Analysing language in narrative texts
A teacher of a class of 20 students, of whom 7 are learning English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D), selects age-appropriate content from the Year 3 English learning area in the Australian Curriculum. The lesson is part of a unit of work that analyses narrative texts and integrates content from the Language, Literature and Literacy strands. The focus of the lesson is identifying the vocabulary choices made by authors and the use of this vocabulary to recount events from a character’s perspective. For the EAL/D students, the lesson includes the consolidation of alphabetic and phonic knowledge, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, text structure and punctuation. The teacher employs a range of supportive teaching strategies to personalise learning. These strategies support and extend students’ written and oral language proficiencies. These include: pair/group(s) discussion, explicit whole-class instruction, individual teacher/student conferencing and peer text construction. In planning and implementing the unit, the teacher draws on various components of ACARA's EAL/D Teacher Resource including the EAL/D learning progression to monitor the students’ language proficiency and the English EAL/D annotated content descriptions. The annotated content descriptions provide relevant teaching strategies and cultural or linguistic considerations implicit in the curriculum content descriptions.
EAL/D learning progression
Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing
EAL/D learning phase
3, 4, 5, 6
To develop students' Standard Australian English (SAE) language proficiency as they learn how to use vocabulary to construct a literary narrative.
Plan from age-equivalent learning area content:
The teacher plans from Year 3 English content to develop a teaching and learning program to explore descriptive language and develop students’ language proficiency to create narrative texts.
Align individual learning goals with age-equivalent content to personalise the learning:
Teacher draws of material in the EAL/D Teacher Resource to personalise the learning of her students.
She uses the EAL/D Learning Progression to identify and monitor the students’ language proficiency in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.
She uses the English EAL/D Annotated content descriptions: English to obtain information about linguistic or cultural considerations implicit in the curriculum content descriptions. She also draws on suggested teaching strategies in this publication.
1. How do you use the Australian Curriculum to design activities that are relevant to the diverse learning needs of your students?
2. What strategies do, or could you use to personalise a teaching and learning program developed from age-equivalent content?
3. How might you use the EAL/D Teacher Resource to support your teaching of the Australian curriculum content?
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.1
Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
Focus area 1.3
Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.3
Curriculum, assessment and reporting
Highgate Primary School
Perth WA Australia
Highgate Primary is an independent public school in Western Australia offering classes from the Foundation year to year 7. The school has a large population of students for whom English is an additional language or dialect.
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