aussie educator


Literacy & Reading

literacy [n.]

the ability to read and write.

reading [n.]

1. the action or skill of reading. 2. an instance of something being read to an audience. 3. an interpretation of a text. 4. a figure recorded on a measuring instrument. 5. a stage of debate in parliament through which a bill must pass before it can become law.

Oxford Dictionaries

Literacy is a crucial skill for survival in the modern world. The ability to read and write applies wherever you are and in any walk of life. Reading is an essential component of being literate. The development of Literacy and Reading, forms a significant part of education throughout life and applies to many kinds of literacy, all of which are based in on the capacity to read and understand.

This page looks at Literacy and Reading Development. It includes background information, statistics, innovations and more from Australia and overseas. Reading Development looks at different formats including the Phonics debate and Reading Recovery.

The Second Page looks at Research and other Reading information including associations, journals, Reading resources, software, more.

Reading Recommendations are now found on the Children’s Literature page.


Background information, statistics, the Australian scene, innovations, more.

Australian Sites

  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association
    ‘Support and professional development to educators and others interested in literacy through international, national, state and regional conferences, workshops and seminars, journals, position papers and other publications’.
  • Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program
    ‘Better Beginnings supports parents in reading to children so that they build the early literacy skills they need to become good readers and succeed at school’.
  • Critical Literacy
    Access a range of articles and sites covering this topic.
  • LinguistLearning
    ‘Designed to save you time, money, effort when seeking reading, writing, grammar, spelling resources. This will help you reach your professional development goals much quicker’. The result of one Australian linguist and literacy specialist. Multiple sections.
  • Links To Research and Special Projects
    Links from ESA.
  • Literacy
    Queensland Department of Education and Training. Literacy research, Upper Primary Literacy, Resources, more.
  • Literacy In The New Millennium
    PDF report on this topic. Summary available in HTML, purchase a hard copy.
  • Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs
    Department of Education. Information about the program.
  • Literacy Pages [Innovations]
    Australian site. Information, links to literacy ideas, innovations, resources.
  • Literacy Standards in Australia
    PDF document. From ACER Research.
  • Literacy Strategies Handbook
    ‘Contains effective strategies that can be used to develop classroom literacy activities’. Nearly 7mb in size.
  • National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy
    Report issued in the latter part of 2005.
  • National Partnership Agreement on Literacy and Numeracy
    Council of Australian Governments [COAG]. ‘All National Partnership Agreements are available on the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations website’.
    You need to be able to log in to access this site.
  • Resources for Kids, Better Reading Comprehension, and Much More
    Multiple sections including “Literacy Web Resources for Kids”, Speed Reading information, Reading Comprehension and more.
  • Stella
    Standards for Teachers of English Language and Literacy in Australia. ‘Detailed picture of accomplished English/Literacy teaching. The Standards have been developed by teacher members of AATE and ALEA around Australia and are supported by national and state ETA Councils in all states and territories. STELLA attempts to capture the depth and range of accomplished English/Literacy teaching. The STELLA materials identify current best principles and practice for English Literacy teaching but they are not intended to be definitive statements that sign off on behalf of future members of the profession. They encourage continuing reflection, review and dialogue about what ‘good’ English Literacy teachers believe, know and are able to do’.
  • Who Set the Benchmarks ? …
    “Analysing the National Literacy Agenda”. Thoughtful article by Margaret Gill, Monash University. Australian Association for the Teaching of English.

