Disciplinary literacy focuses on developing learners’ ability to engage in discipline-specific practices. This is an important aspect of literacy development because each content area requires knowledge about how to use discipline-specific language to communicate in that area as new knowledge is built. Students read, write, speak, listen, and use different vocabulary and language structures in different disciplines.
The foundation built by elementary teachers in disciplinary literacies is critical to students’ success in upper grades in each discipline.
Disciplinary literacy apprentices students into the unique ways of communicating in each discipline. As teachers begin to think about how to do this, they might ask themselves, "How does each field (e.g., science, mathematics, health, art, social studies, career and technical education, English language arts, world languages) use reading, writing, discourse, and language? What are the norms for how knowledge should be created, shared and evaluated?"