Literacy in conjunction with popular culture is a tool often used, in order to communicate different ideas and thoughts that society might enjoy, at the time of consumption. As popular culture progresses into new concepts, it’s important to modify the literacy involved. In Alvermann’s text, she notes the ‘autonomous model’ of literacy; where essentially, students are taught and required to achieve a certain level (pre-set by the educator) in reading and writing. However, in time, researchers discovered that reading and writing weren’t enough. People have different methods of communicating ideas and they should be given the freedom to do so. In their classroom, those modes of communication are used to express ideas within the social constructs of their environment. From that point, the notion of New Literacy Studies (NLS) came to be. All forms of communication are welcomed: visual, oral, gestural, linguistic, musical, kinesthetic, and digital to be used.
When multiple forms of literacy are in practice, it is inevitable to be faced with controversial opinions in regards to limiting the parameters of consumption. Alvermann discusses three debates in her essay; one of them that strikes the most is the second, “A question of Transfer”; which in summary is literacy moving from an informal to a formal environment. Although much research has shown that this practice can be difficult and educators find it difficult to maintain an instructional aspect to the informal environment, with enough experience, this could be a successful approach in literacy studies. The example of using Harry Potter as the “theoretical lens” in order to create their own situations, remixes and then to later share ideas on the fan fiction website, is a success story. That’s capitalizing on a student’s interest, taking learning from an informal environment to a formal one. The student is engaged in their work and the educator does not need to worry about texts that “serve to resist school and authority” (p.17). Educators ought to be listening and observing to the needs of the classroom, not imposing their own requirements. After all, students learn best when they want to.