Professor Len Unsworth

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 nine 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 Level 2, 7 Mount St North Sydney, NSW 2060

Research interests

  • Literacy and English 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 areas
  • Systemic functional semiotics in literary and literacy research and education

Competitive grants and projects

2019-2021 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant: Unsworth, L., Mills, K., Falloon, G. and Burn, A. Coding Animated Narratives as Contemporary Multimodal Authorship in Schools

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. Multiliteracies for addressing disadvantage in senior school science.

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: Multimedia grammatical design and multimedia authoring pedagogy.

2008-2011 Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant: Unsworth, L. & Thomas, A. Teaching effective 3D authoring in the middle school years: Multimedia grammatical design and multimedia authoring pedagogy.

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

  • Lim-Fei, V. (2019-2022) Integrating Multiliteracies into the English Language Classroom: Developing an Instructional Approach to Teach Multimodal Literacy (Critical Viewing and Effective Representing of Multimodal Texts. Singapore National Institute of Education [Identified as a Ministry of Education CORE project].
  • Seow, T., Ho, C., Chang, J., Goh, E. (2018-2021) Toward effective multimodal meaning-making with visual data in Geography through productive classroom talk. Singapore National Institute of Education
  • Professor Maximiliano Montenegro (PI- Faculty of Educacion PUC), Professor Alejandra Meneses (CO-I, Faculty of Educacion PUC), and Professor José Pablo Escobar (CO-I CEDETI) Multimodalidad y su relación con los desempeños en Ciencias: el rol de la alfabetización visual en el aprendizaje científico (“Multimodality and its Relations with Science Proficiency: The Role of Visual Literacy in Scientific Learning”), application 1190990 to the Chilean Research Funding Authority: CONICYT, FONDECYT REGULAR 2019 (equivalent to ARC).



Professor Len Unsworth Curriculum Vitae 

Download Professor Len Unsworth CV (DOCX 92KB) 

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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