University of Technology Sydney

013986 Literacy and Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Applied Language and Literacy Studies
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In this subject, students develop understandings of the literacy and numeracy needs of all learners, with a particular focus on the needs of English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) learners. This requires knowledge which relates to key linguistic and mathematical concepts, to the relationship between language and cognition, and to psychological and sociological perspectives of learning.

Each subject area has its characteristic ways of making meaning through language and mathematical concepts/symbols. Students develop their awareness of the subject-specific nature of literacy and numeracy, and on this basis create lessons which enhance their learners' capacity to use English and mathematics within that subject area.

Through developing students' capacity to teach literacy and numeracy across the curriculum, this subject contributes to learners' academic progress, their overall functional literacy/numeracy, and thus their participation in society.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. identify the key issues in developing literacy and numeracy competency across the curriculum (GTS 2.5)
b. address the literacy and numeracy dimensions of Board of Studies syllabuses, relevant to future teaching areas/disciplines as well as modifications such as the ESL Scales (GTS 2.5)
c. plan, design and analyse lessons which provide explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy (GTS 2.5)
d. articulate reasons for the approaches which they take in the teaching of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum, drawing on current research and practice (GTS 2.5)
e. increase proficiency in personal literacy and numeracy needed for academic study

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

1. Professional readiness

1.2) Know the content and how to teach it, demonstrating an advanced knowledge of a teaching program in one or more disciplines to critically evaluate its delivery

2. Critical and creative inquiry

2.2) Critically analyse and reflect on and synthesise complex theories of learning and teaching

3. International and intercultural engagement

3.1) Demonstrate extensive knowledge and respect for diverse societies, cultures and an ability to inform inclusive practices

6. Effective communication

6.2) Possess literacy and numeracy skills across a broad range of communication modes and technologies

Teaching and learning strategies

In class time, students experience a range of teaching and learning strategies, including lecturer input, demonstration and modelling; discussion, pair and group tasks; simulated classroom learning activities; teaching observation and practice; independent reading and reflection. The lecturer scaffolds the reading of research-based texts and students participate in collaborative pair/group tasks to discuss, analyse, and critique key concepts from readings and videos. Collaborative learning is encouraged, but assessment does not include group tasks. Based on lecturer input and self-study, students complete in-class tasks to check their learning in relation to key concepts and teaching practices.

Outside class time, students will view the online lecture component and complete reading of prescribed texts each week before attending class. This preparatory work will form the basis for in-class learning activities. Close and critical reading of these required texts is a necessary part of students’ learning in the subject, and evidence of this will be assessed in students’ assessment tasks. Students will also locate appropriate additional academic resources to support written assessment tasks, and write, revise and edit their assignments. Students will reflect on the ways in which their knowledge from this subject can be applied in their professional practice as educators.

Content (topics)

  1. Issues in education to address Literacy and Numeracy
    • Global, national and local needs
    • Language and Mathematics to support Literacy and Numeracy
    • Testing and evaluating literacy and numeracy
    • Identifying numeracy and literacy in NESA documents and ESL Scales
  2. Learners in Australian classrooms and their needs
    • Language profiles of learners: EAL/D; interrupted schooling; strategies to support English learning; bilingualism/bi-literacy
    • Social factors in learning: gender; inclusion; school and home “codes”
  3. Numeracy and Literacy frameworks for learning
    • Learning theory and research that underpins literacy and numeracy teaching
    • Numeracy models
    • Literacy models
    • Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
    • Teaching and Learning cycles; lesson frameworks (eg. Before-During-After)
    • Modifying tasks to suit learners
  4. Supporting the use of texts
    • Teacher talk and how it is used to enhance learning
    • Identifying the verbal, visual and symbolic elements of texts used in the classroom
    • Understanding the linguistic and cultural dimensions of texts
    • Exploring strategies to support numeracy elements
    • Exploring strategies to support literacy elements


Assessment task 1: Analytical Report: Literacy and Numeracy within disciplines


a, b, d and e

Weight: 40%

1250 words, plus references

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of description of key literacy or numeracy concepts 20 a 1.2
Accuracy of identified syllabus/curriculum requirements in relation to literacy or numeracy 30 b 1.2
Appropriateness of links of research literature to practice, drawing on theories from subject readings 35 d 2.2
Cohesiveness and accuracy of written work and citation of others’ work 15 e 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Supporting Literacy and/ or Numeracy in a Discipline


a, c, d and e

Weight: 60%

Presentation: 10 minute presentation, plus 2-sided A4 handout that provides the text + any supporting notes

Written report: 1750 words + appendix

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Accuracy of examination and assessment of key literacy and/or numeracy elements of the chosen text in relation to the students and the discipline 25 a 3.1
Appropriateness of choice of literacy and/or numeracy teaching strategies in application to a teaching area 25 c 1.2
Depth of rationale for activity with reference to professional/scholarly reading 25 d 2.2
Cohesiveness and accuracy of written work and citation of others’ work 15 e 6.2
Coherence and clarity of presentation of findings to peers 10 d 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at classes is important because the subject takes a collaborative approach which involves essential interchange of ideas with other students and the lecturer. An attendance roll will be taken at each class. Where possible, students should advise the lecturer in a timely manner if they are unable to attend. If more than one session is missed, additional make-up work may/will be assigned. Students who fail to attend 7 of the 9 classes may be refused to have their final assessment marked

Required texts

The required readings for each week are placed in the topic folders: students should access these online for downloading each week PRIOR to the tutorials. additional readings are also found in the topic folder and under the Readings tab to assist with preparing assignments.

