ELS504 Understanding Writing (8)

This subject aims to give students an in-depth understanding of practical and theoretical aspects of written language and the teaching of writing. Students will be encouraged to explore differing perspectives on writing in order to extend and enrich their current beliefs and approaches. Students will consider case-studies of writing and writers, across a range of learning and education contexts, and draw on their own experiences as writers and teachers of writing in order to examine the linguistic, sociocultural and ideological complexities of writing and learning to write.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ELS504. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Education

Enrolment Restrictions

Available to student in the Master of Education

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • demonstrate understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives on writing
  • consider seminal case-studies and their contribution to writing instruction
  • discuss literature that has informed influential approaches to writing instruction
  • use frameworks and concepts central to writing and writing instruction as analytic tools
  • use writing as a tool for reflecting on own experiences of writing and writing education
  • employ writing frameworks for critiquing and enhancing pedagogical practices
  • articulate their position on the nature of writing and learning to write


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • theoretical perspectives on writing (e.g. cognitive process, sociocultural, poststructuralist)
  • historical and contemporary approaches to writing policy and practice (e.g. balance, critical)
  • binaries in writing pedagogy (implicit/explicit; acquisition/learning; immersion/instruction)
  • the social construction of writers and writing development
  • methods for examining writers and writing in and across contexts (e.g. naturalistic observation)
  • changing writing education through written reflection and action (e.g. autoethnography)

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ELS504 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.