Teaching literacy

Strategy focused literacy toolkit 

Do you need a refresher on a certain topic or are you looking for some new ideas and approaches? Take a look at the Literacy Teaching Toolkit Map produced by the Victoria State Government in Australia. Although developed for students at the elementary level, the strategies and knowledge about literacy development are the same for adults. Each of the topics in the overview document is linked to a brief description and suggested activities. Connections to the government's state curriculum framework can be ignored.

Copyrighted. PDFs provided.

General overview of topics with additional resources

Decoda, a provincial literacy support organization in BC, has developed Back to Basics, a collection of strategies and knowledge for adult literacy and foundational learning programs. In addition to a brief overview, accompanying links and resources are also worth exploring.

Course on literacies developed by two experts 

Literacy Teaching and Learning: Aims, Approaches and Pedagogies from prominent literacy scholars Dr William Cope and Dr Mary Dr Mary Kalantzis, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is available on Coursera. They cover the following topics:

This is a 16-hour course held over three weeks.

Course on multimodal literacies

Multimodal Literacies: Communication and Learning in the Era of Digital Media a second course from Dr William Cope and Dr Mary Dr Mary Kalantzis covers the following topics:

This is a 16-hour course held over three weeks.

Access to textbook information online

The two Coursera courses are based on the textbook Literacies. The textbook has been re-presented online with a series of videos and short readings. Here is the description: "Literacies provides a comprehensive introduction to literacy pedagogy within today's new media environment. It focuses not only on reading and writing, but also on other modes of communication, including oral, visual, audio, gestural and spatial. This focus is designed to supplement, not replace, the enduringly important role of alphabetical literacy. Using real-world examples and illustrations, Literacies features the experiences of both teachers and students. It maps a range of methods that teachers can use to help their students develop their capacities to read, write and communicate. It also explores the wide range of literacies and the diversity of socio-cultural settings in today's workplace, public and community settings. With an emphasis on the 'how-to' practicalities of designing literacy learning experiences and assessing learner outcomes, this book is a contemporary and in-depth resource for literacy students."

Copyrighted but accessible online

Strategies for any instructional context

The site Facing History and Ourselves has a great collection of Teaching Strategies that can be integrated into a variety of contexts and topics, whether you facilitate employment workshops, teach reading and writing or lead community development initiatives. "Use our student-centered teaching strategies to strengthen your students’ literacy skills, nurture critical thinking, and build a respectful and collaborative classroom community. These strategies can be paired with any academic content."

Copyrighted. PDFs provided.

An open source university textbook

"Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice introduces instructional strategies linked to the most current research-supported practices in the field of literacy. The book includes chapters related to scientifically-based literacy research, early literacy development, literacy assessment, digital age influences on children’s literature, literacy development in underserved student groups, secondary literacy instructional strategies, literacy and modern language, and critical discourse analysis. The book features detailed explanations of a wide variety of literacy strategies that can be implemented by both beginning and expert practitioners. The book’s success-oriented framework helps guide educators toward improving their own practices and is designed to foster the literacy development of students of all ages."


Supporting adults with reading challenges

Two excellent resources from the Can Learn Society in Calgary are designed to help educators who are working with adults. The Can Learn Society is a non-profit organization that works with children, youth and adults to address literacy, learning difficulties, attention, and related mental health challenges. 


Recognizing reading challenges

The educator guide contains information and screening tools to help you identify particular reading difficulties, create a reading profile and develop a plan to address the challenges.


Addressing those challenges

This guide describes numerous instructional strategies that can be used with adults whether they have more serious learning difficulties or simply need a rigorous program of instruction.

Do you know of other OER that we can add to this page? Get in touch: info@alphaplus.ca