Scenarios for collaboration: Idiosyncratic and ad hoc

  • Shem Macdonald Victoria University
  • Britta Schneider Victoria University
  • Giselle Kett Victoria University


Academic Language and Learning (ALL) work involves collaborations between ALL lecturers and discipline lecturers. Charged with working alongside discipline lecturers to embed academic language and learning within the curriculum, ALL lecturers are faced with negotiating our place within these shared spaces. We identify important factors that shape the success of these collaborations. This includes uncertainties about how much time and information we are given to prepare and teach into the courses, the extent to which our suggestions and comments on the ways content is delivered, or assessments conducted, are welcomed or can be accomm-odated, and the extent to which we are included in the day to day communications and running of the course. In this paper we reflect on three collaborative teaching experiences involving first-year students. The literature describes different forms of collaborative approaches. Using these as a starting point, we extend our understanding of these practices by identifying and elaborating what we have found to be key dimensions of ALL lecturers and discipline lecturers working together. Personalities, experiences, and individual philosophies of learning of both discipline and ALL lecturers along with practical considerations come into play and contribute to what sometimes feels like an idiosyncratic and ad hoc approach to our work.

Author Biographies

Shem Macdonald, Victoria University
Lecturer, Language and Learning
Britta Schneider, Victoria University
Lecturer, Language and Learning
Giselle Kett, Victoria University
Lecturer, Language and Learning
How to Cite
MacdonaldS., SchneiderB., & KettG. (2013). Scenarios for collaboration: Idiosyncratic and ad hoc. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 7(2), A11-A19. Retrieved from