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EDLL512 Primary English 1 AND LNTE110 Literacy and Numeracy Diagnostic


EDLA689 Primary English Education 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

Knowledge and skills related to literacy, language and literature are paramount to the success of students across disciplinary areas, and thus teachers must be equipped with both content and pedagogical knowledge to cater to each individual student as they progress in primary English beyond foundation-grade 2.  This unit will extend pre-service teacher knowledge and understanding of English language, building upon learning outcomes established in Primary English 1, with an emphasis on literacy and literature for teaching, pedagogy and assessment as applied in the Upper Primary (in particular grades 3-6) classroom and based on Australian Curriculum English. Pre-service teachers are required to scaffold children’s learning of more complex levels of reading and writing processes, cater for diversity and support students to become effective, analytical and critical readers and writers. 

The focus of this unit is on research-based application to scaffold children’s learning and teacher assessment of both Receptive (reading, listening and viewing) and Productive (writing, creating, speaking) modes using increasingly more complex Imaginative, Informative and Persuasive texts and a variety of media (e.g. written, oral, and multimodal). Preservice teachers will also learn how to teach, plan, monitor, assess and integrate children’s composition and comprehension skills across a range of curriculum areas in years 3-6 whilst catering for diverse learning needs. Learning in this unit will require critical evaluation of a range of approaches to teaching literacy and assessment based on theories of children’s literacy development within the sociocultural approach. The unit facilitates critical analysis, reflection, and synthesis of knowledge and skills to scaffold primary students’ learning using the Australian Curriculum and state-based documents with comparison to international trends. Understanding of assessment issues, purposes, characteristics, and limitations is developed. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, multilingual and other learner diversities will be key to the application of literacy theory as a social justice issue.

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 - Integrate knowledge of current theoretical and pedagogical literacy issues focused on upper primary (grades 3-6), together with state and national curriculum and policies around the sociocultural nature of language and language learning (GA4, GA5; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5)

LO2 - Reflect on and synthesise theories of learning to read and write in the light of students’ language and literacy development in the upper primary grades of 3-6, with particular emphasis on students’ spoken language and their ability to use literacy to construct, design and produce written and multimodal texts, including the use of ICT (GA4, GA5, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.6, 4.5) 

LO3 - Critically evaluate and interpret a range of pedagogical approaches including strategies for working with parents/carers for teaching reading, writing, viewing, speaking and listening for diverse learners, including Gifted, EAL/D and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and learners with special needs and to apply the best suited pedagogies for these students and to integrate this knowledge into their teaching practice (GA5, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.7) 

LO4 - Interpret and transmit their knowledge through the ethical use of ICT and other resources to set goals to engage students in their learning in planning, implementing and evaluating literacy strategies, tasks, units and programs with special focus on catering for groups of students with specific learning needs and/or from diverse language backgrounds (GA6; APST 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5)

LO5 - Research and apply an understanding of the varying approaches to assessment and data analysis of spoken language, reading and writing in order to evaluate their related advantages and limitations for moderation and support of consistent and comparable judgements of students’ learning and modification of teaching practice (GA6; APST 5.1, 5.3, 5.4).

LO6 - Understand global and national trends in literacy education and their theoretical underpinnings in relation to literacy as a social justice issue (GA6, GA8; APST 2.1, 3.4, 3.6, 4.1, 7.4)

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

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

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.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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.

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

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

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

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

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

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

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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.

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

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


Topics will include:

