English

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Rationale

The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them.

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Aims

The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose.

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Key ideas

Texts

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.

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Structure

Strands, sub-strands and threads
The Australian Curriculum: English Foundation to Year 10 is organised into three interrelated strands that support students' growing understanding and use of Standard Australian English (English). Each strand interacts with and enriches the other strands in creative and flexible ways, the fabric of the curriculum being strengthened by the threads within each sub-strand.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: English are available as PDF documents. 
English: Sequence of content
English: Sequence of achievement 

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Glossary

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Year 4

Year 4 Level Description

The English curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of language, literature and literacy. Teaching and learning programs should balance and integrate all three strands. Together, the strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Learning in English builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.

In Years 3 and 4, students experience learning in familiar contexts and a range of contexts that relate to study in other areas of the curriculum. They interact with peers and teachers from other classes and schools in a range of face-to-face and online/virtual environments.

Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment. They listen to, read, view and interpret spoken, written and multimodal texts in which the primary purpose is aesthetic, as well as texts designed to inform and persuade. These encompass traditional oral texts including Aboriginal stories, picture books, various types of print and digital texts, simple chapter books, rhyming verse, poetry, non-fiction, film, multimodal texts, dramatic performances and texts used by students as models for constructing their own work.

The range of literary texts for Foundation to Year 10 comprises Australian literature, including the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, as well as the contemporary literature of these two cultural groups, and classic and contemporary world literature, including texts from and about Asia.

Literary texts that support and extend students in Years 3 and 4 as independent readers describe complex sequences of events that extend over several pages and involve unusual happenings within a framework of familiar experiences. Informative texts include content of increasing complexity and technicality about topics of interest and topics being studied in other areas of the curriculum. These texts use complex language features, including varied sentence structures, some unfamiliar vocabulary, a significant number of high-frequency sight words and words that need to be decoded phonically, and a variety of punctuation conventions, as well as illustrations and diagrams that support and extend the printed text.

Students create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive types of texts including narratives, procedures, performances, reports, reviews, poetry and expositions.


Year 4 Content Descriptions

Language variation and change

Understand that Standard Australian English is one of many social dialects used in Australia, and that while it originated in England it has been influenced by many other languages (ACELA1487 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • identifying words used in Standard Australian English that are derived from other languages, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, and determining if the original meaning is reflected in English usage, for example example ‘kangaroo’, ‘tsunami’,’ typhoon’, ‘amok’, ‘orang–utan’
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying commonly used words derived from other cultures

Language for interaction

Understand that social interactions influence the way people engage with ideas and respond to others for example when exploring and clarifying the ideas of others, summarising their own views and reporting them to a larger group (ACELA1488 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • recognising that we can use language differently with our friends and families, but that Standard Australian English is typically used in written school texts and more formal contexts
  • recognising that language is adjusted in different contexts, for example in degree of formality when moving between group discussions and presenting a group report
  • understanding how age, status, expertise and familiarity influence the ways in which we interact with people and how these codes and conventions vary across cultures
  • recognising the importance of using inclusive language
Understand differences between the language of opinion and feeling and the language of factual reporting or recording (ACELA1489 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • identifying ways thinking verbs are used to express opinion, for example ‘I think’, ‘I believe’, and ways summary verbs are used to report findings, for example ‘we concluded’

Text structure and organisation

Understand how texts vary in complexity and technicality depending on the approach to the topic, the purpose and the intended audience (ACELA1490 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • becoming familiar with the typical stages and language features of such text types as: simple narrative, procedure, simple persuasion texts and information reports
Understand how texts are made cohesive through the use of linking devices including pronoun reference and text connectives (ACELA1491 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • knowing how authors construct texts that are cohesive and coherent through the use of: pronouns that link to something previously mentioned; determiners (for example ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’, ‘those’, ‘the’,); text connectives that create links between sentences (for example ‘however’, ‘therefore’, ‘nevertheless’, ‘in addition’, ‘by contrast’, ‘in summary’)
  • identifying how participants are tracked through a text by, for example, using pronouns to refer back to noun groups/phrases
  • describing how text connectives link sections of a text providing sequences through time, for example ‘firstly’, ‘then’, ‘next’, and ‘finally’
Recognise how quotation marks are used in texts to signal dialogue, titles and quoted (direct) speech (ACELA1492 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • exploring texts to identify the use of quotation marks
  • experimenting with the use of quotation marks in students’ own writing
Identify features of online texts that enhance readability including text, navigation, links, graphics and layout (ACELA1793 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • participating in online searches for information using navigation tools and discussing similarities and differences between print and digital information

