Fostering Future-Ready Learners

Fostering Future-Ready Learners: The Power of Multiliteracy and Global Competency for Elementary Students

As we move into an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, the skills that our children need to succeed are changing. Gone are the days when proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic was enough to secure a successful future. Instead, we need to focus on fostering multiliteracy and global competency in our elementary students. By doing so, we can help them become future-ready learners who are equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Multi-literacy refers to the ability to read and write in multiple modes, such as digital, visual, and print. Global competency, on the other hand, is the ability to understand and engage with the world on a global scale. These two concepts are interrelated, and together they form the foundation of a well-rounded education for the 21st century.

There are several reasons why multi-literacy and global competency are so important for elementary students. First, they help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When students are exposed to different modes of communication and ways of thinking, they are forced to engage with information in new and creative ways. This, in turn, helps them become more adaptable and resilient learners.

Second, multi-literacy and global competency help students develop empathy and cultural understanding. When students are exposed to different cultures and perspectives, they learn to appreciate diversity and develop a deeper understanding of their own identity. This helps them become more compassionate and tolerant individuals who are able to thrive in multicultural environments.

Finally, multi-literacy and global competency are essential for success in the modern workplace. As companies become more globalized, they need employees who can communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They also need employees who are comfortable using technology and who can think creatively to solve complex problems. By fostering these skills in our elementary students, we can help ensure that they are well-prepared for the job market of the future.

So how can we foster multi-literacy and global competency in our elementary students? One approach is to incorporate technology into the classroom in meaningful ways. This can include using digital tools to create multimedia projects, collaborating with students from other countries using video conferencing, and engaging with online communities to learn about different cultures.

Another approach is to incorporate global issues into the curriculum. For example, teachers can use current events to spark discussions about global issues such as climate change, immigration, and human rights. They can also incorporate literature and media from different cultures to help students develop empathy and understanding.

Ultimately, fostering multi-literacy and global competency requires a holistic approach that involves educators, parents, and communities working together to support student learning. By providing students with the skills they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world, we can help ensure that they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future.


  • The Power of Multi-Literacies for Personal Learning and Development by Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope
  • Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World by Veronica Boix Mansilla and Anthony Jackson
  • Global Competence for an Inclusive World by The Asia Society
  • Multi-literacies and Technology Enhanced Education: Social Practice and the Global Classroom by John Lee and Angela Thomas
  • "Fostering Multiliteracies in the Elementary Classroom," by Kathy G. Short and Dana L. Miller. The Reading Teacher, Vol. 67, No. 6 (Mar. 2014), pp. 457-465.
  • "Global Competency for an Inclusive World," by Anthony Jackson and Robin Sakamoto. Educational Leadership, Vol. 74, No. 6 (Mar. 2017), pp. 56-60.
  • "Preparing Students for a Rapidly Changing World," by Scott McLeod and Julie Graber. Educational Leadership, Vol. 76, No. 3 (Nov. 2018), pp. 18-23.
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