The Necessity for Integration of Critical Media Literacy within English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Journalism
Critical media literacy has gained much importance in Western educational curricula lately but still remains insufficiently explored and implemented in the English language education in Russian universities. This article explores the theoretical foundations of critical media literacy, discusses the necessity to focus on developing students’ critical thinking skills with regard to the proper use of media in the context of English for journalism and provides examples of practical applications. Most English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses that are designed for future journalists and specialists in media communications are focused solely on either theoretical knowledge about the profession or on general knowledge about the professional world and the language it uses, which is clearly not enough for a successful future activity. The rapid development of the mass media causes a need for journalists of a new type: creative professionals, people who are able to access, analyze, evaluate, distribute media messages and act using all forms of communication. On the basis of the works of leading Russian and international researchers in the field of media education, the author offers a rationale for incorporating critical media literacy into the process of English language acquisition. Therefore, strategies that can be used to strengthen critical thinking abilities are given as well as an in depth analysis outlining the benefits of media literacy for journalism students.