Key Questions for Critical Literacy
- What is this text about? How do we know?
- Who would be most likely to read this text and why?
- Why are we reading this text?
- What does the author of this text want us to know?
Textual Structures and Features
- What are the structures and features of this text?
- What genre does this text belong to?
- What do the images suggest?
- What do the words suggest?
- What kind of language is used in the text?
Construction of Characters
- How are children, teenagers, young adults, and adults constructed in this text?
- Why has the author constructed the characters in this way?
Power and Interest
- In whose interest is this text?
- Who benefits from this text?
- Is the text fair?
- What knowledge does the reader need to bring to this text in order to understand it?
- Which positions, voices, and interests are at play in this text?
- How is the reader positioned in relation to the author of this text?
- How does the text depict age, gender, cultural groups?
- Whose views are excluded or privileged in the text?
- Who is allowed to speak? Who is quoted?
- Why is the text written in the way it is?
Gaps and Silences
- Are there gaps and silences in the text?
- Who is missing from the text?
- What has been left out of the text?
- What questions about itself does the text not raise?
- Whose View? Whose Reality?
- What views of the world is the text presenting?
- What kinds of social realities does the text portray?
- How does the text construct a version of reality?
- What is real in the text?
- How would the text be different if it were told in another time, place, or culture?
Interrogating the Author
- What kind of person, and with what interests and values, authored the text?
- What view of the world and values does the author assume the reader holds? How do we know?
- What different interpretations of the text are possible?
- How do contextual factors influence how the text is interpreted?
- How does the text mean?
- How else could the text have been written?
- How does the text rely on intertextuality to create its meaning?