Skip to main content

Unit information: Language, Literacies and Identities in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Language, Literacies and Identities
Unit code EDUC20010
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Giampapa
Open unit status Not open

Learning Lives



School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit provides an overview of the study of language and literacy practices to be found within society and across multilingual contexts. Students will examine the interconnectedness of language and literacy practices and their role in the construction of identities. They will consider multilingual and multiliterate approaches to the study of language and literacy that capture the linguistic and cultural diversities that mark 21st century learning, including the impact of digital practices. They will explore how local, global and transnational language and literacy practices interconnect over the life course.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  • recognise the role language and literacy learning play in a diverse society;
  • develop their awareness of the links between identity and multilingual language and literacy practices and how these change over the life course;
  • discuss some of the key concepts that account for the ways in which the local and the global interact in shaping language and literacy practices over the life course.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. discuss the main concepts and theories that underpin research on language and literacy as social practices and the formation of identities;
  2. recognise the different debates within the literacy field about the relevance of local and transnational literacy practices and how they shape multilingual and multiliteracies practises in and outside classroom contexts;
  3. present a well-argued interpretation of how debates on language and literacy practices apply to their own experience.

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, debates and group presentations. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: Group presentation leading to submission of individually annotated slides

Summative assessment:

1) ILO 1-3: A 1,000 word autobiographical reflective piece relating to their own literacy and language learning experiences. (40%)

2) ILO 1-3: A 1,500 critical reflection on any of the key themes covered in the unit. (60%)

Reading and References

Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (2012). Local literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community. Abingdon: Routledge. (Routledge Linguistics Classic Edition).

Brandt, D., & Clinton, K. (2002). Limits of the local: Expanding Perspectives on Literacy as a Social Practice. Journal of Literacy Research, 34, 337–356.

Cummins, J., & Early, M. (Eds.) (2011). Identity Texts: The Collaborative Creation of Power in Multilingual Schools. Stoke-on-Trent: Trenham.

Gregory, E. & Williams, A. (2004). City Literacies: Learning to Read Across Generations and Cultures. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hall, C., Smith, P.H. & Wicaksono, R. (2011) Mapping Applied Linguistics: A Guide for Students and Practitioners. Abingdon: Routledge.

Martin-Jones, M. & Jones, K.(Eds.) (2000). Multilingual Literacies: Reading and Writing Different Worlds. John Benjamins: Amsterdam

Rowsell, J. & Pahl, K. (2015). The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. Abingdon: Routledge.

Sefton-Green, J. & Rowsell, J. (Eds.) (2015). Learning and Literacy Over Time: Longitudinal Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge.