Literacy Education (LITR)

Our programs in Literacy Education engage teachers and other professional educators in the study of rich language and literacy practices from early childhood through adolescence and adulthood. Literacy studies have expanded dramatically in recent years and our internationally known Faculty draw on many disciplines that inform the study of language and literacy education, including cognitive, linguistic, anthropological, cultural, literary, critical and post-structural perspectives. In our courses we invite students to reflect critically on contemporary language and literacy practices in and out of schools, spanning local, national and global contexts. Our focus is on the many rich, multiethnic and multilingual contexts of language and literacy learning in our schools and communities.

Diploma in Literacy Education

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The Diploma in Language and Literacy Education is an in-service program for teachers and administrators who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge of curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation for diverse types of school populations. It encompasses the various aspects of Language and Literacy Education, including: oral and written communication, reading, children’s and adolescent’s literature, drama, English education, French education, and modern languages education. Students may choose either to focus on a particular aspect of language and literacy education, to select a variety of courses from among the various areas of language arts, or a combination of the two.

A minimum of one year’s teaching experience is strongly recommended.

Courses (21- 24 credits)

Focus area Courses
Reading/Literacy/Language Arts LLED 391, 438, 439, 450, 451, 452, 454, 456, 459, 479, 480, 481, 482, 486
Materials and Resources of Literacy Instruction LIBE 463, LLED 453, 462, 469, 481
Children’s Literature LLED 440, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 449
Drama LLED 313, 333, 334, 335, 435
French LLED 323, 324, 325, 420, 426, 428, 429

Electives (6-9 credits)

Courses at the 300 – 400 level in Language and Literacy Education, other Departments in the Faculty of Education or the Faculty of Arts.


Application

Admissions for Diplomas and Certificate programs are handled by the Professional Development and Community Engagement office. Please visit their website for application procedures. For program advice and other questions, please consult with Program Coordinator Lorrie Miller, or call 604-822-9128.

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MEd in Literacy Education

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The MEd degree is designed as a practitioner’s degree, for students who wish to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to work in a professional field. As a professional degree, the MEd is intended for students who wish, upon graduation, to assume positions of leadership in a practical setting or positions requiring more advanced study than that available at the bachelor’s level. Although MEd students are not required to carry out and defend an independent research project, the program is nevertheless research-based in that consideration of educationally-relevant research constitutes a major focus of study.

The Master of Education program in Language and Literacy Education is designed for students engaging in applied research in language education, language study, literacy, and the teaching of literature. The program consists of course work and includes the option of completing a graduating project. Examples of research areas in the Department are: bilingual education, second language education, socio-cultural dimensions of literacy learning, early reading and writing development, early language development, oral language in the classroom, drama in education, literacy across cultures, multi-modal and digital literacies, post-structuralist critical theory, written composition, language assessment, the role of children’s literature in language and literacy, and educational linguistics.

A small number of M.Ed students each year who demonstrate outstanding performance and whose research interests align with those of an available supervisor may be allowed to switch to the MA program after their second semester.


Admissions Requirements

Basic program admissions requirements include:

  • an approved Bachelor’s degree and, for K-12 teachers, one year of teacher education;* OR
  • a 5-year Bachelor’s degree in Education; OR
  • a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Education or other appropriate area provided the applicant has completed all the necessary prerequisites listed on the detailed admissions information page linked below.

Holders of 3-year Canadian degrees require a fourth or honours year.
Note: Students applying for an MEd or MA in TESL and MLED are not required to have one year of teacher education, although two years of formal teaching experience is required.

View detailed program requirements


Areas of Specialization

The MEd degree consists of 30 credits, 3 of which may be a graduating project (e.g. to fulfill the “Capstone Experience” for Teacher Qualification Service (for BC teachers)) but is not required. Go to LLED 590: Graduating Project for more information.

Students generally take 10 courses fulfilling the following guidelines:

M.Ed Program Requirements

  • Consists of 30 credits, 3 credits may be a graduating project (LLED 590), but is not required.
  • Program consists of the following:
    • 24 credits must be at 500-level
    • EDUC 500
    • 12 credits must be level 500 in the specialization area of LLED
    • 9 credits may be any 500-level course in LLED or any other department
    • 6 credits may be at the 300/400 level
    • Program must be completed in 5 years

Students may take all 30 credits at the 500-level, but must be done in coordination with the graduate supervisor.

Please read the full information in our MEd Handbook.

