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EDEN100 Foundations of Literacy


EDLA241 Literacy Education 1: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment , EDLA264 Literacy Education 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Being literate and proficient in reading, writing, viewing, listening and speaking is a fundamental requirement for full participation in society. The crucial role of Primary and Early Childhood teachers is to equip children to be able to apply literacy knowledge to a wide range of situations and texts.  

This unit will examine recent theory, research and concepts that are foundational to literacy learning and teaching in the early years (Birth to Year 2). With a focus on the emergent and early literacy development of children in the early years (Birth to Year 2), the teaching of reading and writing and how children learn to read and write will be developed using a balanced literacy approach. A range of evidence based pedagogical approaches which include phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency through the use of authentic texts will be applied to both early childhood and primary contexts. This unit includes an explicit focus on the three strands of the Australian Curriculum: English: Language, Literature and Literacy, as well as reference to the Early Years Learning Framework. Literacy teaching and assessment practices will be based on current literacy research with a focus on supporting the literacy learning process for diverse learners and will draw on the discipline knowledge developed in the previous units. Underpinning the learning in the unit is a fundamental concern for justice and equity, and the dignity of all human beings based on literacy as a socio-cultural concept and one in which all young Australians can become successful learners.  

The aim of this unit is to ensure pre-service teachers take a balanced literacy approach to teaching literacy which includes the ability to motivate, develop and extend children’s responses to imaginative, informative and persuasive texts of oral, written and multimodal media, and ensure teachers can introduce higher-order thinking strategies through critical and analytical tasks appropriate for children in the pre-school and 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 - describe various theoretical models and approaches to literacy and language learning with particular application to the early years and the interdependence of talking, listening, reading, writing and viewing to inform understanding of current issues and debates (i.e. the teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness) (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.1; ACECQA A2, B2, B4, C4, E2)

LO2 - apply knowledge of the importance of oral language development and how it is used to enhance expressive and receptive language skills (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.1; ACECQA A2) 

LO3 - apply and analyse effective pedagogy for children with linguistic and cultural differences, trauma backgrounds and literacy difficulties to differentiate teaching practices and resources to effectively support diverse learners’ literacy attainment (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.3; ACECQA A2, A5, A6, B1, B2, C4, C5, C6) 

LO4 - identify and apply a range of multimodal texts for their suitability in the teaching of literacy using a proven literacy teaching model such as the Gradual Release of Responsibility model for students in the early years of schooling l (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1; ACECQA A2, C4)

LO5 - apply content, pedagogical and assessment knowledge to plan, teach and assess literacy skills to K-2 students incorporating ICT (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.1, 4.5, 5.1, 5.3, 7.4; ACECQA B2, B4, C4). 

Graduate attributes

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.

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.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

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.

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

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

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

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

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.

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

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


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

A Child development and care 

A2 language development 

A5 early intervention 

A6 diversity, difference and inclusivity 

B Education and curriculum studies 

B1 Early Years Learning Framework 

B2 the Australian curriculum 

B4 language and literacy 

C Teaching pedagogies 

C4 teaching methods and strategies 

C5 children with diverse needs and backgrounds 

C6 working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English 

E History and philosophy of early childhood 

E2 contemporary theories and practice 


Topics will include: 

Module 1: Subject content knowledge: Knowledge about the curriculum 

The K-2 English curriculum: Language, Literature and Literacy strands. 

Understanding language: components of language (semantics, syntactics, pragmatics and grapho-phonics), oral language demands in the K-2 English curriculum and the role of early and emergent oral language in literacy learning.  

Understanding and applying Literature: Investigate a range of text types and multimodal texts to understand and apply literacy using a wide range of age appropriate literature 

Understanding Literacy: The theories and processes of early and emergent reading and writing development, spelling, handwriting, listening, speaking and the implications for practice 

Module 2: Content and Pedagogical knowledge and skills for teaching and assessment of Reading/Listening/Viewing (Receptive skills): 

Understanding reading: The Reading process (before, during, after); Four cueing systems (semantics, syntactics, pragmatics and grapho-phonics); Four roles of the reader (Code-breaker, Meaning Maker, Text participant, Text Analyst); Three levels of comprehension. 

Understanding how children learn to read: children’s reading behaviours and development. 

The Reading/Viewing demands in the K-2 curriculum. 


The Gradual Release of Responsibility model in teaching reading: Modelled, Shared, Guided and Independent Reading. 

Teaching Code-breaking (Phonics and Phonemic Awareness), Reading Fluency and Comprehension: critical literacy strategies and critical activities. 

Planning an activity sequence: Modelled-Guided-Independent activities 


Formative and summative Reading/Viewing assessment: Miscue analysis and running records, and effective authentic Reading/Viewing assessment activities, International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA). 

Module 3: Content and Pedagogical knowledge and skills for teaching and assessment of Writing/Creating/Speaking (Expressive skills): 

Understanding written texts: grammatical differences between speech and writing and genres in the early years 

Understanding how children learn to write: Children’s writing development 

The Writing/Creating demands in the K-2 curriculum. 


The mentor text approach to teaching writing: The Teaching and Learning Cycle  

Teaching, modelling and text deconstruction of text types to teach grammar, spelling, punctuation, handwriting and key-boarding 

Assessment and reporting:  

Types of assessment  

Assessment tools in the Early Years  

Reporting tools for the Early Years 

Professional Knowledge and Skills throughout the three modules: 

Understanding and using the National Literacy Learning Progressions and relevant national or state curricula for teaching, assessing and reporting.  

