Literacy Professional Learning Resource - AusVELS Levels 7 to 10 - Reading for Learning

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

This section contains information on the various theories behind literacy teaching and learning and provides practical ways of exploring these theories with students.

When reading for learning students come in contact with a greater complexity and quantity of texts that include information that may be more abstract, conceptual and symbolic. It may include new places and historical contexts, complex relationships and scientific and mathematical models.

There is an increased emphasis on reading strategically and efficiently through:

  • a sense of how the text has been constructed
  • identifying facts and opinions
  • identifying more than one theme
  • analysing the intent of the author
  • identifying what they know already
  • knowing to spend time on the new.

Reading for learning is about students using texts to enhance learning through connecting, transferring and internalising knowledge, skills and behaviours.

‘The theoretical context of literacy teaching and learning is multidisciplinary and complex. To ensure the best literacy learning outcomes for all students, schools need to take views of literacy teaching and learning from multiple perspectives and informing theoretical frameworks.’ (Literacy Teaching and Learning in Victorian Schools Research eLert paper no.9 part A).

Theoretical frameworks: an overview

There are a number of both national and international researchers (e.g. Beach et al. 2005; Cumming et al. 1998) who work from the proposition that a single theoretical perspective cannot address all the issues faced by teachers and students in complex and diverse classrooms.

Multiple theoretical positions reflect the multidisciplinary nature of literacy and generate discussion on the teaching of literacy amongst educators to help learners to learn (Literacy Teaching and Learning in Victorian Schools Research eLert paper no.9 part A, p 4-5).

An overview of the following informing theoretical frameworks included in this resource, to support teachers in developing balanced reading programs at AusVELS Levels 7 to 10 are as follows:

 

Multiple Levels of Text Processing (MLOTP) Munro 1995

The MLOTP (Munro 1995) identifies areas of text processing that can be integrated into a model of reading. Whenever we read, we simultaneously use and integrate information from the following information sources:

  • word level knowledge
  • sentence level knowledge
  • conceptual level knowledge
  • topic or theme level knowledge
  • dispositional knowledge and reading comprehension
  • self-management and control strategies
  • oral language knowledge
  • experiential knowledge.

Word level knowledge

When readers encounter unfamiliar words they use various actions to identify them. They:

  • match text word directly with stored letter cluster knowledge
  • segment words into functional units, convert letter clusters to sounds and blend
  • make analogy with words they know
  • use the meanings of words that occur with it and the context in which it is used.

Sentence level knowledge

Readers know:

  • various grammatical forms and use grammar to link words. They know written sentence structures.
  • sentence propositions: how word meanings are linked into sentence meanings
  • sentence conventions used in writing such as punctuation.

Conceptual level knowledge

When readers encounter paragraphs they don’t comprehend immediately at the conceptual level, they may:

  • predict, anticipate, infer ideas, feeling
  • backtrack, read ahead, work across sentences to link concepts
  • form an image of a sequence of sentences
  • consolidate what a sequence of sentences says.

Topic or theme level knowledge

We know that ideas are linked into topics:

  • when we know the topic of a text and we can anticipate the ideas that might be mentioned in it
  • when we expect some ideas to occur with a particular topic
  • when, sometimes ideas we wouldn’t have expected appear within a topic.

Dispositional knowledge and reading comprehension

Readers know that:

  • different texts are written for different purposes to convey attitudes, values and feelings.
  • attitudes, values and feelings are conveyed in texts in different ways.

Self-management and control strategies

Readers will:

  • establish reasons or purposes for reading a text, plan how they will read
  • monitor their reading, decide when to re-read, self-correct
  • use existing knowledge to make meaning of texts
  • review and self-question to see whether reading goals have been achieved
  • review or consolidate what they have read
  • organise the information gained from reading to fit the purpose for reading.

Oral language knowledge

Students understand:

  • at word level, what words mean, how they are said, sounds in words
  • at sentence level, how ideas are linked into sentences, grammar
  • at conceptual level, how ideas are linked into themes
  • at topic or theme level, how a theme is communicated in a narrative, description
  • at the pragmatic or dispositional level, the attitudes and values of the writer towards the ideas presented in the text.

Experiential knowledge

When reading, students use:

  • experiences, visual imagery knowledge
  • action, motor knowledge
  • knowledge of symbols.

Reference: literacy intervention strategies CD ROM: John Munro 2004, The University of Melbourne. 

 

Four Resources model (Luke and Freebody)

The Four Resources model situates reading in social practices to ensure that literacy programs address diversity and social and technological change.

The Four Resources model can be viewed as a framework for understanding reading and a lens through which to examine learning and teaching programs. Using this model, a balanced program may be planned, ensuring that all reading practices are taught.

  • Code breaker: these practices have to do with breaking the code of the semiotic systems used in texts.
  • Meaning maker: meaning maker practices are to do with making literate and inferential meanings of texts.
  • Text user: the focus of text-user practices is the use of texts in real-life reading situations.
  • Text analyst: these practices involve readers in the critical analysis of texts in order to understand how texts work.

Reference: Literate Futures: Reading State of Queensland (Department of Education) 2002.

 

Learning to read: reading to learn - a literacy pedagogy for the new generation Rose 2005

This methodology draws on three theoretical traditions:

  • learning as a social process
  • language as text in social context
  • education as pedagogic discourse.

Democratising the Classroom: a literacy pedagogy for the new generation (PDF - 602Kb)

Reference: Rose 2005, Journal of Education, No. 37 2005.

 

Professional learning

When reading for learning students come in contact with a greater complexity and quantity of texts that include information that may be more abstract, conceptual and symbolic. It may include new places and historical contexts, complex relationships and scientific and mathematical models.

There is an increased emphasis on reading strategically and efficiently through:

  • a sense of how the text has been constructed
  • identifying facts and opinions
  • identifying more than one theme
  • analysing the intent of the author
  • identifying what they know already
  • knowing to spend time on the new.

Reading for learning is about students using texts to enhance learning through connecting, transferring and internalising knowledge, skills and behaviours.

‘The theoretical context of literacy teaching and learning is multidisciplinary and complex. To ensure the best literacy learning outcomes for all students, schools need to take views of literacy teaching and learning from multiple perspectives and informing theoretical frameworks.’ (Literacy Teaching and Learning in Victorian Schools Research eLert paper no.9 part A)

Related materials

Previous key concept – Written Language Development: Nominalisation

Next key concept – Comprehension – the essence of reading

Teaching strategies – Reading strategies

Assessment