Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Since effective literacy skills are essential for academic achievement, it is critical that teachers and allied professionals possess specialist knowledge and skills to identify language and literacy learning difficulties, adjust instruction, and implement effective literacy interventions.

In this unit within the Language and Literacy specialisation, students will have opportunities to develop advanced knowledge and skills in relation to literacy learning in primary school and to generate instructional solutions that account for the multidimensional causes of literacy underachievement and literacy-related learning disabilities. In analysing students’ literacy needs and designing appropriate adjustments, scaffolding strategies, and interventions, teachers will generate plans that are consistent with the overall aims of the specialisation, namely, to promote data-driven literacy intervention that meet the literacy needs of individual students and improve the overall literacy performance of all students.

The aim of this unit is to support students in developing the required specialist knowledge, understanding, and skills they need to address the literacy 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 - Analyse a literacy text comprehension model that synthesises contemporary theories of literacy learning, compare it with other theories of text comprehension, and convey a deep understanding of the utility of the respective models. (GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2 (HA &/or Lead))  

LO2 - Explain development, individual differences, underachievement, and learning difficulties/disabilities to generate individual student learning profiles (GA1, GA5, GA9; APST 1.2 (HA &/or Lead))  

LO3 - Evaluate protocols and procedures for: assessing literacy and for diagnosing underachievement in literacy; problem-solving reading comprehension difficulties; and communicating students’ literacy learning profiles to students, their parents, and teachers (GA1, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 5.4, 6.4, 7.1 (HA &/or Lead))  

LO4 - Describe a literacy intervention framework that derives from the literacy learning model, compare it with the frameworks that underpin other literacy interventions, and analyse and evaluate these interventions. (GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 6.4, 7.1 (HA &/or Lead)).  

LO5 - Apply a problem-solving approach to implementing literacy intervention that includes using the developmental pathway for each aspect of the model to plan teaching and to map students’ literacy learning profiles into personalised differentiated interventions and to report these to students and their parents and teachers. (GA1, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 5.4, 6.4, 7.1 (HA &/or Lead)).  

LO6 - Use the literacy teaching framework to differentiate literacy teaching within a “response to intervention” paradigm (GA4, 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 (HA &/or Lead)).   

Graduate attributes

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

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 

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 (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

Expand understanding of how students learn using research and workplace knowledge. (HA)

Lead processes to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programs using research and workplace knowledge about how students learn. (Lead)

1.3  Know students and how they learn (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Evaluate and revise school learning and teaching programs, using expert and community knowledge and experience, to meet the needs of students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. (Lead)

1.5  Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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. (HA)

Lead colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and teaching programs differentiated for the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities (Lead)

1.6  Strategies to support full participation of students with disability (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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. (HA)

Initiate and lead the review of school policies to support the engagement and full participation of students with disability and ensure compliance with legislative and/or system policies. (Lead)

2.3  Curriculum, assessment and reporting (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Lead colleagues to develop learning and teaching programs using comprehensive knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements. (Lead)

2.5  Literacy and numeracy strategies (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Monitor and evaluate the implementation of teaching strategies within the school to improve students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy using research-based knowledge and student data. (Lead)

2.6  Information and communication technology Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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. (HA)

Lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all students (Lead)

3.1   Establish challenging learning goals (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Demonstrate exemplary practice and high expectations and lead colleagues to encourage students to pursue challenging goals in all aspects of their education. (Lead)

3.2  Plan, structure and sequence learning programs (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Exhibit exemplary practice and lead colleagues to plan, implement and review the effectiveness of their learning and teaching programs to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills. (Lead)

3.6  Evaluate and improve teaching programs (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Conduct regular reviews of teaching and learning programs using multiple sources of evidence including: student assessment data, curriculum documents, teaching practices and feedback from parents/carers, students and colleagues. (Lead)

4.1  Support student participation (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

Model effective practice and support colleagues to implement inclusive strategies that engage and support all students. (HA)