  • Review of theories of the processes of reading and writing development and the ways in which these theories shape and construct literacy programs (e.g., sociocultural, functional, cognitive) in the later years of primary schooling
  • Theories of first and second language acquisition and development, including the role of culture and society in language development, the nature of bilingualism and language variation.
  • Current and emerging research about literary, factual, media and multimodal texts, including those appropriate for students with specific learning needs and from diverse language backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and EAL/D learners
  • Literary Literacies: Digital, Cultural, Narrative, Critical and Deep Literacies: The future and the use of ICT to underpin competence in literacy
  • Pedagogies for teaching Reading/Viewing of multimodal printed and digital texts.
  • Pedagogies for teaching Writing/Composing of multimodal printed and digital texts.
  • Researching pedagogies and justifying appropriate strategies for supporting diverse learners to become effective, analytical and critical writers and readers of a variety of text types and modalities for different purposes
  • Assessment-related issues and the purposes, characteristics, and limitations of various types of assessments (diagnostic, formative and summative). eg running records, standardised tests, NAPLAN, Literacy Learning Progressions
  • Analysis of school data (individual, school, system) to make informed decisions about student literacy needs
  • Strategies to differentiate literacy instructions for diverse learners (for example: linguistic and /or religious; Gifted and Talented; Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander and Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • Strategies for working with parents/carers especially with students requiring additional support
  • Understanding the use of state and national curriculum requirements in planning literacy programs
  • Development of units of work/teaching plans to support the management and implementation of literacy learning in the primary classroom eg the literacy block, individual and group work
  • Effective methods of planning and sequencing activities and strategies that are intended to promote literacy and learning, monitoring and assessment across the curriculum
  • Review of key current international, national and state language and literacy documents, and their educational, political and economic backgrounds  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning in this unit is based on a Social Constructivist approach 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 of meaning, skills and understanding. This approach is highly effective for the teaching of literacy in the upper Primary classroom and Middle Years. 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. As part of an employment-based course, this unit has been developed to leverage the emphasis the course places on extended professional experience and responsibility for teaching as a foundational element, such that pre-service teachers’ learning is continuously based on and applicable to their ongoing experience as classroom teachers.

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. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teachers can progressively achieve the Course Learning Outcomes and the Professional Standards and is consistent with University assessment requirements (

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 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.

In this unit Assessment Task 1 focusses on preservice teachers’ ability to apply linguistic subject knowledge, types of texts as well as effective pedagogy, curriculum and assessment practices gained in the first, second and current unit relevant to Years 3-6 English and other curriculum areas.

Assessment task 2 assesses preservice teachers’ skills to create an integrated unit of work across a range of curriculum areas and to differentiate for diverse learners.

Assessment task 3 enables students to research and design a workshop for teachers on a contemporary critical issue pertaining to one aspect of literacy instruction and assessment through the comparison of Australian methods and one international jurisdiction with a view to social justice.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Portfolio

Select a group of students from one of the following groups in Years 3-6:

  • EAL/D or ESL
  • Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Gifted and talented

Compose a portfolio of imaginative, informative and persuasive monomodal and multimodal texts and critically analyse and evaluate them for their suitability to be used for modelling and assessing Reading or Writing/Composing based on an effective theory of literacy instruction for example: The four roles of the reader. Include and justify, based on research, activities for parents to employ to support the group of students you have chosen.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Unit of work

Create a unit of work (at least 5 weeks) to teach reading/viewing and writing/composing which also caters for diverse learners (linguistic, Gifted and Talented; Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander and ASD) across a range of curriculum areas (for example English, HASS, Science). The use of effective assessment approaches (diagnostic, formative and summative) should be incorporated to focus teaching along with the use of ICT to expand learning opportunities for students. Exploring professional associations to support the development of the unit of work is recommended.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10

Assessment task 3: Design a workshop

Identify a contemporary critical issue pertaining to ONE aspect of literacy instruction and assessment (e.g. synthetic phonics, spelling, multiliteracies, digital technologies, critical literacies, comprehension OR other contemporary critical issue) informed by the literature. Review the literature and design a workshop for professional learning based on best practice to improve literacy teacher practice and student learning in your area of choice. Include:

An explanation of the issue and why it is a critical issue in literacy education that includes:

  • Controversies associated with the issue
  • Comparison between Australia and one other developed country in terms of implementation
  • Best practice strategies for differentiating teaching and learning to meet the needs of students across the full range of abilities relating to the issue of choice
  • Best practices in assessment, data collection and analysis relating to the issue of choice
  • Professional associations and resources that support and advocate for professional development in literacy education.

Workshop is 30min.

Audience is teachers

Format: Interactive multimedia presentation with an annotated reference list of the literature reviewed.


LO5, LO6

GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

De Silva Joyce, H., & Feez, S. (2016). Exploring literacies: Theory, research and practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 304-311.

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Hattie, J. (2016). Visible learning for literacy, grades K-12: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Corwin Press.

Harrison, N. 2015. Teaching and learning in Aboriginal education (3rd ed.). Sydney, NSW: Oxford University Press.

Henderson, R. (2018). (Ed). Teaching literacies Pedagogies and diversity (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Hertzberg, M. (2012). Teaching English language learners in mainstream classes. Marrickville Metro, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Humphreys, S. (2017). Academic literacies in the middle years. New York, NY; Routledge.

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.

Zbraracki, M. (2015). Writing right with text types. Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University press.

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