The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Explores the role of language in the education setting, focusing on areas of knowledge about language structure and language use which are of direct relevance to the classroom teacher. It will include discussion of the following topics: the nature of spoken language and its inherent difference from written text; the use of "grammar" in the classroom, both as a basis for discussing authors' techniques and as a means of analysing children's language output; the concept of "literacy"; the implications of different theories of learning on the teaching of reading, writing and spelling; social factors influencing language in the classroom, including teacher-pupil interactions and variation in children's language.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2018.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Be aware of the nature of spoken language and the mismatch between phonemic and graphemic representations

2. Be able to compare and contrast features of spoken and written English texts

3. Be competent to apply grammatical knowledge to the analysis of texts and of child-generated language

4. Have an understanding of competing concepts of the notion of "literacy" and be able to apply knowledge of children's language development to specific issues in literacy

5. Be aware of sociolinguistic aspects of language in the classroom, including social, gender and age-based variation in children's language and social factors influencing teacher-pupil interactions


  • Introduction: the scope and content of "educational linguistics"
  • Spoken and Written Language: some differences, and their implications; phonetic and graphemic conventions; cohesion in spoken and written text; conversational structure
  • Linguistic approaches to "literacy": What is "literacy"; the development of reading, the development of writing, the development of spelling
  • Grammar in the classroom: using grammar vs teaching grammar; using grammar to study texts; using grammar to analyse children's language
  • Sociolinguistic aspects of language in the classroom: teacher-pupil interaction; social, gender and age-based variation in children's language

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Written Assignment: Assignment 3

Essay: Essay