Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Given the foundational role of oral language in the development of literacy, teachers and allied professionals require specialist knowledge and skills to assess and diagnose students' oral language, to differentiate instruction and to implement effective interventions to meet students' receptive and expressive language learning needs.

This unit provides students with opportunities to develop advanced knowledge and skills, to develop an integrated framework, and to use this framework to analyse, monitor, plan and implement instruction to address students' advanced or delayed expressive and receptive oral language. The links between oral language and academic success in literacy and numeracy as well as the wider curriculum will also be explored thus contributing to the overall aims of the specialisation to promote data-driven oral-language intervention that meets the needs of individual students and improves the overall oral language skills of all students.

The aim of this unit is to support students in developing the required specialist knowledge, understanding and expert skills they need to address the oral language needs and differences of learners.

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 - Generate appropriate, inclusive intervention strategies and approaches to meet the needs of students who display diverse oral language abilities (GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 6.4, 7.1 (Highly Accomplished)) 

LO2 - Critically evaluate the oral language demands of learning, particularly in the domains of literacy and numeracy and demonstrate well-developed judgment in generating solutions to learning problems in terms of these influences (GA1, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 5.4, 6.4, 7.1 (Highly Accomplished)) 

LO3 - Apply advanced knowledge of oral language influences on learning within a “response to intervention” framework to critically analyse and resolve learning and teaching problems (GA6, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.6, 4.3, 5.4, 6.4 (Highly Accomplished)). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

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 

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, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

1.2      Understand how students learn

Expand understanding of how students learn using research and workplace knowledge

1.3      Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds

Support colleagues to develop effective teaching strategies that address the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.5      Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities

Evaluate learning and teaching programs, using student assessment data, that are differentiated for the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

1.6      Strategies to support full participation of students with disability

Work with colleagues to access specialist knowledge, and relevant policy and legislation, to develop teaching programs that support the participation and learning of students with disability.

2.3      Curriculum, assessment and reporting

Support colleagues to plan and implement learning and teaching programs using contemporary knowledge and understanding of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

2.5      Literacy and numeracy strategies

Support colleagues to implement effective teaching strategies to improve students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.

2.6       Information and communication technology (ICT)

Model high-level teaching knowledge and skills and work with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice and make content relevant and meaningful.

3.1      Establish challenging learning goals

Develop a culture of high expectations for all students by modelling and setting challenging learning goals

3.2      Plan, structure and sequence learning programs

Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate and modify learning and teaching programs to create productive learning environments that engage all students.

3.6      Evaluate and improve teaching programs

Work with colleagues to review current teaching and learning programs using student feedback, student assessment data, knowledge of curriculum and workplace practices.

4.1      Support student participation (Lead)

Demonstrate and lead by example the development of productive and inclusive learning environments across the school by reviewing inclusive strategies and exploring new approaches to engage and support all students.

4.3      Managing challenging behaviour

Develop and share with colleagues a flexible repertoire of behaviour management strategies using expert knowledge and workplace experience.

4.5      Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically

Model, and support colleagues to develop, strategies to promote the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.4      Interpret student data

Work with colleagues to use data from internal and external student assessments for evaluating learning and teaching, identifying interventions and modifying teaching practice.

6.4      Apply professional learning and improve student learning

Engage with colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher professional learning activities to address student learning needs.

7.1      Meet professional ethics and responsibilities

Maintain high ethical standards and support colleagues to interpret codes of ethics and exercise sound judgement in all school and community contexts


Topics will include: 

  • A framework for studying and describing children’s oral language derived from contemporary theories of knowledge acquisition and learning.    
  • Developmental trends in oral language acquisition and the implications of delayed acquisition. 
  • Assessment and diagnostic tools for identifying students’ oral language learning profiles.  
  • A pedagogic protocol for explicitly teaching listening (receptive) and speaking (expressive) language.
  • Planning and implementing classroom and individual interventions.   
  • The links between oral language knowledge and skills and academic success. This includes dialogic teaching that bridges from oral language to literacy and numeracy.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode and will be supported by a unit LEO (learning environment online) site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum. The unit will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning and assessment and incorporate: 

  • Online digital resources, including reference readings, online assessment and teaching materials, analysis of scenarios of oral language use. These will include ‘flipped learning’ opportunities and ‘group learning’ through webinars.  
  • Dialogic teaching and small group collaborative learning in group ‘face to face’ formats will be used to foster reflective practice following the personal analysis, evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature; 
  • Videotapes of students’ use of oral language will be used to display developmental trends in each aspect, to develop screening and diagnostic skills and skills in planning interventions; 
  • Online forum and chat tools will be used as appropriate to build a community of learners; 
  • Problem-based learning sessions will be used to develop assessment and differentiation of pedagogy skills and to analyse and apply learning to educational case studies for the purposes of assessment. 

This is a 20-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 300 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 your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, and assignments etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skill related to oral language learning, assessment and teaching.  

The total assessment will be equivalent to 11,000 words. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit or participate in all assessment tasks. 

The first task focuses on the analysis of a child’s oral language and the factors that influence oral language; the second task applies a framework and reports on intervention in a practical situation. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:  

Critical Analysis 

A critical evaluation and analysis of a child’s oral language development in relation to contemporary theories of oral language acquisition and sociocultural factors that influence oral language development, resulting in the generation of an initial individual report.  



GA1, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Assessment Task 2: 

Application and Report 

Application of an integrated framework or model of oral language to the learning needs of a child or a group of children with oral language difficulties. The report will critically analyse the year level oral language demands and generate appropriate, inclusive intervention strategies and approaches to meet the needs of the student(s) within a ‘response to intervention’ framework. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Alexander, R. (2008). Essays on pedagogy. London, England: Routledge.

Arciuli, J., & Brock, J. (2014). Communication in autism. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins. 

Arfé, B., Dockrell, J., & Berninger, V. (Eds.). (2014). Writing development in children with hearing loss, dyslexia, or oral language problems: Implications for assessment and instruction. London: Oxford University Press.  

Barone, D. M., & Mallette, M. H. (Eds.). (2013). Best practices in early literacy instruction. New York: Guilford.  

Edwards-Groves, C. & Davidson, C. (2017). Becoming a meaning maker: Talk and interaction in the dialogic classroom. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teachers Association Australia.

Farrall, M. (2012). Reading assessment: Linking language, literacy and cognition (pp. 27-46). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons. (Chapter 3: Oral language)  

Gibbons, P. (2015). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching English language learners in the mainstream classroom (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 

Jones, P (2010). Teaching, learning and talking: Mapping “the trail of fire” English Teaching: Practice and Critique, pp. 61-80

Kamhi, A. G., & Catts, H. W. (2014). Language and reading disabilities (3rd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.

Lalioti, M., Konstantinopoulou, P., & Stavrakaki, S. (2013). Advances in language acquisition. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars. 

Martin, D., & Miller, C. (2012). Speech and language difficulties in the classroom (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis.  

Matthews, D. (Ed.) (2014). Pragmatic development in first language acquisition. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins. 

Shohamy, E., Or, I. G., & May, S. (Eds). (2017). Language testing and assessment (Encyclopedia of Language and Education) (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer International.  

Thomas, A., & Thomas, D. (2021). Teaching and learning primary English, Oxford University Press

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