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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Scheduled
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit supports the development of literacy understanding for students planning to work in education, particularly for people seeking admission to teacher education programs, where a confident approach and strong foundation in literacy knowledge and skills, and their real-world application, are required.

In this unit, students will develop conceptual understanding and skills in interpreting, analysing, synthesising and evaluating texts, demonstrating an understanding of and expressing ideas and perspectives on various textual forms, features and structures. Students will identify, analyse and critically reflect on the ways texts are composed in response to influences such as purposes, audiences and contexts. Acting on this knowledge of textual forms, features and structures, students will develop skills in critical reading and compose their own imaginative and analytical texts.

The aim of this unit is to equip students with skills and knowledge relevant for textual analysis and composition. The learning outcomes and unit learning activities are specifically designed to demonstrate the achievement of the Australian Qualifications Framework Level 5 for English.

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 the ways meanings and ideas are shaped and changed by context, medium of production, audience and the influences that produce different responses to textsGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9
LO2Display a well-developed ability to describe, analyse and use a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contextsGC1, GC2, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO3Present reflections in a variety of modes showing well-developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation and use of texts and textual detailGC1, GC2, GC3, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO4Compose imaginatively, interpretively and critically with control for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and valuesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO5Engage critically and creatively with a variety of texts in all language modes through the study of literature, media and language featuresGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9


Topics will include:

  • How language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects and can empower or disempower people
  • Evaluation of texts and the influence of value systems, the context, purpose and mode of communication
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of a wide range of sentence, clause, phrase, vocabulary and abstract nouns in a variety of texts and on particular audiences
  • Composition of sophisticated imaginative, interpretive and analytical texts
  • Language forms, features and structures of:
  • Non-fiction texts (such as biography, autobiography, documentary, newspaper and advertisements)
  • Visual and multimodal texts (such as picture books, postmodern picture books, graphic novels and manga, e-books, and film and book trailers)
  • Narrative texts (such as short stories, novels and young adult novels)
  • Poetry
  • Plays and vignettes.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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 150 hours of study for this unit, including class attendance, readings and assignment preparation.

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of to explore literacy concepts and develop their abilities in the interpretation, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creative production of text. They will have the opportunity to build on their understanding of literacy through an inquiry-centred approach which includes critical reading, lecturer modelling, active engagement, rehearsing and discussion. It is expected that students will build their proficiency across the literacy concepts explored.

To support this strategy teaching and learning approaches may include, but are not limited to:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and/or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning;
  • 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 on-campus 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 scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable. This unit includes 3 contact hours per week over 12 weeks, comprising 1 hour of lecture, and 2 hours of tutorials. Students are required to actively participate in all lectures, tutorials and assigned learning activities to achieve the learning outcomes.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures is designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes and to develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome. The assessment tasks provide opportunities for students to develop their abilities in the interpretation, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creative production of text.

The assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 students have the opportunity to compose text and demonstrate how language and other systems shape meaning. In Task 2 pre-service apply their knowledge of analysis, critique and interpretation.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Composition Tasks

A composition task to create a brief text, reflect on the process and analyse the way that language and other systems shape meaning.

 For example create a short story using either written prose or multimedia that incorporates a representation of an aspect of society. Describe the source of inspiration for your submitted task, highlighting some of the language modes and features incorporated.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Assessment Task 2: Critical Response

For example a written evaluation of three texts to demonstrate how their authors represent contemporary society.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Banks, D. (2019). A systemic functional grammar of English: A simple introduction. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Derewianka, B., & Jones, P. (2023). Teaching language in context (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

MacDonald, L. (2018). A literature companion for teachers (2nd ed.). Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

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

Shann, S., Macken-Horarik, M., & Edwards, C. (2021). A poetry lesson. Changing English, 28(1), 14–28.

Print Texts:

Austen, J. (1995). Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library.

Burningham, J. (1977). Come Away From the Water, Shirley. New York: Crowell.

Miramito, J. (1990). My Hiroshima. New York: Viking.

Siolkas C. (2010). The Slap. New York: Penguin.

Tan, S. (2009). Tales from Outersuburbia. New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine.


Multimedia texts and other artefacts:

Multimedia texts will also form part of the material studied in this unit and will be available from the Library or, as advised, from the public domain (via the internet, and elsewhere).

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