About the Unit

About the Unit for Academic Literacy

The Unit for Academic Literacy is an entity similar to other academic departments in the Faculty of Humanities in terms of teaching and research. It is responsible for academic literacy facilitation, writing centre support, and corporate translation and editing (through the Language Unit).

Our academic literacy interventions are embedded in internationally recognised best practices in curriculum design and classroom facilitation, and are research-led. At first-year level we offer subject-specific modules in academic literacy to students in the Faculties of Humanities, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Economic and Business Sciences, Health Sciences, Engineering and the Built Environment, Law, and Theology. Postgraduate offerings include generic as well as subject-specific interventions.

The Humanities Writing Centre caters for the needs of undergraduate students in the Humanities Faculty, as well as students from other faculties that are registered for academic literacy modules. Currently, a postgraduate writing laboratory is being established.

The UAL is also involved in the testing of academic literacy to inform placement. At undergraduate level only first-year students in the Health Sciences are tested, using the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL). The academic literacy abilities of post-graduate students are tested only upon special request, using the Test of Advanced Academic Literacy Levels (TALPS).

Cutting edge research is done on various themes, including academic reading, writing centre interventions, translanguaging and reading development, the use of ICTs in promoting scientific and academic literacy, career narratives, and multilingually scaffolded concept literacy.

In addition, the Unit offers non-curricular short courses in Business Writing and Report Writing via [email protected], which are co-ordinated by Ms Linda-Anne Alston. These courses are aimed at providing skills and useful reference materials in a variety of media to delegates from a variety of occupational backgrounds, which will assist them to succeed in today’s highly competitive workplace.  

We continually strive to raise the profile of the Unit for Academic Literacy as a leading centre for teaching, research and consultancy in the field of academic literacies.

Published by Sannah Gomba

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