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Literacy Programmes

Literacy academic staff contribute to and deliver Institute of Education programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the context of primary teaching. For further information about the Literacy modules  at Level 8 degree or Level 9 master programmes, click on the tabs below.

Undergraduate Programmes

Literacy in Bachelor of Education (BEd)

Core Modules

All students take four core modules in Literacy education as part of the B.Ed. degree. This course is delivered through plenary and workshop sessions. Students will explore issues in relation to language and literacy teaching and learning in all class levels  with reference to national and international research and best practice. Students will critically evaluate the key components of a balanced literacy framework and have many opportunities to put it into practice on School Placement. Students will explore how to nurture the development of active, strategic and confident readers, writers, thinkers and communicators through  providing a range of texts , both print and digital, and through meaningful and authentic contexts for skill development. Throughout the course, students will continue to develop their ability to explicitly differentiate pedagogies to best promote literacy and language development in response to the differing language learning needs of pupils – L1 and L2 learners, including children with Special Educational Needs and children learning in different school contexts e.g. DEIS schools and multi-grade settings.  Students will develop their knowledge of a range of pedagogies to support the development of internet, visual, disciplinary, and critical literacy skills in print, multimodal, and digital texts. Students will engage in self-directed and independent learning to support their development as critical, reflective and creative language and literacy practitioners. 

Major Specialism

In the second year of the B.Ed. programme, students can specialise in Literacy in year 2, 3 and 4, in addition to their core B.Ed. modules in Literacy. The Major Specialism in Literacy seeks to prepare pre-service teachers to be inspirational and effective leaders of literacy teaching within schools. Each module builds systematically on the core modules and provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to engage with course material through lectures, workshops and independent study and through a number of carefully selected school placements which allow for experimentation with new methodologies with a range of learners and school contexts.

Minor Specialism

Students in the third and fourth year of the B Ed programme may choose a Minor Literacy Specialism with a particular focus on teaching literacy to a diversity of learners. Students learn how a range of pedagogies can be  modified to suit the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) and they also plan and implement appropriate language and literacy support to ELL pupils in local schools. The Minor Specialism also seeks to provide students with a basic understanding of Dyslexia and teaching approaches to support learners who have dyslexic type literacy difficulties.

Final Year Research Project

In the final year of the B.Ed. degree, students complete an action research project. Students may wish to select a research project which focuses on a particular area in Language and Literacy education, with the aim of broadening their expertise to lead literacy education in primary schools. 

Postgraduate Programmes

Literacy in Professional Master of Education Primary (PMEP)

Core Module

All students take two literacy education modules over the duration of the two year Level 9 PMEP programme. Year two of the course is offered through onsite and online plenary and workshop sessions. In year one, students will explore the theoretical constructs underpinning language and literacy development, with reference to national and international research and best practice. Through participation in plenary sessions and workshops, students will develop their understanding of a balanced literacy framework, with a particular focus on the Junior classes in Primary school.  In year two, students will be encouraged to revisit, reflect on and consolidate teacher knowledge, practice, assessment, planning and organisation of effective language and literacy instruction across the primary continuum, with a particular focus on the middle and senior classes. Students will continue to develop their ability to explicitly differentiate pedagogies to best promote literacy and language development in response to a diversity of learners in differing school contexts. Students will develop their knowledge of a range of pedagogies to support the development of internet, visual, disciplinary, and critical literacy skills in print, multimodal, and digital texts. Students will engage in self-directed and independent learning to support their development as critical, reflective and creative language and literacy practitioners. 

Final Year Research Project

In year two of the PMEP programme, students complete an action research project. Students may wish to select a research project which focuses on a particular area in Language and Literacy education, with the aim of broadening their expertise to lead literacy education in primary schools. 

Literacy Specialism in Master of Education (MEd)

Literacy Modules

Postgraduate students who select the Literacy Studies in Education  as their special option take three literacy modules in the first year of the two year M.Ed. programme. The literacy special option is designed to expand the knowledge and skill base of the classroom teacher. It is particularly suitable for primary and post-primary teachers who wish to develop their understanding of issues relating to literacy at theoretical and practical levels.

Module 1: Literacy in the Early Years
Module 2: Literacy at Upper-Primary and Lower-Secondary Levels
Module 3: The Changing Contexts of Schools: Promoting equity and access 

These three literacy modules focus on understanding and conducting research in literacy learning and on preparing teachers to use research-based teaching methods to improve the quality of their teaching. The modules also encourage students to become "literacy leaders" in their schools and school systems. Students explore current developments in literacy theory, research, policy and practice.

Thesis

In the second year of the programme, students have the opportunity to explore a chosen area in depth and conduct some research, under the guidance of a supervisor.

List of Recent Thesis Titles

  • The Implementation of the Writing Workshop in Junior Infants: Examining Emergent Writers' Development and Perception. Engaging Readers: Developing Reader Response Through Shared Dialogue within Literature Circles in a First Class .
  • A case  study investigating the role of the digital writing workshop on the development of young children as authors and multimodal composers.
  • The effect of comprehensive vocabulary instruction on children's vocabulary development and its influence on their metacognitive awareness, reading comprehension and writing achievement.


Master of Education in Specific Learning Difficulties  (Dyslexia) (MEdSpLD)

Programme Overview

This programme addresses three core areas of knowledge and practice: (i) Understanding the development of language and literacy across the continuum;  (ii) Identifying and assessing specific learning difficulties/dyslexia and planning and (iii) managing curriculum based interventions and evidence based practice and support.

The M Ed in SpLD/Dyslexia aims to build capacity in schools in the area of SpLD/Dyslexia and to develop teachers who would be expected to: Select, administer and interpret detailed diagnostic assessments and use appropriate psychometric tools; Effectively identify and use appropriate strategies, interventions and approaches to support learners with dyslexic-type difficulties and also to provide expert advice to parents and professionals in different settings and at all levels.

The programme has dual accreditation - MEd in SpLD/Dyslexia and Associated Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA). With AMBDA and an Assessment Practitioner Certificate, the dyslexia specialist teacher is internationally recognised to undertake assessment and specialist teaching.  The two-year part time programme reflects the competences, knowledge and professional skills identified by the International Dyslexia Association and the International Literacy Association. 

Modules

Year 1: Language, Literacy and Learning; Dyslexia in context; Assessment and Analysis; Supporting learners with SpLD/Dyslexia; Becoming a Reflective Practitioner; Research Methods for Professional Practitioners 

Year 2: Assessment of Learners with SpLD/Dyslexia; Integrating Assessment and Practice; In the second year of the programme students complete a Professional Practice Portfolio. They also undertake a research project – ‘Meeting the Needs of All’.

Specialist teaching is an integral part of M Ed SpLD/Dyslexia and this includes a total of 30 hours of evaluated, individual and/or small group teaching throughout the programme.

Link to further details here.

The MEd SpLD/Dyslexia reflects the competences, knowledge and professional skills identified by the International Dyslexia Association and the International Literacy Association. The programme has dual accreditation - M Ed in SpLD/Dyslexia and Associated Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA). With AMBDA and an Assessment Practitioner Certificate, the dyslexia specialist teacher is internationally recognised to undertake assessment and specialist teaching.