Other Sites

  • 21st Century Literacies
    Reviews literacies from Basic Language to Mathematical, Cultural, Information. Each has a range of information in various forms - PDF, extracts, Power Point, web page, etc..
  • 30 Storytelling Tips For Educators
    ‘How To Capture Your Student’s Attention. If a teacher becomes an excellent storyteller, he or she can ensure that any concept they teach will be remembered for years to come’.
  • Kids and Family Reading Report
    ‘Kids age 5-17 believe technology will supplement - not replace - book reading and say they will always want to read books printed on paper’. This is the 2010 Report.
  • Literacy Learning Progressions
    Done for the Ministry of Education in New Zealand.
  • Literacy Assessment Online
    ‘This literacy assessment system provides online literacy assessments to measure and track a pupil’s literacy progress. There are two types of literacy assessment available - spelling age assessments and reading age assessments, both of which are based upon standardised data. With the current focus on literacy this system provides an important tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures schools put in place to improve literacy standards’. While UK Based, some Australian teachers who have discovered the site are now applying for accounts.
    Worth considering !
    ‘Your source for research and development on literacy in the U.S. and worldwide. at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, is comprised of NCAL and ILI. The National Centre for Adult Literacy [NCAL] has been engaged for more than two decades in cutting edge and high-impact research, innovation, and training in adult education and technology, as well as in other areas of adult basic education and literacy. The International Literacy Institute [ILI], co-founded in 1994 by UNESCO and Penn, focuses on a broad range of literacy issues from early childhood through youth and adult education, particularly in developing countries’.
  • Literacy Resources on The Internet
    International Association of School Librarianship. Well annotated links to resources, information.
  • The Literacy Shed
    ‘The Literacy Shed is home to a wealth of visual resources that I have collected over my 10 year career as a primary school teacher. I trawl YouTube, Vimeo and other sites looking for suitable resources to use in the sheds. The aim is to provide high quality resources that can be used in stand alone literacy lessons, can form the basis for a whole literacy unit or can support literacy units that you already have in place’.

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Reading Development


Structured reading program based on phonics, sight word recognition, supported book reading.


Many do not advocate use of phonics in reading. Some children gain benefit, especially when used in conjunction with other methods. With learning being individual, If it works - use it !.

  • A Systematic Review of the Research Literature
    On the Use of Phonics in the Teaching of Reading and Spelling. ‘This review is based on evidence from randomised controlled trials ’. Department for Children, Schools & Families, UK. Now archived.
  • NRRF - Phonics
    ‘The National Right to Read Foundation - Phonics - It Works !’
  • Perfect Poems for Teaching Phonics
    Available through this Australian online bookseller.
  • Phonics Resources, Web English Teacher
  • Review of Early Reading
    The Rose Review. ‘Provided clear recommendations on what constitutes high quality phonics work. These recommendations were also summarised in the Core Position Paper’. Report and position paper available as PDF files. Department for Children, Schools & Families, UK.
  • The Synthetic Phonics Toolkit
    ‘The Synthetic Phonics Toolkit, by teachers for teachers, gives you every resource and plan you need to teach synthetic phonics. It makes learning to read lots of fun and full of success with dozens of multi-sensory games and activities’. 3 Kits, fee-based.

Phonics or Whole Language ?

Over recent years there has been heated discussion about which is best. If people think about it, both can be of value. The approach selected Must take into account the needs and capacities of each individual student. These sites give input to this discussion.

Reading Development

  • Letters and Sounds
    ‘These notes form an introduction to Letters and Sounds and are intended to help practitioners and teachers use the programme effectively. Guidance on the principles of the Six-phase Teaching Programme is included, together with some frequently asked questions’. Department for Children, Schools & Families, UK.
  • Longitudinal Twin Study
    Of Early Reading Development.
  • Stage Models of Reading Development
    ‘How Might Stage Models of Reading Development be Helpful in the Classroom ?’
  • Stages of Reading Development
    Simple presentation from a US school district. Includes suggestions for parents on how to support their development. See right menu for stages.
  • Techniques for Teaching Reading Effectively
    Includes ‘Reading 101 : What you should know about print awareness, the sounds of speech, phonemic awareness, phonics, informal assessment, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, writing, and text comprehension; Who’s at risk for not learning to read; What else matters in teaching reading such as classroom management, differentiated instruction/grouping, working with parents, Glossary of basic terms in reading instruction’.
  • Three Stages of Reading
    ‘The Three Stages Of Reading strategy involves teaching students to delve into text’. Covers the Before, During, After periods related to reading.
    ‘Dedicated to developing student’s literacy skills by providing parents and carers with ideas, knowledge and support. It is a joint project of the University of Canberra and ACT Education and Training Directorate [ETD]. U-CAN READ endorses current best practices in literacy interventions and includes a strong research component’.

Reading Recovery

‘An early literacy intervention program providing intensive, individual help for children with difficulties in learning to read and write’. State & Territory links included.

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