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. (Lead)

4.3  Managing challenging behaviour (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Lead and implement behaviour management initiatives to assist colleagues to broaden their range of strategies. (Lead)

4.5  Use ICT safely responsibly and ethically (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Review or implement new policies and strategies to ensure the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching. (Lead)

5.4  Interpret student data (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Co-ordinate student performance and program evaluation using internal and external student assessment data to improve teaching practice. (Lead)

6.4  Apply professional learning and improve student learning (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning. (Lead)

7.1  Meet professional ethics and responsibilities (Highly Accomplished and/or Lead)

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

Model exemplary ethical behaviour and exercise informed judgements in all professional dealings with students, colleagues and the community. (Lead)


Topics will include: 

  • How readers and writers build a mental model of a text and the endogenous (cognitive, metacognitive, verbal, identity, motivational) and exogenous (environmental-cultural, societal and teaching) factors that influence model-making. The factors are synthesised into an explanatory model of text comprehension. 
  • Developmental and environmental-cultural influences on literacy acquisition processes.  
  • Explaining the causes of reading underachievement in terms of these influences (factors and processes) and their implications for describing literacy learning profiles for diagnosis and intervention; 
  • Research relating to effective literacy intervention, including earlier meta-analyses of literacy interventions as well as literature related to the Simple View of Reading, the National Reading Panel in the US, and the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Reading in Australia. 
  • A literacy teaching framework that derives from this research and its implications for differentiating regular literacy pedagogy. 
  • Teaching implications of the model including the three-phase comprehending process and pedagogy for each phase: word reading, phonological, phonemic, phonic and orthographic aspects; teaching comprehending of sentences, vocabulary, paragraphs and topics; teaching comprehension; teaching the metacognitive and self-efficacy aspects; teaching for identity and positive self-efficacy as a reader; teaching the cultural and social aspects of literacy transactions. In addition, procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of each aspect of the teaching will be considered. 
  • Planning and implementing personalised literacy intervention programs. 
  • Procedures for embedding the literacy intervention in the classroom and school. 

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 literacy learning and intervention  

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. each worth 50% of the final grade for the unit. The first task is a critical analysis of an aspect of literacy learning; the second task applies a literacy intervention framework and reports on the application. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Critical Analysis 

A critical analysis of a selected aspect of literacy learning in relation to the literacy text comprehension model and a consideration of implications for assessment and identification of literacy learning difficulties.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2:  

Application and Report 

Application of the literacy intervention framework to a second selected aspect of literacy learning (LO4). The report will review research re. teaching the aspect to students who have reading difficulties, and adopt a problem-solving approach to planning a relevant intervention within a ‘response to intervention’ framework.  


LO4, LO5, LO6 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10  

Representative texts and references

Armstrong, D., & Squires, G. (2015). Key perspectives on dyslexia: An essential text for educators. London: Routledge

Clarke, P. J., Truelove, E., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. J. (2013). Developing reading comprehension. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Cockrum, W. A. (2013). Locating and correcting reading difficulties. Boston, MA: Pearson. 

Doherty Stahl, K. A., & McKenna, M. C. (2012). Reading assessment in an RTI framework. New York, NY: Guilford. 

Dunson, W. E. (2013). School success for kids with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.  

Elliott, J. G., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2014). The dyslexia debate. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 

Ellis, A. W. (2014). Reading, writing and dyslexia: A cognitive analysis. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis. 

Farrell, M. (2013). The effective teacher's guide to dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis. 

Gambrell, L.B., & Morrow, L.M. (2019). Best practices in literacy instruction (6th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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

McKenna, M. C., & Stahl, K. A. D. (2015). Assessment for reading instruction (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.  

Taylor, B.M., & Duke, N.K. (2014). Handbook of effective literacy instruction: Research-based practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press

 Thomas, A., and Thomas, D. (2021). Teaching and Learning Primary English, Oxford University Press.

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