Integration of Language across the curriculum (LAC) and Disciplinary Literacy (DL) at a Faculty of Education: a needs analysis

Keywords: Multilingualism, Language across the curriculum, Disciplinary Literacy, pre-service teachers, academic reading strategies, academic vocabulary, language support, academic literacy


Training the Teachers of the Future: Language Policy and Literacy Development is an international collaborative project between universities in Belgium and South Africa, and is aimed at developing a comprehensive programme for the integration of Language across the curriculum (LAC) and Disciplinary Literacy (DL) in a Bachelor of Education degree. In this article, we explore the challenges faced by subject content lecturers in a Faculty of Education, in integrating a Language across the curriculum Disciplinary Literacy approach to teaching subject specific content in non-language subjects. A needs analysis was conducted using a sequential exploratory mixed method approach and 39 lecturers were surveyed.  Thereafter, 15 lecturers were purposively sampled to be interviewed and observed during their lectures in order to determine how LAC was implemented in the curricula. The challenges identified in this needs analysis relate to an absence of knowhow on dealing with the language diversity of students, a lack of knowledge regarding LAC and DL, specifically related to academic reading skills and academic vocabulary acquisition, and the time constraints of developing appropriate materials for the curricula. We propose and explore a ‘Four Levels of Support’ programme for lecturers which should lead to the development of sustained Language across the curriculum and Disciplinary Literacy integration in the curricula.