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EDLA518 Primary English Education 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

The aim of this unit is to develop understandings of literacy across primary learning areas, with an emphasis on Years 3-6. Its focuses on contemporary literacy issues, including: assessment, language and language development, literacy for diverse learners, and multimodal texts for primary-age learners. It emphasises pre-service teachers learning to support students to become effective analytical and critical writers, readers, designers and producers of a variety of text types for different purposes. To underpin competence in literacy, students' spoken language, spelling strategies, and the use of ICTs is considered. The unit facilitates critical analysis, reflection, and synthesis of knowledge and skills to scaffold primary students' learning using the Australian Curriculum and state-based documents. Understanding of assessment issues, purposes, characteristics, and limitations is developed. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, multilingual and other learner diversities will be key to the application of literacy theory. Additionally, the unit includes a second master class for pre-service teachers undertaking an English and literacy specialisation, providing for deeper pedagogical knowledge for meeting diverse learner needs. Pre-service teachers will further develop theoretical frameworks of literacy education and quality pedagogy for planning teaching and assessment in English and literacy across the learning areas.

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 - Integrate knowledge of current theoretical and pedagogical literacy issues focused on the upper primary, together with state and national curriculum and policies around the sociocultural nature of language and language learning, with attention to teaching and learning strategies for engaging students of diverse backgrounds, including English as an additional language/dialect (EAL/D), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multilingual learners (GA4; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.5) 

LO2 - Reflect on and synthesise theories of learning to read and write in the light of students’ language and literacy development in the upper primary grades of 3-6, with particular emphasis on students’ spoken language and their ability to use literacy to construct, design and produce written and multimodal texts, including the use of ICT (GA5, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.6) 

LO3 - Critically evaluate and interpret a range of pedagogical approaches including strategies for working with parents/carers for teaching reading, writing, viewing, speaking and listening for diverse learners, including EAL/D and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and learners with special needs and to apply the best suited pedagogies for these students and to integrate this knowledge into their teaching practice (GA8; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.7) 

LO4 - Interpret and transmit their knowledge through the ethical use of ICT and other resources to set goals to engage students in their leaning in planning, implementing and evaluating literacy strategies, tasks, units and programs with special focus on catering for groups of students with specific learning needs and/or from diverse language backgrounds (GA6; APST 2.2, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4)

LO5 - Research and apply an understanding of the varying approaches to assessment and data analysis of spoken language, reading and writing in order to evaluate their related advantages and limitations for moderation and support of consistent and comparable judgements of students’ learning and modification of teaching practice (GA6; APST 5.1, 5.3, 5.4). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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


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

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.

1.4 Demonstrate 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 backgrounds.

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

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

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.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

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.

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

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

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


Topics will include: 

  • Consideration of the way theories shape and construct literacy programs, e.g., language as a social process, and cognitive, social construction and functional models of language development and literacy learning 
  • Current and emerging research about literary, factual, media and multimodal texts, including those appropriate for students with specific learning needs and from diverse language backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and EAL/D learners 
  • Theories of first and second language acquisition and development, including the role of culture and society in language development, the nature of bilingualism and language variation. 
  • Synthesising goals and strategies for promoting and motivating students’ learning to read and write, including how to implement a range of sequenced literacy practices such as critical reading, drawing inferences, decoding, spelling strategies, visual analysis, and use of ICT to underpin competence in literacy 
  • Development of units of work/teaching plans to support the management and implementation of literacy learning in the primary classroom eg the literacy block, individual and group work 
  • Diagnosing and researching pedagogies for supporting students to become effective, analytical and critical writers and readers of a variety of text types and modalities for different purposes 
  • Ability to interpret and compare school data (individual, school, system) to make informed decisions about student literacy needs   
  • Strategies for working with parents/carers especially with students requiring additional support  
  • Assessment-related issues and the purposes, characteristics, and limitations of various types of assessments eg running records, standardised tests, NAPLAN 
  • Review of key current national and state language and literacy documents, and their educational, political and economic backgrounds’ 

Master Class for primary specialisation in English and Literacy  

  • Deep understanding of the evidence base that shape approaches to reading, viewing and writing together with the ability to build opportunities for literacy learning across the curriculum and across primary year groups 
  • Deep understanding of the structure and nature of the English language and that language can change in relation to context. 
  • Comprehensive knowledge of strategies to meet the literacy needs of diverse learners in classrooms which may include EAL/D learners, indigenous learners or students with special needs including aspects of differentiation.  
  • Comprehensive knowledge of assessment in English literacy and how it impacts on motivation and outcomes across the primary years. 
  • Deep knowledge of the efficacy of links between planning, teaching and assessing in English literacy with a strong knowledge of diagnosis and remediation in literacy across the primary years. Together with an emphasis on utilising assessment data in planning and teaching.   

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. 

EDLA689 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 EDLA689, the assessment focusses on pedagogies for developing language and literacy in the later years of primary. The three tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in using and developing of key literacies (Task 1), planning for teaching, learning and assessment (Task 2), and analysing assessment evidence for differentiating learning (Task 3).  

For pre-service teachers completing the master class, Task 3 will be replaced by the Master Class Task. They will be required to extend the analysis of assessment evidence and differentiation to consider a whole class of diverse learners. 


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 complete all relevant assessments and pass the final task in the unit. If a pre-service teacher is unsuccessful in other tasks it may be possible to demonstrate achievement of the relevant learning outcomes in the final task. For pre-service teachers completing the English and literacy specialisation the final task is the Master Class Task. For all other pre-service teachers the final task is Task 3.  

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return 

All relevant assessment items will be submitted electronically via the unit LEO site.  

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 

Infomercial; advertising a writing lesson and related assessment that incorporates critical literacy and visual literacy for a diverse class, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5  

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10 

Assessment Task 2 

Unit Plan (for Years 3-6); differentiated learning, teaching and assessment plan with strategies and resources for critical assessment, judgement-making and moderation of literacy attainment 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10 

Assessment Task 3* 

Case Study; assessment, diagnosis and learning recommendations for the literacy acquisition of a primary student 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10 

Master Class Task 

(for specialisation students only) 

Critical analysis of classroom literacy needs; collection and analysis of assessment data for a whole class with recommended differentiation plans for learners across the full range of backgrounds and needs  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO6 

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Required text(s) 

Tompkins, G., Campbell, R., Green, D., & Smith, C. (2014). Literacy for the 21st Century: A balanced approach (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

Recommended references 

Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2004). The literacy labyrinth (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education. 

Campbell, R., & Ryles, G. (2015). Teaching English grammar: A handbook for Australian teachers. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia. 

Cox, R. (Ed.) (2012). Primary English teaching: An introduction to language, literacy and learning. Moorabbin, Vic: Hawker Brownlow Education. 

Emmitt, M., Zbaracki, M., Komesaroff, L., & Pollock, J. (2010). Language and learning: An introduction for teaching (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

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

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2011). New literacies: Everyday practices and classroom learning. (3rd ed.). Maidenhead, Eng: Open University Press. 

Makin, L., Jones Diaz, C., & McLachlan, C. (2007). Literacies in childhood: Changing views, challenging practice (2nd ed.)Marrickville, NSW: MacLennan & Petty/Elsevier Australia. 

Marsh, J. (Ed.) (2005). Popular culture, new media and digital literacy in early childhood. London: Routledge Farmer. 

O’Neill, S., & Gish, A. (2008). Teaching English as a second language. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.  

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