The Global Financial Crisis and appreciation of the Australian dollar are just two examples of the many aspects of Economics which have kept this discipline as a primary focus for the media in recent years. Economic literacy enhances our understanding of the forces which shape our world. This paper examines the distinctive features of economics discourse and the challenges it poses for both local and international students. Economic models are based on assumptions which simplify the real world and this abstraction from reality may alienate some students from the subject (Hewings, 1990). Changes in economic influences are shown on these models and then analysed in precise language. Learning the language of Economics is an inescapable part of being able to understand the concepts of the discipline. The paper sets out strategies undertaken on a Macroeconomics unit to address these challenges. It emphasises a positive approach which presents the discourse as a learning experience which will enrich the student's life in both the workplace and as a citizen.
Paper presented at 'Language in the disciplines: disciplinary discourses and the embedding of academic literacy skills within programs', an Academic Literacy Teaching and Research Network (ALTAR) Symposium, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 24 November 2010