Proc. First National Conference on Tertiary Literacy: Research and Practice, Volumes 1 & 2

[Extracted from the Editor's Introductions to both volumes] The First National Conference on Tertiary Literacy: Research and Practice was held from 14 to 16 March at Victoria University of Technology [attended by].... about 270 academics from Australia and overseas.The papers selected for these proceedings have been divided into two major groups: Policy and Practice of Tertiary Literacy in Vol 1, and Academic Communication across Disciplines and Cultures in Vol 2.

The papers in Volume 1 present a number of tertiary literacy case studies. The authors seem to be in general agreement about the need for institutional policies to regulate and legitimise literacy practices in Australian universities. Many papers emphasise the changing context of tertiary literacy, related to the extensive changes in the position and the role of tertiary institutions in the last two decades. The increased diversity of student population is being reflected in the increased diversity of tertiary curricula. The flow of global information is increasing, demanding new techniques and computer literacy. Additionally, the placement of prominence on communication skills by employers exercises pressure on universities to adopt policies and practices which would produce graduates with high level literacy and communications skills. The volume closes with a panel presentation "What will count as Teriary Literacy in the year 2000?" which summarises the Conference deliberations, as well as throwing some light on future prospects in the field.

Many papers in Vol 2 have resulted from cooperation between applied linguists and specialist lecturers. they describe cooperative models of literacy education, based on interdisciplinary partnerships. There seems to be a general agreement that success of tertiary literacy programs can only be established through collaborative approaches, with language and literacy academics and academics from other disciplines meeting half-way and creating a pedagogical dialogue. Papers in this volume provide multiple examples of programs and case studies, working with international students and local non-English speaking background (NESB) students. They stress the need for tertiary pedagogy to recognise the linguistic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of students and call for the creative utilisation of bilingual skills and cultural resources which NESB students bring to the academy.

Publication Source Information
Kate Chanock
Year of publication: 
Place of publication; Publisher: 
Melbourne; Victoria University of Technology
Title of Journal, Edited book or Conference and Page numbers: 
Proc. First National Conference on Tertiary Literacy: Research and Practice, Volumes 1 & 2
Zosia Golebiowski
Vol 1: 1 875 338 861; Vol 2: 1 875 338 87X
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