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The English curriculum is organised by language modes and strands.

Language Modes

The language modes are interrelated and the learning in one often supports and extends learning of the others. Each content description has been placed in the mode which is the major focus of its learning.

Classroom contexts that address particular content descriptions will necessarily draw on more than one of these modes in order to support students’ effective learning. For example, students will learn new vocabulary through listening and reading and apply their knowledge and understanding in their speaking and writing as well as in their comprehension of both spoken and written texts.

Language modeReading and ViewingWritingSpeaking and Listening
Reading and Viewing involves students understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon, and enjoying written and visual, print and non-print texts. It encompasses reading and viewing a wide range of texts and media, including literary texts. Reading involves active engagement with texts and the development of knowledge about the relationship between them and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development of knowledge about a range of strategies for reading. Writing involves students in the active process of conceiving, planning, composing, editing and publishing a range of texts. Writing involves using appropriate language for particular purposes or occasions, both formal and informal, to express and represent ideas and experiences, and to reflect on these aspects. It involves the development of knowledge about strategies for writing and the conventions of Standard Australian English. Students develop a metalanguage to discuss language conventions and use. Speaking and Listening refers to the various formal and informal ways oral language is used to convey and receive meaning. It involves the development and demonstration of knowledge about the appropriate oral language for particular audiences and occasions, including body language and voice. It also involves the development of active-listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts.

Strands and sub-strands

Within each language mode, the content descriptions are grouped into strands and sub-strands.

In the Language strand, students develop their knowledge of the English language and how it works.
Sub-strands Language variation and change
Students learn that languages and dialects are constantly evolving due to historical, social and cultural changes, demographic movements and technological innovations. They come to understand that these factors, along with new virtual communities and environments, continue to affect the nature and spread of English.
Language for interaction
Students learn that the language used by individuals varies according to their social setting and the relationships between the participants. They learn that accents and styles of speech and idiom are part of the creation and expression of personal and social identities.
Text structure and organisation
Students learn how texts are structured to achieve particular purposes, including how language is used to create texts that are cohesive and coherent and how texts about more specialised topics contain more complex language patterns and features. They learn how the author guides the reader/viewer through the text through the effective use of resources at the level of the whole text, the paragraph and the sentence.
Expressing and developing ideas
Students learn how, in a text, effective authors control and use an increasingly differentiated range of clause structures, words and word groups, as well as combinations of sound, image, movement, verbal elements and layout.
Phonics and word knowledge
Students develop knowledge about the sounds of English and learn to identify the sounds in spoken words. They learn the letters of the alphabet and how to represent spoken words by using combinations of these letters. They learn that the conventions, patterns and generalisations that relate to English spelling involve the origins of words, word endings, Greek and Latin roots, base words and affixes.


The Literature strand engages students in the study of literary texts of personal, cultural, social and aesthetic value.
Sub-strands Literature and context
Students learn how ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters that are expressed in texts are drawn from and shaped by different historical, social and cultural contexts.
Responding to literature
Students learn to identify personal ideas, experiences and opinions about literary texts and discuss them with others. They learn how to recognise areas of agreement and difference, and how to develop and refine their interpretations through discussion and argument.
Examining literature
Students learn how to explain and analyse the ways in which stories, characters, settings and experiences are reflected in particular literary genres, and how to discuss the appeal of these genres. They learn how to compare and appraise the ways authors use language and literary techniques and devices to influence readers. They also learn to understand, interpret, discuss and evaluate how certain stylistic choices can create multiple layers of interpretation and effect.
Creating literature
Students learn how to use personal knowledge and literary texts as starting points to create imaginative writing in different forms and genres and for particular audiences. Using print, digital and online media, students develop skills that allow them to convey meaning, address significant issues and heighten engagement and impact.


The Literacy strand aims to develop students’ ability to interpret and create texts with appropriateness, accuracy, confidence, fluency and efficacy for learning in and out of school, and for participating in Australian life more generally.
Sub-strand Texts in context
Students learn that texts from different cultures or historical periods may reveal different patterns in the way they narrate, inform and persuade.
Interacting with others
Students learn how individuals and groups use language patterns to express ideas and key concepts to develop and defend arguments. They learn how to promote a point of view by designing, rehearsing and delivering spoken and written presentations and by appropriately selecting and sequencing linguistic and multimodal elements.
Interpreting, analysing, evaluating
Students learn to comprehend what they read and view by applying growing contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge. They develop more sophisticated processes for interpreting, analysing, evaluating and critiquing ideas, information and issues from a variety of sources. They explore the ways conventions and structures are used in written, digital, multimedia and cinematic texts to entertain, inform and persuade audiences, and they use their growing knowledge of textual features to explain how texts make an impact on different audiences.
Creating texts
Students create a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts that entertain, inform and persuade audiences. They do so by selecting key aspects of a topic as well as language, visual and audio features. They learn how to edit for meaning and effect by refining ideas, reordering sentences, adding or substituting words for clarity, and removing repetition. They develop and consolidate a handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic, and that supports sustained writing. They learn to use a range of software programs, selecting from a range of functions to communicate and create clear, effective, informative and innovative texts.

Further information about the sub-strands and the related focus areas is located on the Scope and Sequence page.

Annotated example

An annotated example of the English curriculum is available and is designed to assist teachers to understand the structural elements when viewing the curriculum.

Achievement Standards

In English, students progress along a curriculum continuum that provides the first achievement standard at Foundation and then at Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

A 'Towards Foundation Levels A to D' curriculum is provided for students with disabilities or additional learning needs in this curriculum area.

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