Gillian Lazar

Academic literacy and linguistic diversity: An account from the chalk face

Recent research into the challenges of teaching academic writing in contexts of widening participation has proposed the integration or embedding of academic literacies within discipline-specific programmes (Jacobs 2005; Wingate, Andon and Cogo 2011). This practitioner-oriented presentation describes a pilot project at a post-1992 university aimed at improving the academic literacy of second year Sociology and Criminology students by embedding writing within a research skills module. Writing specialists collaborated closely with disciplinary experts in designing and delivering three separate seminars within the module, in order to support the linguistically diverse student cohort in undertaking their course assessment. This session will provide a brief overview of the rationale for and content of the pilot, but will focus particularly on one seminar in which a mini-exploration of students’ linguistic identities was incorporated into the course materials, with some potentially interesting implications for future pedagogy and possible research.


Jacobs, C. (2005) On being an insider on the outside: new spaces for integrating academic literacies, Teaching in Higher Education, 10(4), 475 – 487.

Wingate, U., Andon, N. and Cogo, A. (2011) Embedding academic writing instruction into subject teaching: A case study, Active Learning in Higher Education, 12(1), 69 – 81.


View Lazar slides here


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