MEd handbook

The areas of specialization are outlined below.

Instructors: Jan Hare, Candace Galla
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 420 Canadian Literature in French Classrooms
  • LLED 440 Canadian Children's Literature
  • LLED 441 Introduction to Children's Literature
  • LLED 442 Trends and Issues in Teaching Literature
  • LLED 443 Teaching Folklore in the Elementary School
  • LLED 444 Multicultural Children's Literature
  • LLED 445 Poetry in Education/Elementary and Middle Years
  • LLED 446 Teaching with Illustrated Materials
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 536 Drama, Literature and Literacies (W05-06)
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 540 Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature K-12
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 565A Theory & Research: Engaging Students with Information Literature (W06-07)
  • LLED 565B How Writers and Readers Make Meaning in Children's and Young Adult Literature: The Journey to Consciousness (Su 08)
  • LLED 565D (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy (W06-07)

Students are also able to take children's and adolescent literature courses in other Faculties, such as the School of Library Archival and Information Studies.

  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 433 (3) Drama in Eduation: Primary/Elementary Classrooms
  • LLED 434 (3) Drama in Education: Intermediate/Middle School through Secondary
  • LLED 435 (3) Advanced Studies in Drama-In-Education
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 535 (3) Theory and Research in Drama in Education
    This course examines how drama can enhance learning experiences in multiple contexts and disciplines, through creative approaches suitable for learners of all ages, levels of ability, and cultural or linguistic backgrounds. By combining hands-on drama-based strategies with academic literature, this course promotes engagement with learners through cognitive, kinesthetic, and socio-emotional approaches. A diverse array of drama strategies (i.e., role playing, tableaux, hot-seating) will be introduced to provide a practical understanding of methods that can be used for pedagogical and research purposes.
  • LLED 536 (3) Drama, Literacies and Literature in Education
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 438 (3) Teaching Writing
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 445 (3) Poetry in Education
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 487 (3/6) d Special Topics in English Education
  • LLED 491 (3) Supervised Study in English Education
  • LLED 511 (3/6) Seminar in Child Language in Education
  • LLED 534 (3/6) Theory and Research in Teaching Written Composition
  • LLED 540 (3) Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 (3) Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565A (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Grammar, Texts and Discourse in Education
  • LLED 481 (3) Digital Media in English Language Arts Education
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565 (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy
  • LLED 565B (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Knowledge Online: Consequences for Learning


Application

The applications page gives details on deadlines, the online application process, application requirements and English language requirements.

Apply

MA in Literacy Education

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The MA degree is intended for students interested in conducting a research study or who wish, upon graduation, to assume a research position or to proceed to doctoral level studies. Accordingly, the MA program is designed specifically as a research degree, with students required to carry out and complete an independent research project (Master’s Thesis). Completion of an MA thesis is viewed as a prerequisite for the pursuit of doctoral studies in most institutions.

The Master of Arts program in Language and Literacy Education is designed for students engaging in applied research in language education, language study, literacy, and the teaching of literature. The program consists of course work and a thesis. Examples of research areas in the Department are: bilingual education, second language education, socio-cultural dimensions of literacy learning, early reading and writing development, early language development, oral language in the classroom, drama in education, literacy across cultures, multi-modal and digital literacies, post-structuralist critical theory, written composition, language assessment, the role of children’s literature in language and literacy, and educational linguistics.

Applicants to the MA program may be accepted to M.Ed. instead if they are not deemed to be sufficiently competitive at this time to undertake original thesis research in our program.


Admissions Requirements

Basic program admissions requirements include:

  • an approved Bachelor’s degree and, for K-12 teachers, one year of teacher education;* OR
  • a 5-year Bachelor’s degree in Education; OR
  • a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Education or other appropriate area provided the applicant has completed all the necessary prerequisites listed on the detailed admissions information page linked below.

Holders of 3-year Canadian degrees require a fourth or honours year.
Note: Students applying for an MEd or MA in TESL and MLED are not required to have one year of teacher education, although two years of formal teaching experience is required.

View detailed program requirements


Areas of Specialization

This degree requires a minimum of 30 credits including 24 credits at the 500-level or above. These 30 credits are to be divided as follows:

MA Program Requirements

  • Minimum 30 credits, with 24 credits at the 500-level or above.
  • EDUC 500
  • Master’s Thesis – 9 credits
  • 12 credits must be level 500 in the specialization area of LLED
  • Research core (in consultation with supervisor) – 6 credits recommended
  • Program must be completed within 5 years

Please read the full information in our MA Handbook.

