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Literacy is a fundamental life skill. It is developed in multiple ways – through listening to, reading, viewing and creating language. First at home and then as part of their education, children learn to understand and use language effectively and confidently. This is essential for learning, communicating and participating in society. 

The following information is also available as a download for printing (PDF 350KB).

What are known as ‘texts’ are the various ways language is used – it can be written, spoken, visual or a combination of these, and in print, digital or online forms. All of these forms show the diverse ways language is used to communicate in our world.

The Australian Curriculum literacy general capability involves 2 important parts:

  • understanding texts through listening, reading and viewing, using skills and strategies to understand and interpret spoken, written, visual and digital texts
  • creating texts in spoken, written and digital forms for different purposes and audiences.

Through the course of their primary and high school education, students develop literacy capability as they understand and interpret a wide range of texts and create their own spoken, written, visual and digital texts. These processes involve students developing knowledge of text structures, grammar, vocabulary and spelling, and visual information.

In the curriculum

An example of how literacy is important across the curriculum is in health and physical education. Here, reception-age students develop their word knowledge and use language to communicate effectively and interact positively with others as they work in groups or participate in team games.

Another example is in year 6 science, where students develop word knowledge and an understanding of text structures to describe their observations during investigations. They need to learn how to effectively communicate their findings in a variety of ways.

In year 8 English, students learn to talk about and evaluate opinions and arguments on aspects of literary texts such as novels, films or magazine articles. They develop knowledge about text structure and grammar to state their opinions and points of view, and continue to expand their word knowledge to communicate more effectively.

At home

At home, you can help your child develop literacy capability by:

  • sharing a wide variety of age-appropriate texts with your child, including books, novels, websites, newspaper, films and television programs
  • talking about favourite authors, directors and producers and why you like their work
  • playing games to develop knowledge and enjoyment of learning new words
  • accessing literacy activities for children and teenagers at the learning potential website
  • accessing literacy activities for young children at our GreatStart website.

Raising children is another useful website.

Strategic Design

Phone: 8463 5941
Emaileducation.strategicdesign [at] sa.gov.au