Literacy is a fundamental life skill. It is developed in multiple ways – through listening to, reading, viewing and creating language. First at home and then as part of their education, children learn to understand and use language effectively and confidently. This is essential for learning, communicating and participating in society.
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What are known as ‘texts’ are the various ways language is used – it can be written, spoken, visual, or a combination of these, and in print, digital or online forms. All of these forms show the diverse ways language is used to communicate in our world.
The Australian Curriculum literacy general capability involves 2 important parts:
- understanding texts through listening, reading and viewing, using skills and strategies to understand and interpret spoken, written, visual and digital texts
- creating texts in spoken, written and digital forms for different purposes and audiences.
Through the course of their primary and high school education, students develop literacy capability as they understand and interpret a wide range of texts, and create their own spoken, written, visual and digital texts. These processes involve students developing knowledge of text structures, grammar, vocabulary and spelling, and visual information.
A good example of how literacy is dynamic and critical across the curriculum is health and physical education, where reception-age students develop their word knowledge and use language to communicate effectively and interact positively with others as they work in groups or participate in team games.
Another example is year 6 science, where students develop word knowledge and an understanding of text structures to describe their observations during investigations. They need to learn how to effectively communicate their findings in a variety of ways.
In year 8 English, students learn to talk about and evaluate opinions and arguments about aspects of literary texts such as novels, films or magazine articles. They develop knowledge about text structure and grammar to state their opinions and points of view, and continue to expand their word knowledge to communicate more effectively.
Helping your child
At home, you can help your child develop literacy capability by:
- sharing a wide variety of age-appropriate texts with your child, including books, novels, websites, newspaper, films and television programs
- talking about favourite authors, directors and producers and why you like their work
- playing games to develop knowledge and enjoyment of learning new word.
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Email: decd.strategicdesign [at] sa.gov.au