MA handbook

The areas of specialization are outlined below.

Instructors: Jan Hare, Candace Galla
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 420 Canadian Literature in French Classrooms
  • LLED 440 Canadian Children's Literature
  • LLED 441 Introduction to Children's Literature
  • LLED 442 Trends and Issues in Teaching Literature
  • LLED 443 Teaching Folklore in the Elementary School
  • LLED 444 Multicultural Children's Literature
  • LLED 445 Poetry in Education/Elementary and Middle Years
  • LLED 446 Teaching with Illustrated Materials
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 536 Drama, Literature and Literacies (W05-06)
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 540 Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature K-12
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 565A Theory & Research: Engaging Students with Information Literature (W06-07)
  • LLED 565B How Writers and Readers Make Meaning in Children's and Young Adult Literature: The Journey to Consciousness (Su 08)
  • LLED 565D (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy (W06-07)

Students are also able to take children's and adolescent literature courses in other Faculties, such as the School of Library Archival and Information Studies.

  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 433 (3) Drama in Eduation: Primary/Elementary Classrooms
  • LLED 434 (3) Drama in Education: Intermediate/Middle School through Secondary
  • LLED 435 (3) Advanced Studies in Drama-In-Education
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 535 (3) Theory and Research in Drama in Education
    This course examines how drama can enhance learning experiences in multiple contexts and disciplines, through creative approaches suitable for learners of all ages, levels of ability, and cultural or linguistic backgrounds. By combining hands-on drama-based strategies with academic literature, this course promotes engagement with learners through cognitive, kinesthetic, and socio-emotional approaches. A diverse array of drama strategies (i.e., role playing, tableaux, hot-seating) will be introduced to provide a practical understanding of methods that can be used for pedagogical and research purposes.
  • LLED 536 (3) Drama, Literacies and Literature in Education
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 438 (3) Teaching Writing
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 445 (3) Poetry in Education
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 487 (3/6) d Special Topics in English Education
  • LLED 491 (3) Supervised Study in English Education
  • LLED 511 (3/6) Seminar in Child Language in Education
  • LLED 534 (3/6) Theory and Research in Teaching Written Composition
  • LLED 540 (3) Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 (3) Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565A (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Grammar, Texts and Discourse in Education
  • LLED 481 (3) Digital Media in English Language Arts Education
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565 (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy
  • LLED 565B (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Knowledge Online: Consequences for Learning


Application

The applications page gives details on deadlines, the online application process, application requirements and English language requirements.

Apply

PhD in Literacy Education

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For admission procedures and document-related queries, please contact lled.gradassistant@ubc.ca
The department Graduate Academic Advisor, Dr. Ling Shi is available to answer any academic-related questions.

Literacy Education is a sub-specialization within the Language and Literacy Education Doctoral program. Students pursuing Literacy Education will receive an LLED PhD.

Doctoral studies in Language, Literacy and Education focus on critical and contemporary issues at the intersections of literacy learning and cultural and societal transformation. Students in our programs are teachers and other professional educators who engage in courses, conversations and research addressing a broad range of issues and contexts – in and out of schools, nationally and internationally, and across the lifespan.

Students will gain expertise in topics such as identity and literacy, cultural literacy practices, Indigenous literacies, family literacy, literature and new media, digital literacies, poetry, literacy in developing contexts, literacy development across the lifespan, educational linguistics, discourse and multimodal analysis, critical perspectives on children’s and young adult literature, EAL (English as an additional language) literacy, assessment, teacher education and creative/arts-based approaches to literacy learning.

Students in our program engage with critical societal issues that impact these topics, such as equity and inclusion, immigration and globalization, gender, youth culture, relationships among communities and educational institutions, and public policy.


Admissions Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is highly competitive and we have the capacity to admit only a few of the many qualified applicants each year. We strongly advise you to become familiar with the information posted on the department web page including policy and procedures and the research programs of faculty members. Admissions decisions are made by a committee and, unfortunately, individual professors are unable to assess applications in advance of the committee’s adjudication. The link below details all the admissions requirements for the PhD program.

View detailed admissions requirements


Areas of Specialization

The PhD in Language & Literacy Education may be completed in any of our program specializations. It normally consists of a one-year residency in the Department, together with a dissertation.
Students are normally expected to advance to candidacy by the end of their third year (having completed their comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal, and relevant coursework).

