Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This aim of this unit is to provide pre-service teachers with an introduction to English education with a focus on the early years of primary schooling. Pre-service teachers will examine theories and research-based pedagogical practices that underpin language development and planning, teaching and assessing early literacy education. A range of literary, non-literary and multimodal texts, including picture books, everyday texts and factual texts will be studied as resources for literacy education. Pre-service teachers will develop an understanding of the requirements of English within the Australian Curriculum and state-based documentation. This will include studying the three key strands of Language, Literature and Literacy from Foundation to Year 2. Additionally, the unit includes a master class for pre-service teachers undertaking a specialisation in English/literacy for primary teaching that provides opportunities for further applications of content and pedagogical knowledge. Pre-service teachers will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to planning, teaching and assessing listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating for the early years of primary school.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically analyse theories of language acquisition and literacy learning as these apply to the early years of primary schooling, especially for the engagement and the inclusion of second language learners (EAL/D) (GA4; APST 1.1, 1.2)

LO2 - Appraise biases, appreciation and critical reading of a range of literary, non-literary texts and multimodal texts and resources suitable for use in the classroom and home, including picture books and factual texts which highlight a range of social, multi-cultural and Indigenous perspectives (GA4, GA9; APST 1.3, 2.4, 3.4, 3.7)

LO3 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of English within the Australian Curriculum including all three strands of Language, Literature and Literacy to facilitate curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning activities and lessons (GA5; APST 2.1, 2.3)

LO4 - Use different approaches including ICT and ways of involving parents/carers in the educative process to explicitly teach students skills and understandings in listening, speaking, reading, viewing, writing and creating a variety of texts (GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 2.5, 2.6, 3.7)

LO5 - Critique and assemble ways of organising the classroom to teach literacy, including facilitating, demonstrating and enhancing language and literacy learning using appropriate and ethical digital technologies (GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 2.5, 2.6, 3.4, 4.2, 4.5)

LO6 - Critically analyse and synthesise a range of approaches to assessing and interpreting student data to evaluate the achievement of young learners’ composing and comprehending of language in its various forms (GA5, GA9; APST 5.1, 5.4).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.


Topics will include: 

  • Grammatical and phonological structures of written and spoken English across various levels and how to implement this knowledge when teaching speaking, reading and writing across the grades/stages of the primary classroom 
  • Past and current theories of language acquisition and literacy learning and how these theories inform effective literacy practices in classrooms for all students including ESL and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 
  • Understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and diversity is schooling and the needs of multicultural students in literacy acquisition and development 
  • An understanding of the pervasive nature of literacy and its role various contexts, including biases of classroom resources 
  • Knowledge about literary and non-literary texts that embrace multi-cultural and Indigenous perspectives and practical teaching strategies for using these with young students 
  • Understanding and skill development for the explicit teaching of reading and writing, speaking and listening for early the early years of primary schooling 
  • Strategies for involving parents/carers in the reading process to support literacy development  
  • Application of literal, inferential and critical thinking for teaching young students to comprehend and compose a range of texts 
  • Ways of planning tasks to promote students’ oral language and literacy learning, including attention to phonological knowledge, text structures, spelling and the creation and comprehension of multimodal texts 
  • Development of teaching and learning strategies for engagement and inclusion of second language learners (EAL/D) 
  • Knowledge and skill development to develop sequenced learning activities and units of work/teaching plans in literacy, based on group and individual needs 
  • Strategies for monitoring, assessing and organising students’ language and literacy learning, with regard to English within the Australian curriculum 
  • Strategies to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice 
  • Ways of implementing strategies for including ICT in the language and literacy framework of the classroom. 