Professional associations to support the teaching of English such as the Australian Literacy Educator’s Association (ALEA); Primary English Teaching Association Australian (PETAA); Reading Australia; International Literacy Association (ILA) 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning in this unit is based on a Social Constructivist approach (Vygotsky, 1978), which emphasises the critical importance of the cultural and social aspects of learning. Learning will be scaffolded through both explicit instruction and opportunities to engage in a range of interpersonal activities in workshops, lectures and tutorials to enable students to learn from and with each other as active co-constructors meaning, skills and understanding. This approach is highly effective for the teaching of literacy in the early years and Primary classroom. Learning will be supported by online activities and a range of current research delivered in the form of reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts and other multimedia options.  

Technology Enhanced Learning   

Technology will be used to enhance teaching and learning, as well as in assessment, as a means of communication, production and feedback. Students will be required to create digital artefacts and interact with the unit’s LEO site, online resources and technology requirements.   

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 unit focuses 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.  

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 to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, complete weekly readings and activities. Assessment in EDEN200 includes a Critical Task: Assessment Task 3 Sequential Lesson Plan Development. This task is core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards. In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative standard listed in the learning outcomes and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 3. Learning Outcome 3 (apply and analyse effective pedagogy for children with linguistic and cultural differences, trauma backgrounds and literacy difficulties to differentiate teaching practices and resources to effectively support diverse learner’s literacy attainment) are only assessed in Assessment Task 2. A pass in these components of the assessment is an additional requirement for passing the unit overall.  

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return 

Assessment Tasks will be submitted, marked and returned electronically via LEO as appropriate and in accordance with the ACU assessment policy. This unit uses Turnitin as a text matching tool. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 Report 

Pre-service teachers investigate the importance of oral language development, including vocabulary and listening, as a foundation to enhance expressive and receptive skills to demonstrate the physical, social and intellectual development of literacy learning.  

Explain why oral language is a foundation for successful literacy learning.  

Select and critique 3 evidence-based strategies using suitable literature such as: 

Socio-dramatic play and play based learning 

Open ended questioning 

Vocabulary development


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2 Case Study 

Preservice teachers analyse the literacy needs of a case study child with English as a second language or dialect in Kindergarten, year 1 or year 2 and design 3 teaching and learning activities and assessments to meet the specific needs of the case study child. 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3 Sequential Lesson Plan Development 

Critical Task 

Preservice teachers explain, create and apply understanding of the Gradual Release of Responsibility model or similar for teaching 2 reading and 2 writing lessons that are sequential in the early years through the use of quality literature based on the Australian Curriculum or relevant state-based curriculum document.  


LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Assessment Task 3 Extended task description 


This assignment requires pre-service teachers to implement their knowledge and understanding of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model or similar model of literacy instruction. Pre- service teachers will use quality children’s literature as the resource in their planning of a sequence of four lessons, 2 Reading and 2 Writing. The focus class will be Foundation or years 1 and 2. These lesson plans will be based on The Australian Curriculum English.  

Format:  4 x ACU lesson plans 

Due Date:  

Weighting: 40% 

Length: 2000 words (equivalent) Lesson plans should not exceed 3 pages each 

Purpose:  To provide Pre-service teachers with the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice and appropriate children’s literature, to draw on critical reflections from PEP, critical analysis of research, theories and topics covered in this unit and apply them a sequence of lessons to teach early literacy. 

Learning Outcomes: 4, 5 

How to submit:Electronically on LEO 

Return of assignment:Electronically via LEO 

Assessment criteria: 

Identify and justify quality literature (multi-modal texts) for suitability in the teaching of reading and writing using a proven literacy teaching model such as the Gradual Release of Responsibility model for students in the early years of schooling  

Evidence of understanding of the components of a literacy block in relation to the GRR or similar using the ACU lesson plan template 

Lesson plans demonstrate content, pedagogy and assessment in an effective learning and teaching sequence in reading and writing with reference to the Australian Curriculum English for one early year’s grade level that incorporates the safe and ethical use of ICT.   

Lesson sequence demonstrates accumulative knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies. 

Appropriate use of academic language: punctuation, tense, grammar, spelling and accurate APA referencing. 

Representative texts and references

Required text(s) 

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

The Australian Curriculum: English 

National Literacy Learning Progressions: 


Recommended references 

Blevins, W. (2016). A fresh look at phonics, Grades K-2: Common causes of failure and 7 ingredients for success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Literacy:  

Derewianka, B. (2020). Exploring how texts work (2nd ed.). Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association (Australia) (PETAA). 

Frey, N., & Fisher. D. (2012) Rigorous reading: 5 Access points for comprehending complex texts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Literacy.  

Cox, R., Feez, S., & Beveridge, L. (2019). The alphabetic principle and beyond: Surveying the landscape. Newtown, NSW:  Primary English Teaching Association (Australia) (PETAA). 

Exley,B., & Kervin, L. (2013). Playing with grammar in the early years: Learning about language in the Australian curriculum English. Norwood, SA: Australian Literacy Educators Association. 

Seely Flint, A., Kitson, L., Lowe.K., Shaw. K., Vicars, M., Feez, S., & Humphrey, S. (2020). Literacy in Australia: Pedagogies for engagement (3rd ed.). Milton, Qld: Wiley. 

Tomkins, G., Smith, C., Campbell, R., & Green, D. (2019). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (3rd ed.). Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press 

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

Woods, A., & Exley, B. (2020). Literacies in early childhood: Foundations for equity and quality. Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

Reading Australia 

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