PhD Program Requirements

  • Doctoral Seminars: LLED 601 and LLED 602 (required)
  • Coursework: 18 to 24 credits
  • Seminars
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Application and Approval to Candidacy
  • Proposal Presentation
  • PhD Dissertation
  • Program must be completed within 6 years.
  • Must be approved for candidacy within the first 3 years (complete courses, comprehensive exams, and thesis proposal approved). If not, needs program extension.
  • Must be full-time, no part-time option

Please read the full information in our PhD Handbook.

PhD handbook

The areas of specialization are outlined below.

Instructors: Jan Hare, Candace Galla
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 420 Canadian Literature in French Classrooms
  • LLED 440 Canadian Children's Literature
  • LLED 441 Introduction to Children's Literature
  • LLED 442 Trends and Issues in Teaching Literature
  • LLED 443 Teaching Folklore in the Elementary School
  • LLED 444 Multicultural Children's Literature
  • LLED 445 Poetry in Education/Elementary and Middle Years
  • LLED 446 Teaching with Illustrated Materials
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 536 Drama, Literature and Literacies (W05-06)
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 540 Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature K-12
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 565A Theory & Research: Engaging Students with Information Literature (W06-07)
  • LLED 565B How Writers and Readers Make Meaning in Children's and Young Adult Literature: The Journey to Consciousness (Su 08)
  • LLED 565D (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy (W06-07)

Students are also able to take children's and adolescent literature courses in other Faculties, such as the School of Library Archival and Information Studies.

  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 433 (3) Drama in Eduation: Primary/Elementary Classrooms
  • LLED 434 (3) Drama in Education: Intermediate/Middle School through Secondary
  • LLED 435 (3) Advanced Studies in Drama-In-Education
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 535 (3) Theory and Research in Drama in Education
    This course examines how drama can enhance learning experiences in multiple contexts and disciplines, through creative approaches suitable for learners of all ages, levels of ability, and cultural or linguistic backgrounds. By combining hands-on drama-based strategies with academic literature, this course promotes engagement with learners through cognitive, kinesthetic, and socio-emotional approaches. A diverse array of drama strategies (i.e., role playing, tableaux, hot-seating) will be introduced to provide a practical understanding of methods that can be used for pedagogical and research purposes.
  • LLED 536 (3) Drama, Literacies and Literature in Education
    This course involves a critical review of research and practices of drama/theatre education in the last few decades with a focus on research-based theatre in education. Students will explore current issues and questions that underlie the nature of drama and theatre education research. This includes an examination of the connections and spaces within theatre (production) and drama (process) and educational, literacy research. Through the work of scholars and practitioners, students will examine how practice and theory in drama/theatre education can inform and enrich research as well as teaching and learning. The course includes practical elements in order to illustrate practices as well as challenge theories and assumptions.
  • LLED 436 (3/6) Advanced Speech Communication
  • LLED 438 (3) Teaching Writing
  • LLED 439 (3) Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • LLED 445 (3) Poetry in Education
  • LLED 449 Teaching Adolescents' Literature
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 487 (3/6) d Special Topics in English Education
  • LLED 491 (3) Supervised Study in English Education
  • LLED 511 (3/6) Seminar in Child Language in Education
  • LLED 534 (3/6) Theory and Research in Teaching Written Composition
  • LLED 540 (3) Introduction to Research in the Teaching of Literature
    Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory; queer theories, critical disabilities, eco-criticism and digital formats in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.
  • LLED 541 (3) Theories and Perspectives in Teaching Literature
    This course examines theories and perspectives in teaching literature in and out of schools. Our understanding of literary engagement and literature instruction has been influenced through the last century by diverse theoretical approaches, including New Criticism, Reader Response and Reception Theory, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Cultural Materialism, Media Theory, and so on. We will explore some of these theories, their discontents, and their applications in teaching literature at various levels and in various contexts.
  • LLED 480 (3/6) Advanced Studies in Language and Literacy Education: Teaching Authentic Texts in Aboriginal Education
  • LLED 486 (3) Supporting Children's Language Development
  • LLED 557 (3) Family Literacy: Issues & Perspectives
    Theory and research in family and community literacy and implications for practice. In this course students will become familiar with and examine critically: a) conceptions of, and orientations to, family literacy and community literacy; b) contemporary and foundational research in family literacy and community literacy; and c) issues in family literacy and community literacy. Students have the option of completing a case study with a family as the major assignment.
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565A (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Grammar, Texts and Discourse in Education
  • LLED 481 (3) Digital Media in English Language Arts Education
  • LLED 558 (3) Literacy and Multimodality
    Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than two decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond. Topics for this seminar include: historical overview of literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and ‘new’ literacies; multimodality and literacy in and beyond the classroom; (re)examining literacy ‘basics’, multimodality, multilingualism, and identity texts; multimodality and ‘funds of knowledge’ in diverse contexts; and multimodal approaches to research/explorations in visual analysis.
  • LLED 565 (3) Theory and Research in Digital Literacy
  • LLED 565B (3) Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Knowledge Online: Consequences for Learning


