Education Building

Literacy in the Diverse Classroom


Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma (4 course program) towards the MEd Interdisciplinary


Fully Online


One year (4 consecutive terms)


Graduate Program Administrator:
Megan Freeman

Academic Coordinator:
Dr. Roswita Dressler

Program Overview

The focus on this four-course topic is to provide in-service teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach literacy in the diverse classroom. The courses cover theory of how literacy is conceptualized, how to work with K-12 English Language Learners; how to teach the receptive strands of the English Language Arts curriculum; and theory and practices around critical literacy.

Program Details

Courses in this program are offered fully online. Courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. For additional information regarding online delivery, refer to the Online Delivery eLearn website.

Program Goals

Through the four courses of this MEd Interdisciplinary topic

  • Students will develop understandings of
    • research, practices, and trends in literacy in the diverse classroom
    • theoretical, practical, and ethical implications of critical literacy
  • Students will develop practices with English Language Learners
  • Students will also develop practices listening, reading and viewing (the receptive strands of English Language Arts

Target Audience:

  • in-service teachers who teach literacy (elementary-or secondary-aged students)
  • educators with an interest in literacy
  • school leaders in schools with diverse populations
  • consultants or other professionals involved with literacy

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each Summer term (refer to the Academic Schedule for specific dates)
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Conceptualizing Literacy

This course will explore historical and contemporary aspects of the concept of literacy. It will introduce and critically engage with theories which inform current discourse as it relates to the concept across K-12 contexts.

Key ideas and topics: defining literacies; multiliteracies; new literacies; tracing historical/theoretical trajectories.

Registration info:
EDER 669.06 L02 (50331)

Term 2 - Fall

English Language Learners & Literacy

In this course, contexts and strategies for instructors working with individuals learning English language literacy will be explored. It will explore ways for instructors to scaffold knowledge and experiences of ELL students towards development of English language literacy.

Key ideas and topics: ELLs, unique learning needs of ELLs, literacy development in a second language, social and cultural factors of literacy learning.

Registration info:
EDER 669.13 L01 (71655)

Term 3 - Winter

Teaching Reading, Listening & Viewing

This course will explore strategies for teaching the English language arts in K-12 contexts across the curricular areas, with a focus on the three strands: reading, listening and viewing literacy.  It will explore literacy from a developmental perspective to address ways to scaffold literacy learning to address the needs of all learners.

Key ideas and topics: Reading, listening, and speaking as productive communicational modes; typical developmental trajectories; alternate pathways to success in reading, listening, and viewing.

Registration info:
EDER 664.06 (13347)

Term 4 - Spring

Critical Literacies for All Learners

This course explores strategies for addressing various social issues such as diversity, power relationships, race and culture and social hierarchies and their relationship to literacy.

Key ideas and topics: defining critical literacy; diverse learners and texts, literacy and power, literacy vis a vis social structure and hierarchies; anti-racism; Indigenization/decolonization.

Registration info:
EDER 664.07 L01