Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Literacy concepts provide important insights into the planning, structuring and sequencing of learning programs, the use of teaching strategies and the selection of resources.

In this unit participants will examine the range of literacies needed for humanities, mathematics and science content areas. The unit will extend participants’ knowledge of the technical vocabulary, linguistic forms and structures of different curriculum areas and the role of language in learning. They will consider the requirement of spoken, written, visual, symbolic, graphic and multimodal texts and the interconnectedness of learning in content areas. This knowledge will offer a resource for teachers to enhance the development of literacy and learning within all curriculum areas.

The aim of this unit is to assist pre-service teachers to examine the range of literacies and language learning required for different curriculum areas in secondary school subjects and the way these literacies need to be developed for learners from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate an understanding of the skills and concepts of literacy relevant to the different curriculum areas (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5)

LO2 - Critically evaluate classroom practice in the teaching of literacy (GA4; APST 1.5, 3.6)

LO3 - Use relevant meta-language in identifying the literacy knowledge, skills and understandings embedded in various content areas and be aware of the terminology used in relevant state, territory and national curriculum documents (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 3.3)

LO4 - Design and integrate tasks in a unit of work which will allow for explicit teaching of literacy (GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3)

LO5 - Design and critique units of work which incorporate literacy concepts such as multiliteracies and multimodal literacies (GA9, GA10; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6)

LO6 - Design teaching strategies which incorporate literacy-informed approaches to knowledge building (GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.


Topics will include:

  • The nature of literacy and language and their role in learning in the different areas of the curriculum
  • Language as a social process, meta-language and numeracy in context
  • Constructions of literacy in relevant state, territory and national curriculum and support documents from upper primary level through to secondary level
  • The structure of different types of spoken, written, visual, graphic and multimodal texts
  • Concepts of multiliteracies and frameworks for developing units of work around multiliteracies understandings
  • Introduction to the systems of grammar at both sentence and discourse level, and the corresponding terminology
  • Pedagogical and curriculum frameworks for the infusion of multimodal texts into secondary teaching
  • Technologies for the development of multimodal texts
  • A range of strategies used for the explicit teaching of literacy
  • The relationship between linguistics and knowledge building, for example Maton’s “semantic waves” and Martin’s “power trio” as pedagogical frameworks
  • Task design, construction and critical evaluation of resources used in the teaching of literacy

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including: online materials, readings, discussion forums and assignment preparation. The unit delivery will consist of a digital core with the expectation of students working with these materials for a minimum of two hours or equivalent each week. In addition, a two hour workshop/tutorial may be held once every two weeks (i.e., 4 times a semester or equivalent) in online mode.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester (or equivalent in intensive mode).

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Minimum Achievement Standards

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit all pieces of assessment and obtain an overall passing grade for the entire unit.

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5, 500 words. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Rationale for the teaching of literacy in a learning area other than English with reference to the curriculum documents and the literature.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Construction of an exemplar multimodal text, related to a particular learning area with reference to the curriculum documents.


LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: The design of a unit of work which explicitly values literacies concepts, in a particular learning area with reference to the curriculum documents.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Relevant state, territory and national documents and publications on integration of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.

Campbell, R., & Green, D. (2006). Visual literacy: reading and the contemporary text environment. In Literacies and learners: current perspectives (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Hansford, D., & Adlington,R. (2009). Digital spaces and young people’s on-line authoring. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 32(1), 55-68.

Humphrey, S., Love, K., & Droga, L. (2011). Working grammar. Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia.

Macnaught, L., Maton, K., Martin, J. R., & Matruglio, E. (2013). Jointly constructing semantic waves: Implications for teacher training. Linguistics and Education, 24(1), 50–63.

Mills, K. & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for Digital Text Production. The Reading Teacher: A Journal of Research-Based Classroom Practice, 65(1), 80–91.

Sim, A. (2006). An investigation of the literacy demands and support given to a Year 8 class. [online]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy; v.29 n.3 p.240-251.

Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching multiliteracies across the curriculum: changing contexts of text and image in classroom practice. Buckingham, Philadelphia: Open University Press

Unsworth, L., & Thomas, A. (Eds.) (2014). English teaching and new literacies pedagogy: Interpreting and authoring digital multimedia in the classroom. New York: Peter Lang.

Walsh, M. (2011). Literacy in a changing environment. In Multimodal literacy; researching classroom practice, pp. 5-14. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

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