Application

The PhD program has only one start date for international and domestic students which is September each year.
To read application information and apply online, click the apply button below.

Please forward supporting documents to:
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Language & Literacy Education
University of British Columbia
6445 University Boulevard
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z2
Telephone: (604) 822-8259
Facsimile: (604) 822-3154
e-mail: lled.gradassistant@ubc.ca

The department Graduate Academic Advisor, Dr. Ling Shi is available to answer any academic-related questions.

For admission procedures and document-related queries, please contact lled.gradassistant@ubc.ca

Apply

PhD

Difference at play: An enthnography of discourse and drama in multiracial classrooms in a Francophone minority language school
Author: Schroeter, Sara – Supervisor: Dr. Theresa Rogers and Dr. Annette Henry (04/17)

(Re)turning to the poetic I/eye: towards a literacy of light
Author: Rajabali, Anar – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (03/17)

School literacy as a catalyst: A portrait from multilingual, low-educated homes in Turkey
Author: Kocbas, Dilara – Supervisor: Dr. Marilyn Chapman (11/16)

Following the song of k’aad ‘aww (Dogfish Mother): adolescent perspectives on English 10 First Peoples, writing, and identity
Author: Davidson, Sara – Supervisors: Dr. Carl Leggo and Theresa Rogers (10/16)

Visiting Griffin at the confluence of playwriting, ethics, and spirit: towards poet(h)ic inquiry in research-based theatre
Author: Duff, Heather – Supervisor: Dr. George Belliveau (9/16)

Pedagogy of Confidence: Auditory Accounts of Adult ESL Classes with Educational Drama
Author: Kim, Won – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (5/16)

Reclaiming Kwak’wala Through Co-constructing Gwanti’lakw’s Vision
Author: Cranmer, Laura – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (11/15)

Parent-child shared reading: The affordances of print, digital and hand-held electronic books
Author: Kim, Ji Eun – Supervisors: Dr. Jim Anderson and Dr. Geoff Williams (09/15)

The classroom impact of Reading Recovery training: examining restated Reading Recovery-based teacher learning
Author: Stouffer, Joseph – Supervisor: Dr. Purcell-Gates (06/15)

Meaning making within the social activity domain of health maintenance: The role of social networks
Author: Nimmon, Laura – Supervisor: Dr. Purcell-Gates (11/14)

The story of an idea: moving with a playmaking education
Author: MacKenzie, Donard J. – Supervisors: Dr. Carl Leggo, Prof. Stephen Heatley (Theatre) (02/15)

Applied drama as engaging pedagogy: critical multimodal literacies with street youth
Author: Wager, Amanda – Supervisors: Dr. Theresa Rogers, Dr. George Belliveau (09/14)

Pathways through the woods: How the cohesive resources of colour and repetition contribute to the construction of coherent narrative picturebook texts
Author: Shoemaker, Kathryn – Supervisors: Dr. Theresa Rogers, Dr. Geoff Williams(05/14)

Poetics of return: toward poetic imagination and peacebuilding
Author: Kramer, Christi – Supervisors: Dr. Carl Leggo, Dr. Maureen Kendrick (05/14)

Portrait of a Teacher: Stories That Won’t Go Away
Author: Hill, Peter – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (05/14)

Homa Bay Memories: using research-based theatre to explore a narrative inheritance
Author: Lea, Graham – Supervisor: Dr. George Belliveau (12/13)

Being tough, staying good, and playing inside the box: An ethnographic case study of one boy’s multimodal textmaking
Author: Collier, Diane – Supervisor: Dr. Maureen Kendrick (07/13)

ICT, Multilingual Primary Education and Classroom Pedagogy in Northern Uganda
Author: Oates, Lauryn – Supervisors: Dr. Maureen Kendrick, Dr. Bonny Norton (08/12)

