Netherlands, Nijmegen

Literacy as a Powerful Meaning-Making Tool

when 1 July 2019 - 5 July 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 600

We invite students to consider how literacy as a powerful meaning-making tool shapes worlds, inside and outside of school. We will explore and construct a variety of engaging print and digital to build rich understandings of literacy.

This unit introduces students to the complexities involved in teaching English and literacy, and involves them in developing perspectives on learning and teaching in the field. The notion of literacy practice is conceived of as fundamental to living in the world and how we learn, both formally and informally. We examine literacy/literacies across the years as a set of practices which are socially- situated, developing from birth and beyond. Participants explore how and why meanings are made and communicated through various modes, including reading, writing, speaking and viewing. Students develop their own discipline knowledge of English. They are encouraged to research changing practices in the teaching of English, critically reflect on their own beliefs and teaching practices, and develop a robust theoretical perspective on the learning and teaching of literacy for a diverse range of learners. They focus on the range of ways children encounter and use symbol systems while exploring their diverse everyday worlds and building their literacy skills.

Digital technologies are included as potentially powerful ways to support and enhance positive relationships and engage with literacy across a range of settings. Developing communicative competence in these ways connects out-of-school literacy practices with those associated with schooling and community meaning-making. Adopting a critical perspective, participants will examine the international role of literacy policy and assessment (PISA, TIMMS) and how such policies play out in more local curriculum contexts. The course will investigate shifting conceptualisations of literacy and how such understandings might manifest in early childhood, primary and secondary education across national and lifelong contexts. Some of the questions around which we shape the course include: How can sound literacy principles be mobilised to support curriculum design and expand personal opportunities, both socially and in the workplace? How does narrative function in helping us to make meaning? How do bilingualism and literature enhance literacy growth? What is the role of assessment in literacy education, and how can home and community literacies be harnessed to support individual learning?

Course leader

Julie Faulkner
Senior Lecturer
Department of Education
Monash University
Clayton, Australia

Anne Keary
Department of Education
Monash University
Clayton, Australia

Target group

First year bachelor and advanced bachelor. This course is designed for first or second year Bachelor of Education/Arts students with an interest in the notion of literacy. Experience or background in teaching/education is not necessary.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:
•identify a range of perspectives on effective literacy teaching and learning approaches,
•understand the importance of using a variety of texts and literature as part of a literacy program,
•demonstrate the use of a range of digital technologies in accessing relevant research literature and developing teaching resources and strategies,
•understand the connections between home, community and school literacy practices for the teaching and learning of literacy.

Fee info

EUR 600: Normal fee


€ 540 early bird discount – deadline 1 March 2019 (10%)
€ 510 partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 450 early bird + partner + RU discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website