Teaching & Education

Theory and Practice of Literacy Learning Guide Unit 2

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Assessment Type

Essay Portfolio

Word Count

2500 words


Education and Teaching


3 Days

Assignment Criteria

Congratulations on completing the first unit of the subject!   

In the second unit, we are going to explore the ways in which we can enact a social approach to literacy in  classroom practices, in particular in the teaching of reading. We will introduce the notion of scaffolding learning and look at how it can be implemented in a text-based reading program as well as in the design of  classroom interactions. Our main learning goal in this unit is to help you develop some basic knowledge of  text and context that will assist you in planning and delivering reading programs.  

We will spend about four weeks on this unit. Each week, you are required to complete a set of readings on  a given topic. You are also encouraged to participate in discussions and various learning activities in the  seminars or online. By the end of the unit, you are expected to 

be able to identify basic story and factual genres and describe the three contextual variables (field,  mode & tenor) of a text; 

able to recognise some basic language/visual patterns of a text in relation to its context, including  (visual) processes & participants, language and visual resources for interaction;  

develop a basic understanding of scaffolding learning and its implementation in a reading program; based on the above, compose a text portfolio that is theoretically (theory of literacy as well as  language) informed and embodies the basic principles of scaffolding learning for a given context of  teaching.    

Once we have completed Unit 2, you will have an opportunity to evaluate how well you have performed in  this unit through Assessment Task 2 Text portfolio (due on Friday, 18 September).  

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Assignment Solution


This reading programme is designed for a niche student group with a fairly advanced level of linguistic proficiency. The teaching aim is to harness students' research writing skills for the specific purpose of abstract writing. Most often, students face problems while choosing an appropriate journal or in understanding the requirements of the organization/university they dream of working with. To maintain a level of academic formality and simultaneously express personal views through research is a skill that can be developed only through practice and experience. Potential academicians such as this student group need assistance with comprehensively phrasing their years of work in a short abstract of 300words. Research corundum such as this, cannot be solved with the help of subject expertise alone. Hence, this teaching program is a balance between academic and linguistic expertise.

The three samples chosen are well-structured abstracts of the Humanities discipline. The purpose of selecting from a specific register, i.e. Historical Analysis is to give the students an overview of how language works within the framework of one academic genre. The following account is an effort to analyze Table 1 to demonstrate that deconstructing rhetorical devices can facilitating researchers to use rhetorical devices to structure their work more effectively.  The intention is to support these views with the help of pedagogical theories of writing in higher studies discussed by Estela Inés Moyano.  


The texts part of this portfolio was selected based on a careful analysis of a few problems that scholars frequently face while writing abstracts for various purposes. The queries included in this teaching program are developed through an interaction with research scholars and my personal experience of academic scenario. The profiling of these abstracts will enable the group to assess various styles of abstract writing. Apart from providing a point of reference, the group can also assess their academic standpoint on the basis of these texts. Hence, an abstract must be placed in the larger contextual framework. Text 2, explicitly explains the social and artistic context of the project. Having focused largely on the content of their research, the form of abstract writing can sometimes remain neglected. It is the attempt of this programme to emphasize the importance of linguistic devices and writing methodologies in abstract writing. The systematic analysis of each of these texts will shed light on the following: 

  1. Purpose: Text 2 the scholar notes, 'Senior Honors Thesis, which makes a connection between the closings and the wider history of museum studies and art history'. 
  2. Nature: Based on its purpose, an abstract can either be:
  • Argumentative: In Text 3, the writer uses words such as 'clarify' and 'challenges' to express his disagreement. 
  • Descriptive: In Text 2, the writer describes her personal connection with her subject and describes the context of her work. 
  1. Features of an abstract:

 –    Research purpose: Text one begins by clearly stating, 'This project involves  discovering how the American Revolution was remembered during the nineteenth century.'

  • Research Problem: In-Text 1 the scholar states, 'The goal is to show that the American Revolution was memorialized by the actions of the United States government during the 1800s.'
  • Methodology: Provide an introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative methodologies.  

Text 3 states, 'I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of county-level data and (2) three case studies. Data have been collected from archives, interviews, newspapers, and published reports.'

  • Conclusion/ Findings: In Text 2, 'The result is an elegiac memorial of a museum on the brink of change, and a timely study of the importance of university museums as an educational resource in a community.'

This teaching module is based on the findings of the Project to Develop Literacy Across the Curriculum (PRODEAC) program which suggests that there is a 'tendency to ignore that written activities affect knowledge acquisition and understanding.' (Moyano, 2010. p. 444) It is however clear through this project that understanding an academic field through research writing is a possibility. PRODEAC proposes that collaboration between language professors and subject experts is relevant in teaching academic/scientific writing (Moyano, 2010. p.446). The pedagogical model in this program is comparable to PRODEAC that proposes 'teaching genres and their realization through language' (Moyano, 2010. p.447).

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