Posted: October 3rd, 2023
Part C – Informing Teaching Practice:
Considering Literacy Development and Curriculum: (1200 words)
For this task vou wIll: Examine the wav that the different states and territories view literacy development tol .
states example (vic,nsw,queensland)
children from birth to 8 years old. Investigate two approaches that: a can be used to promote literacy development and b) align with early childhood education curriculum frameworks. You can use examples from your practice supported with research, theory, and curriculum or you can explain what you would do supported with theoretical perspectives, research, and curriculum. Incorporate images of learning environments, resources etc. to further enhance and support your discussion
All in-text citations need to be reflective of APA7 and included in your final reference list.
Literacy development is understood as a continuum that begins from birth. While approaches to supporting literacy may vary between states and territories in Australia, common themes emerge around recognizing each child as an individual learner and scaffolding their progress through play-based experiences, exposure to books and oral language, and opportunities to engage with texts in meaningful ways. This paper will examine how New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria view literacy development in the early years, and investigate two approaches – play-based learning and print-rich environments – that effectively promote emergent literacy aligned with early childhood curriculum frameworks.
In New South Wales, the “Birth to 5 Matters” framework adopted by the Department of Education emphasizes that children are capable and curious learners from birth (NSW Department of Education, 2018). It positions responsive caregiving, language-rich environments, and meaningful engagement with texts as key to supporting literacy development in the earliest years. Similarly, Queensland’s “Early Years Learning Framework” positions the child as an active learner and recognizes literacy as one element of exploring and expressing ideas through play, creativity and everyday interactions (Queensland Government, 2021). Both frameworks view these foundational experiences as laying the groundwork for specific literacy skills to emerge over time in a holistic way.
The state of Victoria also views literacy as intertwined with identity formation and belonging (Department of Education and Training, 2016). Its “Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework” promotes learning through exploration, social interaction and valuing each child and family’s unique characteristics, home languages and cultures. Educators are encouraged to extend children’s communication and interactions in individually responsive ways. Across these frameworks, quality interactions, play-based opportunities and exposing children to a variety of texts in low-pressure contexts are seen as most effectively nurturing emergent literacy.
Research shows play-based learning can develop oral language and problem-solving skills while allowing children to begin understanding how language and literacy are purposefully used (Neumann, 2018). Through pretend play, role-playing and exploring books and writing materials, young learners develop phonemic awareness, concepts of print and interest in reading. A print-rich environment similarly exposes children to meaningful displays, signage, books and writing opportunities as part of their play, supporting the development of these foundational literacy skills over time (Saracho, 2017). When implemented with guidance in early childhood settings, these approaches effectively nurture emergent literacy in alignment with curriculum priorities around holistic learning and identity formation.
As children transition into formal schooling, curriculum frameworks recognize a shift towards more structured literacy experiences while still valuing identity, play, inquiry and holistic development (Department of Education and Training, 2016). Approaches such as balanced literacy incorporate explicit phonics instruction within authentic reading and writing activities (Fountas & Pinnell, 2012). Shared reading of high-quality texts allows children to observe language strategies in a low-risk setting (Cremin et al., 2014). Writing workshops provide expression, experimentation and teacher conferencing opportunities (Calkins, 2013). Across the primary years, integrating skills practice, guided reading/writing and independent exploration through a balanced approach supports diverse learning needs.
In summary, conceptualizing literacy as a developmental continuum beginning in a child’s earliest interactions underpins curriculum frameworks in Australia (Early Childhood Australia, 2016; NSW Department of Education, 2018; Queensland Government, 2021). Play-based learning and print-rich environments are effective for nurturing emergent literacy skills in alignment with priorities around identity, exploration and holistic development (Neumann, 2018; Saracho, 2017). As children enter school, a balanced literacy approach combining explicit instruction and authentic engagement continues supporting their growth (Department of Education and Training, 2016; Fountas & Pinnell, 2012; Calkins, 2013). With responsive guidance and opportunities to engage with meaningful texts, all children can progress in literacy at their own pace.
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