Representation of General capabilities

Representation of General capabilities

General capabilities covered in Literature include: Literacy, Numeracy, Information and communication technology (ICT) capability, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding and Intercultural understanding.


Literacy is important in the development of the skills and strategies needed to express, interpret, and communicate complex information and ideas. In Literature, students apply, extend and refine their repertoire of literacy skills and practices by establishing and articulating their views through creative response and argument. They experiment with different modes, mediums and forms to create new texts and understand the power of language to represent ideas, events and people.


Students use numeracy in Literature when they practise and apply the skills of interpreting and analysing, comparing and contrasting, making connections, posing and proving arguments, making inferences and problem solving as they create and respond to a range of texts. For example, students use numeracy skills when they create and interpret sequences and spatial information in non-fiction texts or consider timing and sequence when developing photo stories. They draw conclusions from statistical information and interpret and use quantitative data as evidence in analytical and imaginative texts.

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

There is a particular focus in Literature on ICT through the use of digital texts and on understanding and creating multimodal texts. In Literature students discern the quality of information and ideas presented in multimodal texts. They develop understanding of the relative possibilities, limitations and consequences of using different forms of digital technologies to explore, interpret and create literary texts. They develop skills in reading, viewing and responding to digital and multimodal texts, and in analysing the effects of the use of different mediums on meaning and interpretation, particularly in new and emerging literary forms, for example digital story-telling and hypertext fiction.

Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking is an integral feature of the study of and creation of texts in Literature. Students analyse and evaluate issues and ideas presented in texts. In both thinking about and creating their own texts, they recognise and develop arguments, use evidence and draw reasoned conclusions. Students experiment with text structures and language features as they transform and adapt texts for different purposes, contexts and audiences. Students use critical thinking when they use their knowledge of language to analyse a range of texts in relation to their purpose, context, audience, structural and language features, and underlying and unstated assumptions. They investigate the ways language is used to position individuals and social and cultural groups. Creative thinking enables students to apply imaginative and inventive capacities in the creation of their own original works.

Personal and social capability

Students develop personal and social capability in Literature by enhancing their communication skills, for example, through collaborative research, reflective practices, and developing empathy with and appreciation of the perspectives of others. Close critical engagement with texts assists students to understand different personal and social experiences, perspectives, challenges and emotions. Students identify and express their own opinions, beliefs and responses by interacting with a range of texts. Students work collaboratively in teams and also independently as part of their learning and research endeavours.

Ethical understanding

Through the study of Literature students come to develop an increased understanding of complex issues and the questions surrounding rights and responsibilities in our modern world. Students develop greater empathy for the attitudes and opinions of others by interacting with and interrogating a range of texts. Ethical understanding is explored through the selection of texts for study, for example, when students engage with ethical dilemmas presented in texts, considering reasons for actions and implications of decisions. They explore and question values, attitudes, perspectives and assumptions in texts, examining how they are presented, their impact on audiences and how they are reflected in their own responses.

Intercultural understanding

In Literature, intercultural understanding encourages students to make connections between their own experiences and the experiences of others. Through the study of contemporary texts, texts from the past and texts from diverse cultures, students explore and analyse these connections. Students understand and can express the interdependence of language, culture, identity and values, particularly in the Australian context, and are able to appreciate and empathise with the cultural beliefs, attitudes and values of others. They study how cultural concepts, beliefs, practices and perspectives are represented in a range of textual forms and for a variety of purposes and audiences. They pay special attention to the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Asian cultures to literature in Australia.