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EDLA542 English and Literacy 1: Reading, Listening and Viewing (Birth - 12 Years)

Unit rationale, description and aim

A high level of literacy is one of the key factors contributing to young people’s success in education, training and the workplace. For pre-service teachers to effectively teach literacy to children, they are required to master literacy concepts and analyse language development. An informed understanding of the role of children’s literature is also an essential part of literacy education.

In this unit pre-service teachers will develop a deep understanding of children’s language development and different kinds of meanings that can be made in spoken, written and multimodal texts. Theoretical frameworks of language will be explored with an emphasis on sociocultural, semiotic, language and functional approaches to language. The unit is designed to develop and deepen pre-service teachers’ knowledge of language and children’s literature and how it is used to develop and enhance oral language development, lifelong literacy competency and enjoyment. The unit will also consider Indigenous literature, enabling pre-service teachers to acknowledge Indigenous Australians’ deep spiritual relationship with the land, and value and respect Indigenous cultures.

The aim of this unit is to provide pre-service teachers with the foundational content knowledge, understanding and skills for teaching English and literacy across all learning areas and assessment using a variety of resources, including children’s literature, and strategies which demonstrate the cultural richness and diversity of society.

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 - Apply knowledge of phonology, phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language to analyse and evaluate spoken and multimodal texts of young literacy learners (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2; ACECQA A8, B1, B2, B4, C2) 

LO2 - Analyse and assess students’ language development, with reference to theories; through application of knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and visual design by examining printed, written and multimodal texts to demonstrate how meaning is made in a variety of texts (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 4.5, 5.4; ACECQA A2, B2, B4, B9, C1)

LO3 - Evaluate an extensive range of children’s literature for varying purposes and contexts to select texts for children and adolescents to promote early and continued language and reading development (GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 2.1, 3.4; ACECQA A2, B1, B2, B4, C3) 

LO4 - Compare and analyse the contexts and strategies for responding to, thinking about and critiquing children’s and Indigenous literature through application of literacy, semiotic and language theories that inform an awareness of justice and equity issues (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.1; 2.4, 3.4; ACECQA B2, B4, C1, C4, D3, D5)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


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.

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

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

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

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.

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

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following knowledge:

A. Child development and care

A2. Language development

A8. Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B. Education and curriculum studies

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B4. Language and literacy

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2. Play based pedagogies

C3. Guiding behaviour / engaging young learners

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

D. Family and community contexts

D3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

D5. Culture, diversity and inclusion


Topics will include:


  • Language development and learning
  • The relationship between cultural and situational contexts and language use.
  • Imaginative, informative and persuasive texts.
  • Functions of language and expressions of meaning: grammar, vocabulary, phonology and visual design in a range of texts
  • Individual and sociocultural perspectives (e.g., gender, ethnicity, home language, ideology and context) and the influence on language and literacy development)
  • Critical approaches to reading children’s literature and the influence of purpose, audience, and mode in oral, written and multimodal texts


  • Linguistic analysis of grammatical, lexical, phonological and visual features in a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts
  • Application of phonology, phonemic awareness, phonics understanding to a range of texts
  • Analysis of the language of literature (e.g., metaphor, alliteration, simile, poetic devices, the lexico-grammar of literature)
  • Literary theories in relation to children’s literature (e.g., reader response, post-structuralist, post-modern, gender)
  • Characteristics of literary genres in children’s literature (e.g., folk and fairy, realism, fantasy, historical, multicultural and Indigenous; non-fiction, post-modern poetry and multi-modal digital genres)
  • Issues in children’s literature (e.g., bravery, coming of age, journey, exploration, social realism; social justice) 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategies in this unit include (1) lectures which may be delivered as online workshops to encourage active learning and high level of engagement, (2) tutorials to consolidate learning content and apply knowledge in problem-solving tasks and develop analytical and evaluating skills and (3) possible independent online learning tasks to work both autonomously and collaboratively. The learning and teaching strategy is based on a Constructivist approach in a sociocultural context.

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 in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students 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 learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, videos etc.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Lecture and tutorial materials will be uploaded on the Learning Management System. Lectures will also be recorded.

Face-to-face/Online Learning support

Students enrolled in both face to face and online learning modes are required to regularly log into the Learning Management System to access recorded lectures and important announcements, to communicate with other students and lecturers, and to submit assessments and access feedback and grades. Students who are enrolled in either face to face or online learning will have equal access to support from the lecturer in charge and tutors.

Additional equipment requirements for online learning:

  • Reliable broadband access is recommended.
  • Headset with microphone to listen to podcasts, view videos and interact in synchronous classes.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

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. This unit will focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of the Graduate Attributes and the APST: Graduate level.

Assessment task 1 focuses on the analysis of a learner’s oral language sample to identify phonology, phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language and evaluate their language development with reference to key theories. Assessment task 2 is a small group presentation and written report or multimodal text, on a chosen genre, to demonstrate the role of children’s literature in developing strategies for the enjoyment of reading, highlighting a social justice issue. Assessment task 3 requires pre-service teachers to analyse and evaluate a range of high quality printed, written and multimodal factual and imaginative texts and create a multimodal text to explain their purpose, context and how authors use language and visual design to make meaning to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship of words and pictures to support language development.

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.

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.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete ALL assessment tasks and achieve an overall Pass grade overall. A Pass grade is also required for Assessment Task 1 to meet Learning Outcomes 1 and 2 which are only assessed in this task. 

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment Tasks will be submitted, marked and returned electronically via the Learning Management System as appropriate within 3 weeks after the submission date.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Analysis of language development:

Select and analyse a learner’s oral language sample to identify phonology, phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language used and evaluate their language development with reference to key theories


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Understanding the role of Children’s Literature

Small group presentation and written report/brochure or creation of a multimodal text on a chosen genre to demonstrate an understanding of the role of children’s literature in selecting, developing strategies for and enjoyment of reading to enhance understanding of a social justice issue using picture books and young adult novels including Indigenous literature. PST’s select and justify a choice of at least 3 texts suitable for Upper Primary readers.


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3: Analysis of Texts

Analyse and evaluate a range of high quality printed, written and multimodal factual and imaginative texts (include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander text) and create a multimodal text to explain purpose, context and how authors use language and visual design to make meaning to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship of words and pictures that supports language development.


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

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

Recommended references

Callow, J. (2013). The shape of text to come: How image and text work. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

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

Emmitt, M., Zbaracki, M., Komesaroff, L., & Pollock. J. (2015). Language and learning: An introduction for teaching (6th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Fellowes, J., & Oakley G. (2020). Language, literacy and early childhood education (3rd ed). Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press

Flanagan, V. (2013). Similarity or difference: The problem of race in Australian picture books, Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Vol.51(2), pp.13-22.

Keifer, B., & Tyson, C. (2019). Charlotte Huck’s children’s literature: A brief guide (3rd ed. International student ed). New York NY: McGraw-Hill

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

McLeod, S., & McCormack, J. (2015). An introduction to speech, language and literacy. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Owens, R.E. (2020). Language development: An introduction (10th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education.

Serafini, F. (2014). Reading the visual: An introduction to teaching multimodal literacy. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. 

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