Literature: understanding, appreciating, responding to, analysing and creating literature

The Literature strand aims to engage students in the study of literary texts of personal, cultural, social and aesthetic value. These texts include some that are recognised as having enduring social and artistic value and some that attract contemporary attention. Texts are chosen because they are judged to have potential for enriching the lives of students, expanding the scope of their experience, and because they represent effective and interesting features of form and style. Learning to appreciate literary texts and to create their own literary texts enriches students' understanding of human experiences and the capacity for language to deepen those experiences. It builds students' knowledge about how language can be used for aesthetic ends, to create particular emotional, intellectual or philosophical effects. Students interpret, appreciate, evaluate and create literary texts such as short stories, novels, poetry, prose, plays, film and multimodal texts, in spoken, print and digital/online forms. Texts recognised as having enduring artistic and cultural value are drawn from world and Australian literature. These include the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, texts from Asia, texts from Australia's immigrant cultures and texts of the students' choice.


Literature and context: Students learn how ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters that are expressed by authors in texts are drawn from and shaped by different historical, social and cultural contexts.

Responding to literature: Students learn to identify personal ideas, experiences and opinions about literary texts and discuss them with others. They learn how to recognise areas of agreement and difference, and how to develop and refine their interpretations through discussion and argument.

Examining literature: Students learn how to explain and analyse the ways in which stories, characters, settings and experiences are reflected in particular literary genres, and how to discuss the appeal of these genres. They learn how to compare and appraise the ways authors use language and literary techniques and devices to influence readers. They also learn to understand, interpret, discuss and evaluate how certain stylistic choices can create multiple layers of interpretation and effect.

Creating literature: Students learn how to use personal knowledge and literary texts as starting points to create imaginative writing in different forms and genres and for particular audiences. Using print, digital and online media, students develop skills that allow them to convey meaning, address significant issues and heighten engagement and impact.


There are many approaches to the study of literature. Each makes different assumptions about the purposes of literature study, the nature of literary texts and methods of analysis. The Australian Curriculum: English draws on a number of approaches and emphasises:

  • the different ways in which literature is significant in everyday life
  • close analysis of literary works and the key ideas and values on which they are based; for example, the detailed stylistic study of differing styles of literary work
  • comparisons of works of literature from different language, ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • historical study of the origins, authorship, readership and reception of texts
  • exploration of the relationships between historical, cultural and literary traditions.