Expressing and developing ideas

Understand that the meaning of sentences can be enriched through the use of noun groups/phrases and verb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases (ACELA1493 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • creating richer, more specific descriptions through the use of noun groups/phrases (for example, in narrative texts, ‘their very old Siamese cat’; in reports, 'its extremely high mountain ranges')
Investigate how quoted (direct) and reported (indirect) speech work in different types of text (ACELA1494 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • investigating examples of quoted (direct) speech (‘He said, “I’ll go to the park today”’) and reported (indirect) speech (‘He told me he was going to the park today’) and comparing similarities and differences
Understand how adverb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases work in different ways to provide circumstantial details about an activity (ACELA1495 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • investigating in texts how adverb group/phrases and prepositional phrases can provide details of the circumstances surrounding a happening or state (for example, ‘At midnight (time) he rose slowly (manner) from the chair (place) and went upstairs (place)’
Explore the effect of choices when framing an image, placement of elements in the image, and salience on composition of still and moving images in a range of types of texts (ACELA1496 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • examining visual and multimodal texts, building a vocabulary to describe visual elements and techniques such as framing, composition and visual point of view and beginning to understand how these choices impact on viewer response
Incorporate new vocabulary from a range of sources into students’ own texts including vocabulary encountered in research (ACELA1498 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • building etymological knowledge about word origins (for example 'thermometer') and building vocabulary from research about technical and subject specific topics

Phonics and word knowledge

Understand how to use knowledge of letter patterns including double letters, spelling generalisations, morphemic word families, common prefixes and suffixes and word origins to spell more complex words (ACELA1779 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • applying generalisations for adding affixes, for example ‘hope’ and ‘hoping’, ‘begin’ and ‘beginning’, ‘country’ and ‘countries’
  • building morphemic word families and exploring word origins, for example the prefix ‘nat’ means source, birth or tribe in ‘nature’, ‘natural’ and ‘native’
  • building morphemic word families and exploring word origins, for example ‘tricycle’, ‘triangle’ and ‘triple’
  • using knowledge of common prefixes and suffixes to spell words and explore their meaning, for example ‘friendly’, ‘calmly’ and ‘cleverly’ and ‘misfortune’
Read and write a large core of high frequency words including homophones and know how to use context to identify correct spelling (ACELA1780 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • using meaning and context to determine the spelling of homophones, for example ‘there’ and ‘their’; ‘no’ and ‘know’
Understand how to use phonic knowledge to read and write multisyllabic words with more complex letter combinations, including a variety of vowel sounds and known prefixes and suffixes (ACELA1828 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • using phonic generalisations to read and write multisyllabic words with more complex letter combinations, for example ‘straightaway’ and ‘thoughtful’
  • recognising unstressed vowels in multisyllabic words and how these vowel sounds are written, for example ‘builder’ and ‘animal’
  • using knowledge of sounds and visual patterns to read and write more complex letter combinations that have multiple representations in writing, for example ‘boy’ and ‘boil’, ‘howl’ and ‘foul’, ‘taught ’and ‘saw’

Literature and context

Make connections between the ways different authors may represent similar storylines, ideas and relationships (ACELT1602 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • commenting on how authors have established setting and period in different cultures and times and the relevance of characters, actions and beliefs to their own time
  • comparing different authors’ treatment of similar themes and text patterns, for example comparing fables and allegories from different cultures and quest novels by different authors

Responding to literature

Discuss literary experiences with others, sharing responses and expressing a point of view (ACELT1603 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • sharing and discussing students’ own and others’ understanding of the effects of particular literary techniques on their appreciation of texts
  • drawing comparisons between multiple texts and students’ own experiences. Commenting orally, in written form and in digital reviews on aspects such as: 'Do I recognise this in my own world?'; 'How is this text similar to or different from other texts I’ve read?'; 'How common is it to human experience in the real world?'; 'What new ideas does it bring?'; ’How do they fit with what I believe?'
Use metalanguage to describe the effects of ideas, text structures and language features of literary texts (ACELT1604 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • examining the author’s description of a character’s appearance, behaviour and speech and noting how the character’s development is evident through his or her dialogue and changing relationships and the reactions of other characters to him or her
  • sharing views using appropriate metalanguage (for example ‘The use of the adjectives in describing the character really helps to create images for the reader’)

Examining literature

Discuss how authors and illustrators make stories exciting, moving and absorbing and hold readers’ interest by using various techniques, for example character development and plot tension (ACELT1605 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • examining the author’s description of a character’s appearance, behaviour and speech and noting how the character’s development is evident through his or her dialogue and changing relationships and the reactions of other characters to him or her
  • identifying pivotal points in the plot where characters are faced with choices and commenting on how the author makes us care about their decisions and consequences
Understand, interpret and experiment with a range of devices and deliberate word play in poetry and other literary texts, for example nonsense words, spoonerisms, neologisms and puns (ACELT1606 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • defining spoonerisms, neologisms and puns and exploring how they are used by authors to create a sense of freshness, originality and playfulness
  • discussing poetic language, including unusual adjectival use and how it engages us emotionally and brings to life the poet’s subject matter, for example ‘He grasps the crag with crooked hands’ (Alfred, Lord Tennyson); ‘Wee ... tim’rous beastie’ (Robert Burns)

