The Early Years Learning Framework For Australia

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Since literacy evolves with changes in cultural communicative practices and technological developments, so too do definitions of what literacy is. There is some agreement on what literacy involves, and most definitions include reading, writing, speaking and listening, and sometimes viewing or visual literacy. The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia [EYLF] (DEEWR, 2009, p.38) defines literacy as “a students’ capacity to access, manage, interpret and reflect on written texts in order to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate effectively in society”. But why is literacy so important? Research shows that people with good literacy skills are more likely to have greater self-esteem, improved health, better jobs and higher wages than those with poor literacy skills. They are more able to take advantage of the opportunities that life may offer them. In order to acquire and share an important text, teachers need to consider a number of variables relating to students’, as according to Larson and Marsh in Making Literacy Real (2014) “literacy is grounded in social, cultural, historical and political practices”. In addition to appropriate literature, the NRP (National Reading Panel, 2000) noted that phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension are crucial for effective reading instruction. The recommendations were that all students be explicitly and systematically taught these five key components.

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