"I have understanding as well as you": Supporting the language and learning needs of students from low socio-economic status backgrounds

The Australian Federal Government’s recent commitment to increasing the numbers of students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in higher education will have a particular impact on the academic language and learning professional, who is at the front line in providing learning support for such students. The presence of working-class students at the university can be a powerful challenge to the unspoken assumptions that surround academic discourse, and raises a number of pressing ethical as well as practical issues. This paper reviews some of the literature on the specific needs of students from low SES backgrounds, with a focus on language and learning support. It presents a range of strategies for working with these learners to achieve the specific literacies associated with academic discourse, while recognising and drawing on the knowledge and understandings they bring to the academy.

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Priest, Ann-Marie
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Journal of Academic Language and Learning, Vol. 3, No. 2, Special Issue: Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning; pp. A70-A81
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