Literacy for Humanities


This three hour workshop has been designed to help teachers in Key Stage 3 meet the literacy demands of the humanities subjects. There is a focus on the role of vocabulary and academic language, and the journey from informal speech to formal writing.

About the course

  • Identify research-based approaches to developing literacy in the humanities

    Explore what we mean by literacy in humanities and consider what literacy skills students need. Compile a toolkit of tried and tested strategies.

  • Understand the roles of vocabulary acquisition and academic language

    Recognise typical language features of written texts such as nominalisation, discourse markers and the passive voice.

  • Understand the journey from informal talk to formal writing

    Show students how to transform writing to a more formal style using language features and nominalisation.

  • Explore reading strategies for engaging with challenging texts

    Be able to model and deconstruct typical text types using active reading strategies and reciprocal reading.

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Workshop structure

Introduction: objectives and outcomes of the training

  • What do we mean by humanities subjects?

What is academic language ?

  • How does academic language differ from everyday and exploratory talk?
  • The academic register in history, geography and religious studies
  • Text types, audience and purpose

Modelling and deconstructing humanities texts

  • Identify relevant language features at sentence and text level
  • Use exam questions to explore command words and appropriate discourse markers

Practical applications for use in lessons

  • Direct vocabulary acquisition
  • Reading multimodal texts
  • Oracy strategies for exploratory talk

Training availability

Owing to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, delivery of face-to-face training has been suspended. Please explore our online training opportunities. If you have a specific query about our face-to-face course email Marlene Vasquez-Cain.