First and Second Language Literacy Development MLI335
The course provides an overview of the fields of first and second language literacy development, considering similarities and differences in the two. It covers theories, paradigm shifts, processes, practices and characteristics related to each. It addresses linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and educational perspectives linked to the development of literacy in a first and second language.
The course has a limited number of places.
Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.
Semester tution start
Number of semesters
Language of instruction
Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Cultural Studies and Languages
Theories relating to first and second language literacy development
The role of the home environment in the emergence of literacy in children
Early first language reading and writing practices and characteristics
The role of literacy in the modern world
The link between first and second language literacy development
Key factors and processes influencing first and second language literacy development
Bilingual and multilingual perspectives on literacy
The role of reading in a second language
Challenges and characteristics of second language writing
Principles and ways of assessing second language literacy development
Researching second language literacy
By the end of the course, the student will be able to:
Account for changing perceptions of young children´s literacy capabilities
Explain the role of adults and the home environment in fostering literacy in young children
Describe the key phases of young children´s first language reading and writing development
Understand the role of literacy in the modern world
Understand processes and practices underlying the development of first language reading and writing in educational settings
Compare and relate to theories that explain first and second language literacy development
Account for the way first language literacy growth influences that of second language literacy development
Discuss factors important to bilingual and multilingual literacy
Analyse features of second language reading and writing development
Explain key factors that promote second language literacy development
Discuss different approaches to the teaching of second language reading and writing
Describe how second language literacy can be assessed
Understand principles and methods for researching second language literacy
Read and understand different types of literacy research, including both qualitative and quantitative studies
Find and share relevant research and literacy resources related to the course content
By the end of the course, the student will be able to:
Read about, discuss and write about first and second language developmental literacy
Reflect upon and discuss the significance and nature of developmental literacy in the modern world
Reflect upon and discuss the significance and nature of second language literacy development in educational contexts
Discuss changing views on how best to promote the development of first and second language reading and writing
The first part of the course focuses on mother tongue literacy development during both the pre-school and school years. Attention is given to the concept of 'emergent literacy', which emphasizes the importance of the home, and especially parents, in fostering the roots of literacy. Different approaches to the teaching of reading are discussed, as are characteristics of children's early writing. Central reading and writing processes and practices linked to the development of reading and writing during the school years, for example extensive reading and writing as a process, are addressed.
The second part of the course builds on the first, but with a focus on second language literacy development. It looks at the relationship between first and second language literacy and also considers literacy from a bilingual and multilingual perspective. Key issues linked to the development of second language reading and writing include the role of reading in second language acquisition, approaches to the teaching of second language reading and writing, characteristics of second language writing, assessment, and research principles and methods.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Form of assessment
A - F
Individual home examination.As part of the assessment, English language and academic writing skills will be taken into consideration in addition to the course content.
Seminars 75%, Written assignment and oral presentation
Attendance at seminars is obligatory. Students who are absent from more than 25 % of the seminar meetings will not be allowed to sit the exam. The student has to be present for at least 2/3 of the duration of the individual seminar meeting for attendance to be recorded.
In addition, the student must submit a short written assignment (400-800 words), and give a satisfactory oral presentation of about 10 minutes on a topic approved by the tutor. The student must have completed both tasks in order to be allowed to sit the exam.
Students who get one or more assignment assessed as not approved at their first attempt, are given one opportunity to hand in a revised assignment.
Rebecca Anne Charboneau Stuvland
Camilla Lausund Fitjar
Kjetil Vikhamar Thengs
Method of work
Lectures, seminars, individual work, both online and in person. Students are expected to be prepared for seminars and participate actively during them.
Limited number of places. When you sign up on Student Web you will see whether the course has already been filled or not.