The key ideas for Literacy are organised into six interrelated elements in the learning continuum, as shown in the figure below.
Organising elements for Literacy
The Literacy continuum incorporates two overarching processes:
Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
This element is about receptive language and involves students using skills and strategies to access and interpret spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts.
Students navigate, read and view texts using applied topic knowledge, vocabulary, word and visual knowledge. They listen and respond 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. Students use a range of strategies to comprehend, interpret and analyse these texts, including retrieving and organising literal information, making and supporting inferences and evaluating information and points of view. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
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 four extra 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.
Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
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. Students create 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:
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 four extra 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.
The following areas of knowledge apply to both processes:
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 learning areas.
Students understand the different types of text structures that are used within learning areas to present information, explain processes and relationships, argue and support points of view and investigate issues. They develop understanding of 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:
This element involves students understanding the role of grammatical features in the construction of meaning in the texts they compose and comprehend.
Students understand 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. They gain understanding of the grammatical features through which opinion, evaluation, point of view and bias are constructed in texts. In developing and acting with literacy, students:
This element involves students understanding the increasingly specialised vocabulary and spelling needed to compose and comprehend learning area texts.
Students develop 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:
This element involves students understanding how visual information contributes to the meanings created in learning area texts.
Students interpret still and moving images, graphs, tables, maps and other graphic representations, and understand and evaluate 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:
Texts in the Literacy Continuum
Texts provide the means for communication. They can be written, spoken, visual, multimodal, and in print or digital/online forms. Multimodal texts combine language with other means of communication such as visual images, soundtrack or spoken words, 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, pictographs and braille. Texts provide important opportunities for learning about aspects of human experience and about aesthetic value. Many of the tasks that students undertake in and out of school involve understanding and producing imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, media texts, everyday texts and workplace texts.
The usefulness of distinctions among types of texts relates largely to how clearly at each year level these distinctions can guide the selection of materials for students to listen to, read, view, write and create, and the kinds of purposeful activities that can be organised around these materials. Although many types of texts will be easy to recognise on the basis of their subject matter, forms and structures, the distinctions between types of texts need not be sharp or formulaic. The act of creating texts, by its nature, involves experimentation and adaptation of language and textual elements from many different writing styles and categories of texts. As a result, It is not unusual for an imaginative text to have strong persuasive elements, or for a persuasive text to contain features more typically seen in informative texts, such as subheadings or bullet points.