Integrating written communication skills: working towards a whole of course approach

Document Type

Journal Article


Taylor and Francis


Faculty of Business and Law




Originally published as : Harris, Anne (04.2016). "Integrating written communication skills: working towards a whole of course approach". Teaching in higher education (1356-2517), 21 (3), p. 287. Article here


Australian universities, through their graduate attributes, claim that graduates have the ability to communicate, an attribute encompassing, at the least, written and oral literacies. Despite this claim, Australian universities have been criticised over the past decade for their lack of rigour in assessing this attribute; a criticism generally linked to perceived weaknesses in graduates’ English language proficiency (ELP). Indeed, evidence suggests that programmes designed to develop students’ English language skills are invariably add-ons, despite ELP being a significant facet of the ability to communicate. This paper explores the development, over a six-year period, of wide-ranging ELP policy and strategies within one Australian university. Basing decisions on research pointing to good practice, evidence collected through various trials, dialogue with stakeholders, and ongoing evaluation of all actions, this paper illustrates key factors in moving towards the integration of ELP within courses. © 2016 Taylor & Francis.



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