College of Education > Department of Curriculum and Instruction > Literacies and English Language Arts

Literacies and English Language Arts

Literacies and English Language Arts

Welcome to the Literacies and English Language Arts program at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Faculty and graduate students in Literacies and English Language Arts study the teaching and learning of Literacies and English language arts in both school and out of school contexts. This includes attention to both teachers and learners of all ages as they engage in activities of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and the creation and interpretation of other texts. These reflect the full range of literacies broadly conceived: children’s and adolescent literatures (canonical and contemporary) multimodal, digital, media, visual, etc. We conduct research on literacies and English language arts education from varied and complementary perspectives, including (but not limited to) studies of reading and writing processes and discursive practices from early childhood through adulthood, of policies that shape literacy and English language arts education, of differences in how learners from varying backgrounds experience literacies, and language learning, of the social and cultural contexts of language and literacy, of multimodal approaches to language and literacy learning, and of how language learners negotiate cultural identities and communities through their literacies and representational practices in connected (and disconnected) ways across their lived experience; and of ways these experiences connect to (or disconnect from) their literacy experiences outside of school. We also study of the preparation and professional development of teachers of literacies and language arts, as well as prepare students for the types of research methodologies that can be used for the study of literacies, literature, and learning in diverse contexts. 

Please survey the faculty’s work and make direct contact with the member who most closely addresses your interests.

Possible options include:

  • Literacy
  • Literacy Education
  • Community Literacies
  • Reading, Writing, and Language Arts (PK-12)
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Literacies
  • Reading Specialists
  • Writing Education
  • Rural Education/Literacies
  • Urban Education/Literacies
  • Academic Assessment (Practice Based Evidence)
  • New Literacies
  • Multiple, multimodal, and disciplinary literacies
  • Designing Supportive and Inclusive Contexts for Literacy


Application Deadline for the PhD program:  December 15

Please survey the faculty’s work and make direct contact with the member who most closely addresses your interests, or contact Bonnie Richardson, the Graduate Program Assistant at for general information on doctoral studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.



Our faculty are national and international leaders in the fields of literacy and English language arts at major organizations; and serve as editors or members of editorial boards of major journals.  Below are examples of these commitments.  Please, visit individual faculty pages to learn more about the diverse academic commitments of the LELA team.