Dr. Deborah Begoray

Dr. Deborah Begoray
Professor, Language & Literacy
Curriculum and Instruction

PhD (Curriculum & Instruction) University of British Columbia, MA (Curriculum & Instruction) University of Calgary, Professional Diploma (Secondary Education: English/Language Arts) University of Alberta, BA (Honors in English) University of Alberta

Office: MacLaurin A563
  • Adolescent literacy

  • Health literacy

  • Media education

  • Visual literacy

My work on health literacy involves adolescents both non Aboriginal and Aboriginal in school and community settings.  I am also interested in the New Literacies; that is, the multiple literacies of reading/writing, listening/speaking, viewing/representing as mediated by technology in language arts classes and in health education.  I am also interested in literacy strategies in other subject areas.  My other interests are in adolescent literacy/English language arts, research methodologies, technology integration in literacy classrooms, visual literacy and young adult literature.

Currently I am working on media education as it applies to health.  My research team has coined the phrase critical media health literacy.  We are examining how students develop critical thinking especially when faced with advertisements which promote products/behaviours that may influence their health.

We have been supported by SSHRC and CIHR grants.  Our most recent project (March 2013-March 2014) involves 13 and 14 year old Aboriginal students in the BC Interior who are creating a narrative around the principles of media education for an audience of 11/12 year olds. The narrative will be turned into a graphic novel by an Indigenous artist.  The novel will then be used by teachers to help students in health education to engage with ideas about the media’s impact on their health decisions.  It will also be made available as an electronic document for use by other educators.

One of my current PhD students, Chris Beer, is now completing her dissertation on the development of critical media health literacy amongst adolescents in Burma where she worked as a teacher in 2012/13.

Begoray, D., Wharf Higgins, J., Harrison, J., & Collins-Emery, A. (2012). Teaching critical viewing using The Hunger Games. Journal of Reading Education. (International)

Wharf Higgins, J., & Begoray, D. (2012).Exploring the borderlands between media and health: Conceptualizing 'critical media health literacy'. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 4(2), 136-148. (International)

Begoray, D., Gillis, D., & Rowlands, G. (Eds.) (2012). Health literacy in context: International perspectives. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc. (book)

Begoray, D., Marshall, E.A., Shone, L., & Rowlands, G. (2012). Health literacy and lifelong learning. In D. Begoray, D. Gillis & G. Rowlands (Eds.) Health literacy in context: International perspectives (pp.75-98). New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc.