Literacy, language and power

Research output: Other contribution


When we think of the terms 'critical' and 'cultural sustainability', do we think of leaners' existing knowledge and practices as assets for learning, or as barriers to be undone?Every year the English specialism in the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) that I co-lead introduces student teachers to the field of multiliteracies and critical literacies. These fields are interested in how we make meaning from a broad range of texts, across modes of representation and genre, and how these sign systems (from language, to visuals, to oracy) are deeply imbued with issues of power, access, and diversity (see Hilary Janks' Literacy & Power). Our module for initial teacher education therefore seeks to engage students with the ways in which language and other sign systems contribute to maintaining, resisting, or transforming different relations of power both in and out of the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline article
Place of PublicationScotland, UK
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


  • critical literacy
  • literacy
  • language
  • power
  • anti-racism
  • culturally sustainable pedagogy


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  • Critical literacies and the conditions of decolonial possibility

    Govender, N., 13 May 2023, Young People Shaping Democratic Politics: Interrogating Inclusion, Mobilising Education. Rivers, I. & Lovin, C. L. (eds.). Cham, Switzerland, p. 235-260 26 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)
  • Writing Realities

    Young, R., Ferguson, F., Kaufman, D. & Govender, N., 28 Feb 2022, Brighton. 73 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

    Open Access
  • Literacy, Language & Power

    Govender, N. N., 2020, United Kingdom

    Research output: Other contribution

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