An investigation of the cross-mode comparability of a paper and computer-based multiple-choice cloze reading assessment for ESL learners
Author: Murphy Odo, Dennis – Supervisor: Dr. Lee Gunderson (05/12)

Social art effect: the a/r/tography and complexity of theatre education learning systems, developmental stages, and change mechanisms
Author: Beare, David – Supervisor: Dr. George Belliveau (10/12)

Narrative practices in immersive gameworlds: personal growth and social change
Author: Boskic, Natasha – Supervisor: Dr. Teresa Dobson (10/11)

The new literacies of Web 2.0: a case study of one school district
Author: Moayeri, Maryam – Supervisor: Dr. Marlene Asselin (06/11)

Theatre as a place of learning: The forces and affects of devised theatre processes in education
Author: Perry, Mia – Supervisors: Dr. C. Medina, Dr. T. Rogers (11/10)

Exploring the reading non-engagement of two grade six students during sustained silent reading
Author: Bryan, Gregory – Supervisor: Dr. J. Anderson (05/10)

Affordances and recontextualizations: A multiple-case study of young children’s engagement in information literacy practices in school and out-of-school contexts
Author: McTavish, Marianne – Supervisor: Dr. M. Chapman (05/10)

Through the gates of loving inquiry: where the heart opens into relationship
Author: Shira, Ahava – Supervisor: Dr. C. Leggo (05/10)

Emancipation, empowerment and embodiment: Exploring the influence of organizational dynamics on one school’s journey to promote positive behaviour and social responsibility
Author: White, Vincent – Supervisor: Dr. G. Belliveau (05/10)

Authorship as assemblage: Multimodal literacies of play, literature, and drama
Author: Winter, Kari-Lynn – Supervisor: Dr. T. Rogers (05/10)

MA

Gender in Young Adult Literature: Harry Potter and The Hunger Games
Author: Riddell, Sarah – Supervisor: Dr. Teresa Dobson (08/16)

A female refugee’s investment in multiple literacies post-migration
Author: Crosbie, Kate – Supervisor: Dr. Marlene Asselin (04/16)

Community-Based Materials Development: Using Digital Storytelling for Teaching and Learning Indigenous Languages
Author: Ryan, Keeley – Supervisors: Dr. Candace Galla and Dr. Annette Henry (04/16)

Breaking the line
Author: Vincent, Adam – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (08/15)

Heartfelt inquiry: A parallactic approach to ELA curriculum
Author: Archacka, Natalia – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (07/15)

Expanding the circle: Collaborative research to create culturally responsive family literacy
Author: Gear, Allison – Supervisors: Dr. Jim Anderson and Dr. Jan Hare (03/15)

Making short films in French class: the role of collaborative short film production in social cohesion and student engagement in the core French classroom
Author: Garcia Castillo, Erin – Supervisor: Dr. George Belliveau (10/12)

Approaches to Teaching World Literature in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program: A Narrative Inquiry
Author: Morton, Elizabeth – Supervisor: Dr. Carl Leggo (10/12)

“You can study with joy”: exploring international students’ attitudes and opinions regarding their educational experiences in a Canadian secondary school
Author: Arnott, Amanda – Supervisor: Teresa Dobson (05/12)

Exploring cultural resources as pedagogical tools for language education: a case of two primary schools in Uganda
Author: Maandebo Abiria, Doris – Supervisors: Dr. Maureen Kendrick, Dr. Margaret Early (06/11)

Reading the visual: the role of picturebooks in facilitating young adult literacy
Author: Thomson, Katherine – Supervisor: Dr. Margot Filipenko (05/11)

Playing with Possibilities: Drama in the Elementary Core French Classroom
Author: Ziltener, Eva- Supervisor: Dr. G. Bellieveau (02/11)

Research in Three Acts: Approaches to Developing Research-based Theatre
Author: Lea, Graham – Supervisor: Dr. G. Belliveau (11/10)

Breaking the silence: Beginning teachers share pathways out of the profession
Author: Beck, Jaime – Supervisor: Dr. G. Belliveau (11/10)

Cultural hybridity and visual representations of the immigrant journey
Author: Ho, Charmaine – Supervisor: Dr. T. Rogers (11/10)

The Harry Potter phenomenon and its implications for literacy education
Author: Novosel, Jadranka – Supervisor: Dr. T. Dobson (11/10)