The Literacy continuum incorporates two overarching processes:
- Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
- Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
with the following areas of knowledge applying to both processes:
- Text knowledge
- Grammar knowledge
- Word knowledge
- Visual knowledge.
These processes and areas of knowledge are used as the organising elements of the Literacy continuum. The elements are drawn from the Language and Literacy strands of the Western Australian Curriculum: English as shown in the table below:
|Literacy Continuum||Western Australian Curriculum: English|
|Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing||Expressing and developing ideas||Interpreting, analysing, evaluating|
|Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating||Language for interaction||
Interacting with others|
Text structure and organisation|
Concepts of print and screen
Interpreting, analysing, evaluating|
Expressing and developing ideas|
Language for interaction
|Word knowledge||Expressing and developing ideas|
|Visual knowledge||Expressing and developing ideas||
Interpreting, analysing, evaluating|
Texts in the Literacy Continuum
A text is the means for communication. Texts can be written, spoken, visual or multimodal, and in print or digital/online forms. Multimodal texts combine language with other systems for communicating such as visual images, soundtracks and spoken word, as in film or computer presentation media. Texts include all forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), for example gesture, signing, real objects, photographs, pictographs and Braille. The forms and conventions of texts have developed to help us communicate effectively with a variety of audiences for a range of purposes, and so texts in different learning areas can and do use language and other features in different ways.
Where the term 'texts' is used in the Literacy continuum, this should be read as the type of texts particular to or characteristic of a learning area; for example, reports, data displays and procedures in Mathematics; models, diagrams, explanations and reports in Science; and narratives, descriptions, discussions and explanations in Humanities and Social Sciences.
The diagram below sets out these elements.
This element is about receptive language and involves students using skills and strategies to access and interpret spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts. It involves students navigating, reading and viewing texts using applied topic knowledge, vocabulary, word and visual knowledge. It involves students listening and responding to spoken audio and multimodal texts, including listening for information, listening to carry out tasks and listening as part of participating in classroom activities and discussions. It also involves students using a range of strategies to comprehend, interpret and analyse these texts, including retrieving and organising literal information, making and supporting inferences and evaluating information points of view. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- listen and respond to learning area texts
- read and view learning area texts
- interpret and analyse learning area texts.
The element of Comprehending texts can apply to students at any point in their schooling. The beginning of the learning sequence for this element has been extended by an additional four levels (Levels 1a to 1d) to describe in particular the early development of communication skills. The descriptions for Comprehending texts at these levels apply across the elements of Text knowledge, Grammar knowledge, Word knowledge and Visual knowledge.
This element is about expressive language and involves students composing different types of texts for a range of purposes as an integral part of learning in all curriculum areas. These texts include spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts that explore, communicate and analyse information, ideas and issues in the learning areas. The element involves students creating formal and informal texts as part of classroom learning experiences including group and class discussions, talk that explores and investigates learning area topics, and formal and informal presentations and debates. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
- use language to interact with others
- deliver presentations.
The element of Composing texts can apply to students at any point in their schooling. The beginning of the learning sequence for this element has been extended by an additional four levels (Levels 1a to 1d) to describe in particular the development of communication skills. The descriptions for Composing texts at these levels apply across the elements of Text knowledge, Grammar knowledge, Word knowledge and Visual knowledge.
This element involves students understanding how the spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts they compose and comprehend are structured to meet the range of purposes needed in the curriculum areas. It involves understanding the different types of text structures that are used within curriculum disciplines to present information, explain processes and relationships, argue and support points of view and investigate issues. The element also involves understanding how whole texts are made cohesive through various grammatical features that link and strengthen the text's internal structure. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- use knowledge of text structures
- use knowledge of text cohesion.
This element involves students understanding the role of grammatical features in the construction of meaning in the texts they compose and comprehend. It involves understanding how different types of sentence structures present, link and elaborate ideas, and how different types of words and word groups convey information and represent ideas in the learning areas. The element also includes understanding the grammatical features through which opinion, evaluation, point of view and bias are constructed in texts. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- use knowledge of sentence structures
- use knowledge of words and word groups
- express opinion and point of view.
This element involves students understanding the increasingly specialised vocabulary and spelling needed to compose and comprehend learning area texts. It includes the development of strategies and skills for acquiring a wide topic vocabulary in the learning areas and the capacity to spell the relevant words accurately. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- understand learning area vocabulary
- use spelling knowledge.
This element involves students understanding how visual information contributes to the meanings created in learning area texts. It includes interpreting still and moving images, graphs, tables, maps and other graphic representations, and understanding and evaluating how images and language work together in distinctive ways in different curriculum areas to present ideas and information in the texts they compose and comprehend. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
- understand how visual elements create meaning.