Best Practice

Disciplinary literacy: The key to year 7 transition

Understanding how to read, write and communicate like a scientist, historian or mathematician will unlock subject content for new year 7 students. Nisha Tank considers how to teach disciplinary literacy

 The secondary curriculum can open-up exciting learning opportunities with specialist teachers and new subjects, but it also challenges students to think and communicate in far more complex and abstract ways, and to read and write in an increasingly academic register.

Subject content is frequently conveyed through academic texts that students can find challenging to understand and critique, with patterns of language that are very different from those they may have typically encountered in primary school (Fang, 2012).

Therefore, it becomes increasingly important that students are trained to access the academic language and conventions of different subjects (Quigley & Coleman, 2018).


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