I don’t know if Alice, Darryl, Elizabeth or anyone else in the Forum can help. I’ve been thinking about the aspects of literacy pupils require to be able to successfully ‘decode’ a question in my subject (science). It seems to me that as questions in UK science examinations become increasingly wordy, the gap between those pupils who can quickly understand what a question is asking and those who can’t is widening.
This skill of decoding an exam question is subtly different to disciplinary literacy or content area literacy, I think. Is there a particular pedagogical term for it, or a body of knowledge that might help?
(Shanahan and Shanahan make the distinction between disciplinary literacy and content area literacy thus: Content area literacy focuses on study skills that can be used to help students learn from subject matter specific texts. Disciplinary literacy, in contrast, is an emphasis on the knowledge and abilities possessed by those who create, communicate, and use knowledge within the disciplines. (Shanahan, T. & Shanahan, C. (2012). What Is Disciplinary Literacy and Why Does It Matter? Topics in Language Disorders, 32 (1), pp. 7–18).