Master Class for primary specialisation in English and Literacy  

  • Knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and the Australian Curriculum: English.  
  • Deep understanding of literature strand of the Australian Curriculum: English and how to engage students in ‘literary’ ways of learning through children’s books.  
  • Engaged and deep understanding of Australian Literature, including the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  
  • Deep understanding of a range of teaching strategies that encourage students to be competent and confident users of English with a particular focus on: grapho-phonic relationships; vocabulary; grammatical and textual patterns; fluency and motivation to listen, read, view and create a range of texts.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum which is offered in on-campus mode. A range of teaching and learning strategies are employed to reflect contemporary language learning pedagogies as can be applied in primary contexts. These include: interactive learning experiences; student-led discussions and group work; directed reading and writing learning activities; and the integration of ICT as a pedagogical tool for accessing sharing and learning language and literacy. These experiences are facilitated through lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed reading guides and study resources. The on-campus learning experiences are supported by online learning strategies, including: synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in reading/library tasks, learning activities, and discussion forums as mediated through the LEO (Learning Environment Online) unit site. 

EDLA518 also includes a master class that is offered as an online module. It provides additional online learning experiences, including interactive lectures and workshops, self-directed reading guides, and synchronous and/or asynchronous learning forums and activities. Where student numbers allow, the master class may be supplemented by face-to-face workshops. 

Technology Enhanced Learning  

The online teaching and learning in this unit will be offered via a LEO unit site. This will include resources and materials to support on-campus learning in a blended mode. The online master class will be available through the same LEO site.  

Lectures or lecture summaries will be recorded to support student learning. Some tutorial activities may be recorded as appropriate to facilitate review of pedagogical strategies. Students will be notified when an activity is being recorded prior to the commencement of the activity. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. The assessment in curriculum and pedagogy units focuses on applying content knowledge and skills to the design and implementation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. In EDLA518, the assessment focusses on pedagogies for developing language and literacy in the early years of primary. The three tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in using and developing of resources (Task 1), understanding a wide range of pedagogies (Task 2), and applying these to a learning sequence (Task 3).  


For pre-service teachers completing the master class, Task 1 will be replaced by the Master Class Task. They will develop knowledge about resources by participating in the presentations for Task 1 and then build on this in relation to pedagogical applications of children’s literature in early primary years.  

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

Minimum Achievement Standards 

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.  

In order to pass this unit, you are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks relevant to your pathway through the unit. For pre-service teachers completing the English and literacy specialisation this is Tasks 2, 3 and the Master Class Task. For all other pre-service teachers, the required assessments are Tasks 1, 2 and 3.  

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return 

All relevant assessment items will be submitted electronically via the unit LEO site. The timing, date and location of presentations (Task 1) and the examination (Task 2) will be arranged by the end of the first week of the study period.  

Marking, feedback and the return of assessment will be undertaken electronically. Dates for submission and return of assessment will be available on the unit LEO site from the first week of the study period. Students should take account of file type and size requirements when preparing submissions. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1* 

Group design and presentation of a digital resource and its curriculum connections (F-2); for emergent and early literacy teaching and learning that is responsive to issues of bias and stereotyping  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO6

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2  

Examination; extended response and short answer questions demonstrating understandings of pedagogies, theories, and issues  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3 

Lesson Sequence; aligned with the Australian English syllabus for a mixed ability early primary years’ classroom including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, ESL and EAL/D students 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Master Class Task 

(for specialisation students only) 

Essay with annotated bibliography; exploring children’s literature, including Australia authors and multimodal texts, as the basis for pedagogies and planning for language and literacy learning in the early years of school  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO6

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

* English and literacy specialisation students exempt.

Representative texts and references

Recommended references  

Barone, D.M. (2011). Children’s literature in the classroom. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.  

Cabell, S., Justice, L., Kaderavek, J. N., Pence Turnbull, K., & Brett-Smith, A. (2009). Emergent literacy: Lessons for success. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.  

Derewianka, B. (2011). A new grammar companion for teachers (2nd ed.). Sydney, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association (PETA). 

Fellowes, J., & Oakley, G. (2010). Language, literacy and early childhood education. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.   

Hill, S. (2012). Developing early literacy: Assessment and teaching (2nd ed.). Prahran, Vic: Eleanor Curtin.  

Humphrey, S. (2012). Grammar and meaning. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).  

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2012). Literacies. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press. 

Tompkins, G. E., Campbell, R., & Green, D. (2012). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

Rossbridge, J., & Rushton, K. (2011). Conversations about text: Teaching grammar using factual texts. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA). 

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