Professor Len Unsworth

English and Literacies 

Professor Len Unsworth is the Research Director of Educational Semiotics in English and Literacy Pedagogy at ILSTE. Len has been involved in educational research for over 30 years, including six recent Australian Research Council funded projects. His key research interests include: literacy and learning in school curriculum areas; literature for children and adolescents; literacy development in the English curriculum K-12; and the pedagogic role of explicit knowledge about language and the meaning-making resources of images and image-language interaction in both paper and digital media texts, including animation and film. Prior to commencing at ACU in 2014, Len was Professor in Education at Griffith University, following earlier roles as Head of the School of Education at the University of New England and Head of the School of Development and Learning in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney.

P +612 9739 2738

E len.unsworth@acu.edu.au

L Room 4.03, 23 Berry Street

Research interests

  • Literacy education from pre-school to matriculation
  • Children’s and adolescent’s literature and literacy development
  • E-literature for children and adolescents
  • Information and communication technology and literacies
  • Multiliteracies
  • Language and literacy in curriculum area
  • Learning and teaching
  • Systemic functional linguistics in literary and literacy research and education
  • Functional grammar in school curriculum
  • Genre theory
  • The semiosis of explanation in education

Competitive grants and projects

2016-2019 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant: Unsworth, L., Tytler, R., O’Halloran, K., Humphrey, S., Love, K., Lynzaat, A., Moss-Holland, S., Oakley, E., & Dullard, R.

2015-2017 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant: Mills, K., Unsworth, L., Williamson, M., Clay, R., Ferguson, A., Trembath, M. & Maksud, T. Developing low socioeconomic status primary students’ multimodal language of emotions.

2013-2015 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant: Maton, K. Martin, J. R. Unsworth, L. & Howard, S. Pedagogies for knowledge-building: Investigating subject-appropriate, cumulative teaching for twenty-first century school classrooms.

2011-2013 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant: Macken-Horarik, M. Unsworth, L. & Love, K. Grammar and praxis: Investigating a grammatics for the twenty first century school English.

2009-2012 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant Bittman, M. Rutherford, L. & Unsworth, L. Teaching effective 3D authoring in the middle school years: Multimedi grammatical design and multimedia authoring pedagogy.

2008-2011 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant: Unsworth, L. & Thomas, A.

2008 Independent Schools Western Australia: Unsworth, L. & Macken-Horarik, M. New Dimensions of group literacy tests for schools: Multimodal reading comprehension in conventional and computer formats.

2006-2008 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant: Unsworth, L., & NSW Department of Education and Training, New Dimensions of Group Literacy Tests for Schools: Multimodal reading comprehension in conventional and computer-based formats

2005-2007 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant instead of Linkage Grant: Unsworth, L. Martin, J.R., & Painter. C., Image/text relations in narrative and information texts for children in print and electronic media: Multimodal text description for multiliteracies education.

Research consultancy projects

2008 Independent Schools Western Australia: Unsworth, L., & Macken-Horarik, M., Knowing and using the language of informative and argumentative writing: Enhancing the potential of text types for transformative learning.

2007 Department of Education Science and Training: Unsworth, L.



Professor Len Unsworth Curriculum Vitae 

Download Professor Len Unsworth CV (PDF 158KB) 

Video resources

An interview with Professor Len Unsworth


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For more details, please visit the scholar's ORCID page


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