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A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning (PTL) puts subject literacy development in more than one language at the core of learning because we believe subject literacies are the key to deep learning and the development of transferable skills.

This approach focuses on helping learners become literate in content subjects or topics and to empower them to successfully and appropriately communicate that knowledge across cultures and languages.

A pluriliteracies approach provides teachers with the tools to help their learners acquire increasingly deep subject knowledge which consists of

  • facts 
  • concepts 
  • procedures

However, knowledge alone is not enough to make progress into a subject or discipline. Learners also need to be taught the subject specific strategies to solve the increasingly complex tasks typical of each subject and learn how to develop the skills that will enable them to do so.

A pluriliteracies approach acknowledges that learning a subject is about so much more than “simply” learning content. It is based on the idea that education is a developmental activity. Therefore, learning a subject is not about reciting facts but about deepening our learners’ conceptual understanding which may eventually lead to the development of transferable skills and to new ways of thinking.

We know now that language is the key to developing and increasing conceptual understanding. It is this focus on language that will ultimately lead to deeper learning which can be defined as the ability to take what was learned in one situation and apply it to another situation. Through deeper learning (which often involves shared learning and interactions with others in a learning community), learners develop expertise in a particular subject and master its unique ways of creating and sharing knowledge.

Helping our students become pluriliterate (= acquiring subject literacy in more than one language) will empower them to construct and communicate knowledge purposefully and successfully across languages and cultures and prepare them for living and working in the Knowledge Age.

So what’s new?

In line with recent educational thinking we revisit concepts that are regularly used, bring them together and in so doing, renew our understanding of them.

Principles of Pluriliteracies Teaching for Learning (PTL)

Literacies development doesn’t just happen, but needs to be planned for and consciously fostered in the content subject lessons. In order to do so, five fundamental principles have to be taken into account.

Putting pluriliteracies into practice
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