The Implications of Literacy Teaching Models

Maya Gunawardena


First year students often experience a culture shock as certain literacy practices at the university level are different from their experiences in high schools. Some major challenges that students encounter include students’ ability to maintain academic integrity practices in their studies, to comprehend complex academic texts to outline key ideas, and to communicate confidently and effectively in diverse academic genres. As these challenges are common, often universities offer activities to assist students’ with their academic enculturation process. The three popular literacy teaching models currently in practice are the generic, embedded and literacies models. All the three models offer challenges in their effective practice. By evaluating the ethnographic data from the models used at UNSW Canberra Academic Language Learning Unit (ALL), this paper argues that in line with Lea and Street’s (2006) discussion, literacies is the most effective approach for developing students’ lifelong skills for effective communication, reading and critical thinking. Literary teaching should involve an advanced inquiry into writing practices in diverse disciplines helping students’ identifying and practicing using language devices and rhetorical structures in academic genres.


academic literacy, literacies model, in-built curriculum, written communication

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