Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians states that successful learners have essential skills in literacy and numeracy, are able to think deeply and logically, and are able to make sense of their world and solve problems in creative and innovative ways.

Key components of the unit include an understanding of how language works (processes and structure of language); how we use language for a range of purposes (literacy); and how these purposes affect people and ideas (critical literacy). Students will explore language and literacy practices from different contexts and will consider how text types change and blend across contexts, including languages used in their own communities and Standard Australian English (SAE). This will include how a range of text types are organised, and the language choices people make to achieve a range of purposes. Students will learn about the form and function of language, and the relationships between productive and receptive modes of language, including multimodal and hybrid text types. Students will focus on the study of texts in context, including the interdependent relationship between context (home, early learning centres and school), meaning, language choices and the age of the learner. This unit aims to develop in students a critical understanding of language as a social and cultural practice, and its practical uses in our world.

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 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding about the nature of English as a social and cultural practice, by engaging with a range of familiar and unfamiliar texts and considering how they act on people and ideas for a range of purposes (GA5)

LO2 - Demonstrate their understandings of how texts work to make meaning including the relationships between purpose, text types, field tenor and mode, by reviewing existing texts and selecting and organising new text for a range of purposes and contexts (GA5, GA6)

LO3 - Draw on their knowledge of the form and function of language to select language features and literacy practices to create text types for specific purposes that position audiences in particular ways (GA4)

LO4 - Demonstrate an awareness of how texts and language can be used as a system and a resource as they make meaning using a range of texts including early learning contexts (GA4, GA9)

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

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


Topics will include: 

  • The significance of language in the making and shaping of meaning 
  • A model of language  
  • Literacy and a social and cultural practice 
  • Form and function of language 
  • Field tenor and mode (register) 
  • Language as a system of choice 
  • Critical literacy 
  • The purposes of language (genre/ text types– including multimodel and hybrid) 
  • Grammar as a system of meaning making 
  • The study of texts in contexts (using language to communicate to stakeholders including parents/carers, early learning contexts ( and school)

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is delivered in away-from-base mode with intensive learning residential blocks twice a semester. A variety of learning and teaching approaches are sequenced and integrated to comprise a progressive and developmental learning and teaching strategy emphasising collaborative learning and cultural sensitivity. Students are encouraged to share experiences and challenges with each colleague students in order to develop a community of practice. The unit employs stimulating adult learning strategies to maximise student engagement and critical reflection. These include:  

  • Face to face learning – seminars, tutorials and workshops 
  • Collaborative learning 
  • Practical activities 
  • Self-directed study 
  • Required readings 
  • Multi-media sources and viewing 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit have been designed to contribute to high quality student learning by both helping students learn (assessment for learning), and by measuring explicit evidence of their learning (assessment of learning). Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment tasks provide multiple opportunities (presentation, problem solving and examination) in different ways (visual, verbal and written) for students to demonstrate: 

  • Knowledge of content  
  • Application of language and literacy in a range of contexts 
  • Development and use of appropriate language features

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Workbook Portfolio 

Portfolio demonstrating capacity in outlining nature and development of language. Students develop an illustrated file that presents and analyses a range of text types.


L01, LO2

GA4, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Group Presentation 

Present an overview of ways you can incorporate the notion of language as a social and cultural practice to communicate a key idea to parents and families in an early learning and care setting. Accompanying the presentation will be a one-page fact sheet that uses a model of language to identify your literacy practices and language choices


LO2, LO4

GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination 

Written examination demonstrating an understanding of learning outcomes and key content of the unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Grellier, J., & Goerke, V. (2018). Communications toolkit (4th ed). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia. 

Simpson, A., White, S., Freebody, P., & Comber, B. (2013). Language, literacy and literature. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

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