Research on English and Literacies addresses all aspects of literacy education including traditional literacies and new forms of multimodal and digital literacy in the English curriculum and in other school curriculum areas. Research includes childhood and adolescent literacies outside of schooling for personal, aesthetic, intellectual, social, civic and political purposes.

Under the leadership of Professor Len Unsworth, the English and Literacies program has a particular interest in the nature and role of knowledge about the meaning-making resources of language, image, music movement, gesture and other modalities in interpreting and creating texts in contemporary paper and electronic media. The trajectory of this research embraces education from early childhood to senior secondary schooling addressing ongoing and emerging issues of equity in access to existing and new literacies of empowerment in the contemporary, increasingly online and multimodal, communication age.

This research at ILSTE reflects the multimodal conceptualisation of literacy in the Australian Curriculum: English and its emphasis on developing students’ meta-semiotic understanding to enhance their use of conventional literacies and new forms of digital, multimodal literacy practices.


Our research team

The English and Literacies team are experts in the fields of literacy education, e literature, information and communication technology and literacies, semiosis of explanation in education, evaluative reading and sourcing in the digital age, epistemic cognition for critical reading, boys and reading, girls and reading, multimodality and multiliteracies, sensory literacies, digital and media practices, critical theory, writing and literacies pedagogies, development of morphophonological knowledge in literacy meaning

Meet our team

Featured projects

Coding Animated Narratives as Multimodal Authorship

The ARC project seeks to develop new teaching pedagogies for students to code animated narratives, integrating previously separated capabilities of multimodal authoring and computational thinking. It prepares students for the emerging communication world where multimodal authoring, coding, and computational thinking will no longer be optional, but requisite in workplaces, education, and cultural life in a digital knowledge economy.

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Evidence-Based Innovations for Education Futures

The project will advance knowledge of how schools can adapt to address the learning needs of students for the benefit of education in a time of global uncertainty. Future-proofing strategies will identify opportunities and challenges, and innovative designs for strengthening education under rapidly evolving circumstances.

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More projects

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Cathedral House
Level 4, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, Qld, 4000
(GPO Box 2587, Brisbane, Qld, 4001)

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