Introduction to integrating literacy


What is 'integrating literacy'?

‘Integrating literacy’ means designing and delivering courses in ways that remove unnecessary literacy barriers and that develop the key course-related language, literacy and numeracy. It requires education and training providers to take a whole-organisation approach to literacy. This involves a working partnership between subject specialists and literacy specialists. All staff in the organisation use inclusive, literacy-friendly methods and materials in their own subject or in their area of responsibility. 

A whole-organisation approach to literacy requires a commitment, policy and strategy, led ‘from the top’, and developed in consultation with learners, teachers and all staff.

See Guidelines 1-7 in


Why integrate literacy?

It makes teaching and learning more effective for more people. as it It helps overcome literacy barriers to participation and learning. It also helps students develop the specific literacy requirements associated with their course. Research shows that integrating literacy into further education and vocational training leads to:

• higher participation and retention rates
• increased achievement of vocational qualifications
• increased achievement of other course goals.


How can we integrate literacy in teaching and learning?

Teachers and learners use active, varied and inclusive methods for learning the course content, and for  developing confidence in the specific course-related language, literacy and numeracy. 

See Guidelines 4 and 8 in

See these video playlists for practical examples from FET practitioners and learners: 

Integrating language, literacy and vocational learning in Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses:


Integrating literacy, numeracy and vocational learning in apprenticeship training:


Integrating literacy, numeracy and vocational learning in Community Training Centre courses