Activity 6: Disciplinary Literacy

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Activity 6 is a reflective process in pairs and the whole group. It has the purpose of raising the participants’ awareness of the differences that exist between disciplines in relation to language (text types and disciplinary genres)


Please refer to slides 46-55 of the Power Point presentation of this module.

  • As a plenary, participants discuss what disciplinary literacy entails. (2 minutes)
  • Show participants slide 48 quote by Airey (2015) and ask them to paraphrase or explain it. (2 minutes)
  • Participants are reminded that they were given some statements about literacy across disciplines to think about and that they had to say whether they agreed or disagreed with each statement by completing the Likert scale on slide 51.
  • Invite them to mingle and compare their answers and opinions. Before they start mingling, participants are given colour cards with letters on them (A, B, C or D). (5 minutes)
  • Participants are asked to find someone with the same letter, sit with them and try to negotiate their answers in order to reach a consensus on the Likert scale. (5 minutes)
  • Participants are then asked to sit with the people who have the same colour card and to debrief on the statements they struggled to reach a consensus about. (5 minutes)
  • Whole group brainstorms ideas to reach further reflections. (2 minutes)
  • Conclusion: show participants slide 49 quote by Airey (2015) and unpack the main ideas.

Ask participants to share the main piece of advice they would give to a colleague in their discipline regarding the language needs of the students. Whole group brainstorms factors that can impact disciplinary literacy. (2 minutes)

Resources needed

  1. Activity 6 Worksheet Statements & Likert Scale
  2. Activity 6 Colour Cards (with letters A,B,C or D)
  3. Projector: display the Likert scale on slide 51.

Room / space needed

the room, participants mingle around the room before sitting at their tables.

Time frame

25 minutes approx.


Airey, J. (2015). From stimulated recall to disciplinary literacy: Summarizing ten years of research into teaching and learning in English. In S. Dimova, J.K. Hultgren, and C. Jensen (eds.), English-Medium Instruction in European Higher Education: English in Europe (Vol 3, pp. 157-176). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.