Academic literacies approaches for facilitating language for specific purposes


academic literacies
generic attributes
constructive alignment
peer learning
activity theory
alfabetización académica
atributos genéricos
alineación constructiva
aprendizaje entre iguales
teoría de actividades

How to Cite

Gustafsson, M. (2011). Academic literacies approaches for facilitating language for specific purposes. Ibérica, (22), 101–122. Retrieved from


This paper offers a possible framework for working with language for specific purposes (LSP) in an integrated fashion, i.e. with disciplinary learning as the main lever to promote academic literacy. I suggest that a genuine literacies approach in higher education is already disciplinary by necessity and that even if we do not have an immediate disciplinary context to work in, we still need to work with the students� understanding of the communities they are active in. The framework draws on previous research on �literacies� and �generic skills� as the basic components and incorporates ways of adapting other frameworks such as peer learning and activity theory at the institutional level. The framework is applied on three cases at the Division for Language and Communication. The examples indicate how important flexibility in application is, and how the facilitation of learning under an umbrella concept like �academic literacies� is inherently dependent on learning philosophy. The examples also show how the consistent implementation of a framework philosophy requires versatile solutions of the constructive alignment puzzle in designing the environment, the activities, and the assessment of specific interventions. In combination with the three examples, the suggested framework offers a way of prioritising approaches for arriving at academic literacy.

Copyright (c) 2011 Magnus Gustafsson

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