Creating literature

Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • drawing upon literary texts students have encountered and experimenting with changing particular aspects, for example the time or place of the setting, adding characters or changing their personalities, or offering an alternative point of view on key ideas
Create literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings (ACELT1794 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • collaboratively plan, compose, sequence and prepare a literary text along a familiar storyline, using film, sound and images to convey setting, characters and points of drama in the plot

Texts in context

Identify and explain language features of texts from earlier times and compare with the vocabulary, images, layout and content of contemporary texts (ACELY1686 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • viewing documentaries and news footage from different periods, comparing the style of presentation, including costumes and iconography with contemporary texts on similar topics and tracking changing views on issues, for example war, race, gender

Interacting with others

Interpret ideas and information in spoken texts and listen for key points in order to carry out tasks and use information to share and extend ideas and information (ACELY1687 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • making notes about a task, asking questions to clarify or follow up information, and seeking assistance if required
  • discussing levels of language — slang, colloquial (everyday) and formal language — and how their appropriateness changes with the situation and audience. Presenting ideas and opinions at levels of formality appropriate to the context and audience
Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • participating in pair, group, class and school speaking and listening situations, including informal conversations, class discussions and presentations
  • developing appropriate speaking and listening behaviours including acknowledging and extending others’ contributions, presenting ideas and opinions clearly and coherently
  • choosing a variety of appropriate words and prepositional phrases, including descriptive words and some technical vocabulary, to communicate meaning accurately
  • exploring the effects of changing voice tone, volume, pitch and pace in formal and informal contexts
Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • reporting on a topic in an organised manner, providing relevant facts and descriptive detail to enhance audience understanding, and beginning to refer to reliable sources to support claims

Interpreting, analysing, evaluating

Identify characteristic features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1690 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • describing the language which authors use to create imaginary worlds; how textual features such as headings, subheadings, bold type and graphic organisers are used to order and present information, and how visual codes are used, for example those used in advertising to represent children and families so that viewers identify with them
Read different types of texts by combining contextual , semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge using text processing strategies for example monitoring meaning, cross checking and reviewing (ACELY1691 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • reading new and different kinds of texts with the use of established word identification strategies, including knowledge of the topic and of text type together with self monitoring strategies; including rereading, self questioning and pausing, and including self correction strategies such confirming and cross-checking
  • reading aloud with fluency and expression
  • reading a wide range of different types of texts for pleasure
Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (ACELY1692 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • making connections between the text and students’ own experience and other texts
  • making connections between information in print and images
  • building and using prior knowledge and vocabulary
  • finding specific literal information
  • asking and answering questions
  • creating mental images
  • finding the main idea of a text
  • inferring meaning from the ways communication occurs in digital environments including the interplay between words, images, and sounds
  • bringing subject and technical vocabulary and concept knowledge to new reading tasks, selecting and using texts for their pertinence to the task and the accuracy of their information

Creating texts

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • using research from print and digital resources to gather ideas, integrating information from a range of sources; selecting text structure and planning how to group ideas into paragraphs to sequence content, and choosing vocabulary to suit topic and communication purpose
  • using appropriate simple, compound and complex sentences to express and combine ideas
  • using grammatical features including different types of verb groups/phrases, noun groups/phrases, adverb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases for effective descriptions as related to purpose and context (for example, development of a character’s actions or a description in a report)
Re-read and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure (ACELY1695 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • revising written texts: editing for grammatical and spelling accuracy and clarity of the text, to improve the connection between ideas and the overall flow of the piece
Write using clearly-formed joined letters, and develop increased fluency and automaticity (ACELY1696 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • using handwriting fluency with speed for a wide range of tasks
Use a range of software including word processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1697 - Scootle )
  • Reading
  • identifying and selecting appropriate software programs for constructing text

Year 4 Achievement Standards

Receptive modes (listening, reading and viewing)

By the end of Year 4, students understand that texts have different text structures depending on purpose and context. They explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to engage the interest of audiences. They describe literal and implied meaning connecting ideas in different texts 

They fluently read texts that include varied sentence structures, unfamiliar vocabulary including multisyllabic words. They express preferences for particular types of texts, and respond to others’ viewpoints. They listen for and share key points in discussions.

Productive modes (speaking, writing and creating)

Students use language features to create coherence and add detail to their texts. They understand how to express an opinion based on information in a text. They create texts that show understanding of how images and detail can be used to extend key ideas.

Students create structured texts to explain ideas for different audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, varying language according to context. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary from a range of resources and use accurate spelling and punctuation, re-reading and editing their work to improve meaning.


Year 4 Work Sample Portfolios