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EDEN100 Foundations of Literacy AND EDEN102 Childrens Literature for Early Reading


EDLA241 Literacy Education 1: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment , EDLA264 Literacy Education 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Learning to read and write is the most important challenge children face during their first three years of school. Early Childhood and Primary teachers play a crucial role in preparing children to learn the foundational reading and writing skills that allow them to access increasingly complex texts and discourses in later primary and high school years, and to communicate their learning to others.

This unit includes six modules that introduce pre-service teachers to evidence-based effective early reading and writing instruction, and to both formative and summative assessments of early literacy skills. The modules examine evidence-based instruction of phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, early writing, reading comprehension and fluency, and vocabulary. All six modules cover both instruction and assessment, including progress monitoring. The covered teaching and assessment practices will be based on current literacy research with a focus on supporting the literacy learning process for diverse learners.  

The aim of this unit is to ensure that after completing the unit, preservice teachers understand the importance of explicit and systematic literacy instruction, and can deliver instruction that aligns with research evidence and meets the needs of all learners in their early childhood and primary classrooms. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe various theoretical models and approaches to literacy and language learning with particular application to the early yearsGC1
LO2Apply and analyse effective instruction for children with linguistic and cultural differences, trauma backgrounds and literacy difficultiesGC1, GC5
LO3Identify and evaluate a range of instructional texts and other materials for their suitability for the explicit teaching of literacyGC1, GC2
LO4Apply content, pedagogical and assessment knowledge to plan, teach and assess literacy skills to F-2 studentsGC1, GC2

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome


Topics will include:

1.    Phonemic awareness instruction and assessment

1.1.  Phonemic awareness instruction using letters

1.2.  Phonemic awareness instruction without letters

1.3.  How to integrate teaching phonemic awareness into teaching letter-sounds

1.4.  Examples of effective teaching sequences for blending and segmentation

1.5.  Assessment and progress monitoring of phonemic awareness


2.    Phonics instruction and assessment

2.1.  Systematic phonics vs. non-systematic phonics

2.2.  Synthetic phonics vs. analytic phonics

2.3.  Scope and sequence of grapheme-phoneme correspondences, and the rate of introduction

2.4.  Use of decodable books

2.5.  Adaptive teaching of phonics to support advanced, EAL/D and struggling readers/spellers

2.6.  Assessment and progress monitoring of phonics knowledge


3.    Spelling and writing instruction and assessment

3.1.  Spelling and transcription

3.1.1.  Handwriting and keyboarding

3.1.2.  Explicit vs implicit teaching of spelling and word-specific orthographic knowledge

3.1.3.  Explicit teaching of morphology and etymology for spelling

3.1.4.  Spelling instruction for students with EAL/D designation, learning difficulties and/or Developmental Language Disorder

3.1.5.  Spelling assessment and progress monitoring

3.2.   Writing: process and strategies 

3.2.1.  Understanding the writing process

3.2.2.  Explicit teaching of the components of early writing

3.2.3.  Self-regulated strategy development

3.3.   Writing feedback and assessment

3.3.1.  Quality feedback and use of metatalk to provide feedback

3.3.2.  Formative feedback strategies, including self- and peer-assessment

3.3.3.  Writing assessment and progress monitoring


4.    Comprehension instruction and assessment

4.1.  Evidence-based reading comprehension instruction

  • Teaching techniques and strategies and (e.g., the role of comprehension strategies)
  • Teaching oral language to support reading comprehension
  • Teaching content knowledge to support reading comprehension
  • Comprehending different kinds of texts

4.2   Reading comprehension assessment and progress monitoring


5.    Fluency instruction and assessment

5.1.  Components of reading fluency

5.2.  Evidence-based instructional components

5.3.  Teaching practices with evidence for different target groups

5.4.  Use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to develop fluency

5.5.  Assessment and progress monitoring of fluency at grapheme-phoneme correspondence, word, phrase, sentence, and text level

5.6.  Assessment of prosody


6.    Vocabulary instruction and assessment

6.1.  Evidence-based vocabulary instruction for diverse learners

  • Identifying, developing and applying strategies to teach vocabulary
  • Explicit vocabulary teaching
  • Strategies to enrich vocabulary
  • Teaching morphology for vocabulary development
  • Use of high-quality texts to improve vocabulary
  • Use of ICT in vocabulary teaching 
  • Adaptive teaching of vocabulary instruction

6.2.  Vocabulary assessment and progress monitoring

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy for this unit is based on providing pre-service teachers with examples of explicit teaching approaches that are supported by research evidence, and that they are expected to implement in their own literacy classrooms by the Australian Curriculum. 

In line with the chosen learning and teaching strategy, this unit includes frequent reviews of previous learning, explicit delivery of new content, worked examples, guided and independent practice, and frequent feedback. Once knowledge is consolidated, it will be applied to analysing and designing instruction and various forms of assessment. The learning and teaching strategy is achieved through a range of learning activities such as reading, reflection, discussion, and engagement with webinars, podcasts and video resources.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, pre-service teachers will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote the connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.

On-campus Mode 

In on-campus mode, this unit will be delivered via timetabled classes, including on-campus classes. 


In multi-mode, this unit is delivered using a blend of interactive asynchronous learning experiences and timetabled synchronous online or face-to-face classes.

Online Mode 

In online mode, this unit is delivered fully online using interactive asynchronous modules and activities. Pre-service teachers are provided with the opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online seminars/workshops with peers.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures is used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements.

Assessment Task 1 consists of weekly/module quizzes that assess students’ consolidation of the content presented in lectures and reading. Assessment Task 2 requires the development of sequential lesson plans. For Assessment Task 3, pre-service teachers will complete a proctored, two-hour examination.

The three assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development of content knowledge and skills to prepare pre-service teachers for pedagogical knowledge units in the sequence of language and literacy units.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to complete ALL assessment tasks and achieve an overall Pass grade. Additionally, pre-service teachers are required to complete weekly readings and activities.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Weekly/module quizzes

Students will complete short quizzes assessing their consolidation of the content presented in lectures and reading.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 2: Sequential Lesson Plan Development

Pre-service teachers explain, create and apply understanding of research-based teaching and assessment practices for teaching 2 reading and 2 writing lessons that are suitable for diverse early childhood, Foundation, Year 1 OR Year 2 students and based on the Australian Curriculum or other relevant state-based curriculum documents.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3: Examination

2-hour examination: Application of knowledge and understanding of early reading and writing instruction.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum: English

Australian Education Research Organisation Early Literacy collection at

National Literacy Learning Progressions:

Recommended references

Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Sandora, C. A. (2021). Robust comprehension instruction with questioning the author: 15 years smarter. Guildford.

Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2013). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction (2nd ed.). Guilford.

Cabell, S. Q., Neuman, S. B., & Terry, N. P. (Eds.) (2023). Handbook on the science of early literacy. Guilford 

Frey, N., & Fisher. D. (2013). Rigorous reading: 5 access points for comprehending complex texts. Corwin Literacy.

Honig, B., Diamond, L. & Gutlohn, L. (2018). Teaching reading sourcebook (3rd ed.). CORE. 

Peregoy, S. F., Boyle, O. F., & Amendum, S. (2022) Reading, writing and learning in ESL: A resource book for teaching K-12 English learners (8th ed.). Pearson.

Stuart, M., & Stainthorp, R. (2016). Reading development and teaching. Sage. 

Woods, A., & Exley, B. (2020). Literacies in early childhood: Foundations for equity and quality. Oxford University Press.

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