Literacy: expanding the repertoire of English usage

The Literacy strand aims to develop students' ability to interpret and create texts with appropriateness, accuracy, confidence, fluency and efficacy for learning in and out of school, and for participating in Australian life more generally. Texts chosen include media texts, everyday texts and workplace texts from increasingly complex and unfamiliar settings, ranging from the everyday language of personal experience to more abstract, specialised and technical language, including the language of schooling and academic study. Students learn to adapt language to meet the demands of more general or more specialised purposes, audiences and contexts. They learn about the different ways in which knowledge and opinion are represented and developed in texts, and about how more or less abstraction and complexity can be shown through language and through multimodal representations. This means that print and digital contexts are included, and that listening, viewing, reading, speaking, writing and creating are all developed systematically and concurrently.


Texts in context: Students learn that texts from different cultures or historical periods may reveal different patterns in how they go about narrating, informing and persuading.

Interacting with others: Students learn how individuals and groups use language patterns to express ideas and key concepts to develop and defend arguments. They learn how to promote a point of view by designing, rehearsing and delivering spoken and written presentations and by appropriately selecting and sequencing linguistic and multimodal elements.

Interpreting, analysing, evaluating: Students learn to comprehend what they read and view by applying growing contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge. They develop more sophisticated processes for interpreting, analysing, evaluating and critiquing ideas, information and issues from a variety of sources. They explore the ways conventions and structures are used in written, digital, multimedia and cinematic texts to entertain, inform and persuade audiences, and they use their growing knowledge of textual features to explain how texts make an impact on different audiences.

Creating texts: Students apply knowledge they have developed in other strands and sub-strands to create with clarity, authority and novelty a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts that entertain, inform and persuade audiences. They do so by strategically selecting key aspects of a topic as well as language, visual and audio features. They learn how to edit for enhanced meaning and effect by refining ideas, reordering sentences, adding or substituting words for clarity, and removing repetition. They develop and consolidate a handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic, and that supports sustained writing. They learn to use a range of software programs including word processing software, selecting purposefully from a range of functions to communicate and create clear, effective, informative and innovative texts.


The Literacy strand takes account of approaches to literacy learning that are based on the development of skills, social and psychological growth, and critical and cultural analysis. These approaches hold that the technical, intellectual and cultural resources related to competence in literacy have developed to serve the big and small practical, everyday communication purposes associated with living and participating in societies such as contemporary Australia. These technical, intellectual and cultural resources include:

  • fluency in the sound–letter correspondences of English
  • an expanding reading, writing and speaking vocabulary and a grasp of grammatical and textual patterns sufficient to understand and learn from texts encountered in and out of school, and to create effective and innovative texts
  • fluency and innovation in reading, viewing and creating texts in different settings
  • the skill and disposition needed to analyse and understand the philosophical, moral, political and aesthetic bases on which many texts are built
  • an interest in expanding the range of materials listened to, viewed and read, and in experimenting with innovative ways of expressing increasingly subtle and complex ideas through texts.