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EDLA538 English Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to plan and deliver lessons that promote learner engagement and enhance student learning, intending secondary teachers need a knowledge and understanding of the junior secondary curriculum, along with theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches that are emblematic of teaching in their chosen teaching areas.

Pre-service teachers will study the junior secondary English curriculum, including general capabilities, cross-curriculum priorities and other allied materials. They will critique their prior knowledge and experience in the field and how these connect with the scope of the curriculum, identifying opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of teaching English. Pre-service teachers will explore theoretical frameworks associated with teaching and learning in English education. They will learn evidence-based approaches to plan for effective teaching and learning, including embedded literacy and numeracy, and the use of digital technologies. They will learn approaches for engaging learners and to meet the learning needs of diverse students. An introduction to assessment, in particular diagnostic and formative, is undertaken. They will learn to compose good questions, tasks and develop skills to shape the dialogic talk of the classroom. Focusing on the detailed planning of a short series of lessons, pre-service teachers will learn to structure lesson sequences within units of work in order to demonstrate a knowledge of curriculum and learning theory. They will engage in microteaching to practice engaging students and guiding the classroom discourse.

The aim of this unit is for the pre-service teacher to develop their pedagogical content knowledge through becoming familiar with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for teaching English at a junior secondary level.

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
LO1Plan and devise a structured learning program in junior secondary English, showing a mastery of the concepts, substance and structure of the junior secondary English curriculum and assessment principlesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO2Critically analyse and develop a range of approaches to planning and delivering engaging and purposeful teaching/learning sequences for junior secondary English and including the selection of appropriate resources, informed by an understanding of how students learn in EnglishGC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO3Describe, design and evaluate a variety of pedagogical approaches in junior secondary English which allow the specific learning strengths and needs of students to be metGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO4Identify and explain the use of linguistic resources to provide directions, explanations and support student learningGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC11, GC12
LO5Synthesise and critically reflect upon the professional responsibilities of the English teacher, including the provision of a safe and supportive learning environment

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
APST(GA)1.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)1.2Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)1.3Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgroundsLO2
APST(GA)1.4Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgroundsLO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
APST(GA)2.2Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.LO3
APST(GA)2.3Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.LO1, LO4
APST(GA)2.4Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.LO3
APST(GA)2.5Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.6Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.LO2
APST(GA)3.1Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.LO3
APST(GA)3.2Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.LO3
APST(GA)3.3Include a range of teaching strategies.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)3.4Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)3.5Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.LO2
APST(GA)3.6Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.LO3
APST(GA)4.1Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.LO2, LO3
APST(GA)4.2Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.LO3
APST(GA)4.5Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.LO3
APST(GA)5.1Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)5.2Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.LO4
APST(GA)6.1Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.LO1
APST(GA)6.2Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.LO1
APST(GA)6.4Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learning.LO1
APST(GA)7.4Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.LO1


Topics will include: 

  • The pre-service teachers’ prior experience of, and engagement with, English education
  • The Australian junior secondary English curriculum, including general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities, focusing on appropriate state/jurisdictional expectations, syllabi and guidelines
  • Theoretical frameworks associated with English teaching and learning
  • Pedagogical approaches emblematic of English teaching and learning
  • Planning and curriculum alignment
  • Planning for effective teaching and learning in junior secondary English education
  • Differentiated teaching in English
  • Needs of learners from diverse cognitive, physical, social and cultural backgrounds
  • Needs of learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
  • Incorporating literacy and numeracy in English teaching
  • Digital technologies for teaching/learning in English education
  • Conversational, questioning and scaffolding techniques to shape dialogic classroom talk in English education
  • Teacher-presented explanations
  • An introduction to assessment in junior secondary English education with particular emphasis on formative and diagnostic
  • Learning beyond the classroom
  • Student welfare and safety in the English education classrooms and typical English teaching/learning environments
  • Professional responsibilities and relationships
  • Professional associations and continued professional learning

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. It is designed to build the pre-service teacher’s understanding of teaching strategies to consolidate the learning of content, apply knowledge to problem-solving tasks and develop analytical and evaluating skills. The skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group activities and culminating in micro-teaching opportunities. The teaching skills of planning and assessing, and ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing English lessons. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate. 

The teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approaches, including, for example: 

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and/or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)  
  • Discussions that promote peer learning 
  • Microteaching opportunities 
  • Self-directed reading and research 
  • Collaborative learning opportunities 

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.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully 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

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice. 

The assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. These tasks reflect ‘real world’ school contexts and teaching responsibilities, thereby preparing the pre-service teacher for professional experience placement and one’s role as a teacher. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate CapabilitiesStandards

Assessment Task 1: Lesson Planning

Develop three sequential lesson plans that are research-informed, and demonstrate the integration of curriculum, pedagogical, and assessment principles and strategies relevant to the teaching of unit discipline area for a selected Year level between years 7-10. Justify choices made with supporting evidence. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)1.2, APST(GA)1.3, APST(GA)1.4, APST(GA)1.5, APST(GA)2.1, APST(GA)2.2, APST(GA)2.3, APST(GA)2.5, APST(GA)2.6, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.2, APST(GA)3.3, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)3.5, APST(GA)3.6, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.5, APST(GA)5.1, APST(GA)5.2, APST(GA)6.1, APST(GA)6.2, APST(GA)6.4, APST(GA)7.4

Assessment Task 2

For Assessment Task 2, choose one of the following tasks. It is recommended that you cover Option in your principal teaching area, and Option 2 in your second teaching area.

Option 1 Microteaching portfolio

A video compilation with a mock group of students illustrating approaches to presenting clear explanations, precise instructions, and purposeful questions. A variety of contexts and resources should be considered. Reflect on the process and outcomes.

Option 2 Skills audit and professional learning plan

Conduct an audit of your knowledge and skills in relevant secondary 7-10 curriculum documents and devise a related professional development plan. Reflect on the process and outcomes.


LO1, LO2GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC11, GC12APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)1.2, APST(GA)1.3, APST(GA)1.5, APST(GA)2.1, APST(GA)2.3, APST(GA)2.5, APST(GA)2.6, APST(GA)3.3, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)3.5, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)5.1, APST(GA)6.1, APST(GA)6.2, APST(GA)6.4, APST(GA)7.4


Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 

Recommended references

Campbell, R., & Ryles, G. (2018). Teaching English grammar: A handbook for Australian teachers (2nd ed.). Pearson Education Australia.

Derewianka, B., & Jones, P. (2016), Teaching language in context (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Flint, A.S., Kitson, L., Lowe, K., Shaw, K., Humphrey, S., Vicars, M., & Rogers, J. (2020). Literacy in Australia: Pedagogies for engagement (3rd ed.). Wiley.

Gibbons, P. (2018). Bridging discourses in the ESL classroom: Students, teachers and researchers. Bloomsbury Academic.

Henderson, R. (2019). Teaching literacies: pedagogies and diversity (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Hill, S. (2021). Developing early literacy: Assessment and teaching (3rd ed.). Eleanor Curtain Publishing.

Humphrey, S. (2016). Academic literacies in the middle years: A framework for enhancing teacher knowledge and student achievement. Routledge

Macken-Horarik, M., Love, K., Unsworth, L., & Sandiford, C. (2018). Functional grammatics: Re-conceptualizing knowledge about language and image for school English. Routledge.

Moats, L. (2020). Speech to print: Language essentials for teachers (3rd ed.). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Tompkins, G., Smith, C., Campbell, R., & Green, D. (2019). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (3rd ed.). Pearson.

Winch, G., Holliday, M., Johnston, R.R., Ljungdahl, L., & March, P. (2020). Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (6th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Wing Jan, L., & Taylor, S. (2020). Write ways (5th ed.). Oxford University Press.

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