oa Journal of Education - Towards a critical understanding of the teaching of discipline-specific academic literacies: making the tacit explicit



This paper explores the process that occurred among a group of academics at a tertiary institution, as they worked collaboratively over a three-year period in an attempt to situate the teaching of academic literacies within the mainstream curricula of various disciplines of study. The study draws on interview and focus group data, which were produced, using narrative methods such as stimulated recall, free writing and visual representations. Framed by New Literacy Studies and Rhetorical Studies theory, and drawing on the data from participating academics, the paper explicates a model for the process of integrating academic literacies into disciplines. The unfolding model presents factors to be considered when designing integrated approaches to the teaching of academic literacies, and the findings suggest that higher education needs to create discursive spaces for the collaboration of language lecturers and disciplinary specialists. The paper concludes that it is through sustained interaction with language lecturers that disciplinary specialists are able to make their tacit knowledge of the literacy practices and discourse patterns of their disciplines, explicit. Such collaboration enables both language lecturers and disciplinary specialists to shift towards a critical understanding of the teaching of discipline-specific academic literacies.


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