write a success narrative or a rebel narrative. Learners can often move from an identity to different identity in a narrative. Especially in the case of students writing about victim narratives, I wanted to identify what their final characteristic of narrative would be.  

       According to Brandt, “sponsors are any agent who enable, support, teach… The concept of sponsorship is suggestive for explaining the outcome of one’s literacy success.” (Brandt 556). “Sponsors” is a fitting term for the figures who affect a lot in people’s memories of literacy learning such as teachers or supervisors. In Brandt’s passage he gives an actual example of how the quality of a sponsor can affect people. A person named Raymond was supervised by a professor in a university who could give more opportunities, while Dora Lopez was being sponsored by her parents who worked part time jobs at a local university. Raymond was provided with abundant knowledge and information from his surroundings. Dora was an ethnic minority, and had to try extra hard to reach academic resources in her society. The outcome of Raymond and Dora was completely different. Raymond graduated from the university and became successful freelance writer of software and software documentation. Dora transferred from the university to technical college and was working for a cleaning company. This example proves that the kind of sponsor limits the potential of an individual. Brandt’s statement supports this idea, “An analysis of sponsorship systems of literacy would help educators everywhere to thinkthrough the effects that economic and political changes in their regions are having on various people’s ability to write and read, their chances to sustain that ability, and their capacities to pass it along to others.” (Brandt 562)

“Sponsors…who regulate, suppress, or with-hold literacy” (Brandt 556).As Brandt describes, sponsors can have negative effect to the ones who are getting sponsored by. This lead students write victim narrative. According to Alexander, “victim narratives are written by the students who is a victim of negative literacy experiences in or out of school. They cast blame for negative literacy experiences, and discuss how someone took the fun out of reading and writing.”(Alexander 615). Dora Lopez had it harder than most of the others due to her race and social status. Dora was victim of an unequal literacy chances, and the victim narrative is relatable to the case of Dora. Dora’s parents did not necessarily regulate, suppress, or with-hold literacy, but the limitation of the resources they had lead them to be in the group of negative sponsor and made Dora victimized in her society. In contrast to the Dora’s parents, Shalee’s mother fit in the role of a positive sponsorship. Shaylee and her mom had always been into reading. Since when Shaylee was a kid she grew up reading books with her mom and shared their own ideas about those books. What lead Shaylee to a victim was her teacher. In Shaylee’s narrative, her teacher acted as a negative sponsor to her. Shaylee was reading a book after she was done with an exam in class. Even if she got a permission to read that book from the teacher, she took her book away with an unacceptable reason. After that her teacher would always take the book away whenever she was reading the books. Shaylee quoted, “My story isn’t the only one like it, so many people are shot down for being different by their own choice. It shouldn’t matter what you like as long as you are not hurting anyone.” As shown in this example, negative sponsor can lead one to write victim narrative.

Little and master narrative are related to each other. Some little narrative such as victim narrative may move to success or rebel narrative. It is dependent on the writer’s characteristic whether the narrative will be success or rebel. In Shamus’s narrative, he was affected by two different sponsors. His mindset toward English was negative when he met his first teacher. The first teacher was ignorant sponsor who influenced his students in a poor way. Shamus felt victimized in this situation. The situation however changes as Shamus enters new school and meets new teacher. The new teacher knew exactly what is needed for success and eventually lead him to change his mindset. The new teacher had a quality of positive sponsor in contrast to the first teacher. This is certain part from his narrative which explains the situation. “There are teachers who will ruin things for you, change you and make you want to quit. But all it takes is that one teacher, friend, and/or mentor to change your mindset.” He turned from victim narrative to success narrative by meeting new mentor. In Shaylee’s narrative, her teacher acted as a negative sponsor to her. Her teacher would always take her book away whenever she was reading the books. Despite how she was shot down she continued reading what she wanted for pleasure. Regardless of her classmate’s mock for her reading during class free time, she persisted reading for her own enjoyment. She felt victimized and rebelled against it. She quoted, “My story isn’t the only one like it, so many people are shot down for being different by their own choice. It shouldn’t matter what you like as long as you are not hurting anyone.” In contrast to Shamus she turned from victim narrative to rebel narrative. These examples show how one move from victim narrative to others. Shaylee’s example proves what Alexander states about rebel narratives. “Rebel narratives are written by the students who resist traditional literacy beliefs, conventions, and ideologies by rebelling against them. The students portray themselves as resisting the system rather than to dislike reading and writing.” (Alexander 615) Shaylee never disliked reading but rebelled against in her literacy environment. These examples above show how one move from victim narrative to others.

The idea that sponsors are the most important factor in a literacy narrative might not be fully justified. Sponsors are not doing everything and students take up a lot of responsibility as much as sponsors do. The literacy outcome is not solely dependent on the sponsors and students have to take some initiative. A student wrote a narrative about how she overcame the failure from the last semester through her change of mindset. She realized no one else but only herself could make an actual change of her life in school. Without any significant help of sponsors, she ended up being top of her class next semester. She overcame her anxiety, depression all by herself. Another example showing the importance of student’s role in a narrative is hero narratives. Students writing hero narratives focus on students individual and almost neglect the teacher’s influence on their outcomes. Even if these examples show the significance of student’s role in a literacy narrative, having good sponsors is the most important factor in a literacy. Sponsors eventually offer the direction of student’s literacy outcomes.