Recommended texts

Please use a consistent and recognized form of academic referencing. APA 7th Edition (2019) is the preferred style, with links to a comprehensive guide and examples available through the UTS Library site.


Derewianka, B. (2011). A New Grammar Companion for Teachers. Sydney: PETAA.

Derewianka, B. & Christie, F. (2008). School Discourse: Learning to write across the years of schooling. Continuum.

Derewianka, B. & Jones, P. (2016). Teaching Language in Context, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.

Edwards-Grove, C., Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2014). Classroom Talk: understanding dialogue, pedagogy and practice. PETAA.

Ewing, R. (2016). Anticipating future storylines: considering possible directions in Australian literacy education. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 39, 96-102

Gibbons, P. (2006). Bridging discourses in the ESL classroom students, teachers and researchers. Continuum.

Gibbons, P. (2008). "It was taught good and I learned a lot": Intellectual practices and ESL learners in the middle years. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 31, 155-173.

Hammond, J. (2012). Hope and challenge in the Australian curriculum: Implications for ESL students and their teachers. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 35, 223-240.

Harders, P., & Macken-Horarik, M. (2008). Scaffolding literacy and the Year 9 boys: Developing a language-centred literacy pedagogy. TESOL in Context, 18(2), 4-21.

Humphrey, S. (2017). Academic Literacies in the Middle Years. Routledge.

Humphrey, S., Droga, L. & Feez, S. (2012) Grammar and Meaning. PETAA.

Jones, P., Simpson, A. & Thwaite, A. (Eds) (2018). Talking the talk: snapshots from Australian classrooms. PETAA.

Körner, H., McInnes, D., & Rose, D. (2007). Science literacy. Surry Hills, NSW: NSW Adult Migrant Education Service.

Miller, J. (2009). Teaching refugee learners with interrupted education in science: Vocabulary, literacy and pedagogy. International Journal of Science Education, 31, 571-592.

Nation, I. S. P., & Gu, P. Y. (2007). Focus on vocabulary. NCELTR, Macquarie University.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training Multicultural Programs Unit. (2009). Teaching English Language Learners across the Curriculum. Sydney: NSW DET MPC.

Rose, D., & Martin, J. R. (2012). Learning to write, reading to learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney school. Bristol, CT; South Yorkshire: Equinox.

Sim, A. (2006). An investigation of the literacy demands and support given to a Year 8 class. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 29, 240-251.

Spangenberg-Urbschat, K., & Henry, P. R. (1994). Kids come in all languages: Reading instruction for ESL students. International Reading Association.

Uptin, J., Wright, J., & Harwood, V. (2013). I felt like I was a black dot on white paper”: Examining young former refugees’ experiences of entering Australian high schools. The Australian Educational Researcher, 40, 125-137. 10.1007/s13384-012-0082-8


Barnes, M. (1994). Exploring social issues through mathematics: Casting light on poverty traps. ARIS Bulletin, 5, 43-46.

Geiger, V., Goos, M., Dole, S., Forgasz, H., & Bennison, A. (2013). Exploring the demands and opportunities for Numeracy in the Australian curriculum: English. In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardinini (Eds.), Mathematics Education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow: Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, MERGA (pp. 330-227). Melbourne, VIC.

Goos, M., Dole, S., & Geiger, V. (2012). Numeracy across the curriculum. Australian Mathematics Teacher, 68, 3-7.

Goos, M., Geiger, V., Dole, S., Fogasz, H. & Bennison, A. (2019). Numeracy across the Curriculum: Research-based strategies for enhancing teaching and learning. Allen & Unwin

Gutstein, E. (2006). Reading and writing the world with mathematics: Toward a pedagogy for social justice. Routledge.

Harris, M. (1991). Schools, mathematics, and work. Falmer Press.

Kemp, M., & Hogan, J. (2000). Planning for an emphasis on numeracy in the curriculum. Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.

Lamb, J., & Geiger, V. (2010). A teacher pair approach to adopting effective numeracy teaching practice. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Freemantle, Western Australia.

Lee, C. S. (2006). Language for learning mathematics: Assessment for learning in practice. Open University Press.

Mukhopadhyay, S., & Wolff-Michael, R. (2012). Alternative forms of knowing (in) mathematics: Celebrations of diversity of mathematical practices. Sense Publishers.

Steen, L. A. (1990). On the shoulders of giants: New approaches to numeracy. National Academy Press.

Street, B., Baker, D., & Tomlin, A. (2008). Navigating numeracies: Home/school numeracy practices. Springer.

Thornton, S., & Hogan, J. (2005). Numeracy across the curriculum: Demands and opportunities. Curriculum and Leadership Journal, 3. across the curriculum,9770.html?issueID=9778

Verschaffel, L., Greer, B., Van Dooren, W., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (Eds.). (2009). Words and worlds: Modelling verbal descriptions of situations. Rotterdam; Boston: Sense Publishers.

Willis, S. (1990). Being numerate: What counts? Australian Council for Educational Research.


Brick, J. (2011). Academic culture: A student's guide to studying at university. Palgrave Macmillan.

University of Technology Sydney, ELSSA Centre/HELPS. (2008). Avoiding plagiarism.

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Business. (2010). Guide to writing assignments (3rd ed.). University of Technology Sydney.

Other resources


Students should be familiar with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences study guides, available at:

Additionally, see UTS Procedures for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects at: