In this unit you will explore the development of literacy skills by second language learners. The nature of literacy and language practices associated with written language in different target languages will be considered. Issues faced by second language learners in learning to read and write effectively in a second language, and the ways in which teachers can assist the development of second language literacy will be explored. This unit provides an introduction to the theoretical debate surrounding the concept of literacy in Australia and in other societies, and its implication for appropriate curriculum design. Profiles of typical youth and adult literacy students in education and workplace training sites will be developed and consequent learner variables analysed, including the needs of groups with both English speaking and non-English speaking background students. The relationship among theory, method and appropriate teaching practices will then be discussed with due attention paid to a variety of influences over choice and effectiveness of particular strategies that can be used.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review the key theoretical frameworks related to the teaching of literacy skills to second language learners in the 21st century;  
  2. Analyse a variety of literacy settings and learner groups;  
  3. Investigate and critically reflect on the relationship between current literacy theories and methods; and  
  4. Articulate the changing demands for social, personal and vocational literacy skills and repertoires of second language learners and the impacts of these on lives of individuals and communities.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Reflective piece 20%
Essay Academic essay 40%
Project Design a sequence of activities for a specific group of learners 40%

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