What is reading?
A critical aspect of literacy is reading. Anderson and others (1985, p. 7) claim “reading is the process of constructing meaning from written texts”. To be successful as readers students must develop decoding, vocabulary and comprehension skills, and learn specific strategies and processes. Continuing to develop proficiency in reading depends on acquiring these skills as well as learning to derive meaning and often enjoyment from the skills of reading (Hattie, 2009, p. 130).
At Benowa State High School we use the ‘Eagle and Wolf’ strategy. Published by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) in 2015, the strategy encourages high levels of metacognition, this means the reader can think critically about his/her own understanding as he/she goes. A metacognition example is when reading a text asking yourself am I understanding this or should I go back and read prior paragraphs or chapters so this will make more sense?
Reading Expectations in Secondary School
In secondary school, students are expected to read and comprehend different types of texts and visuals. This involves identifying the purpose, audience, main ideas and order of events in a text, as well as making connections between ideas and information in different paragraphs and drawing conclusions. Benowa State High School uses the Department of Education’s P-10 Literacy Continuum of which a critical aspect is reading. Below are the expectations of students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.
involves recognising words automatically, reading in a phrased and fluent way and navigating texts to create meaning.
‘Texts’ include oral, aural, written, visual, electronic and multimodal texts.
- Reads for sustained periods (30+ minutes) and maintains meaning in longer texts or across a variety of texts on a single topic over time.
- Adjusts reading rate appropriate to subject content and purpose.
- Applies technical vocabulary and content knowledge to create meaning when reading subject texts of increasing abstraction.
- Selects and reads texts in ways that best meet requirements of a task.
- Uses multiple reading pathways in a range of complex texts to locate and assemble information.
- Applies and further develops monitoring and self-correcting strategies in subject contexts.
- Applies and further develops fluent and expressive reading skills in subject contexts
- Reads a wide range of increasingly complex subject texts for sustained periods.
- Selects suitable reading pathways to engage with new content.
- Identifies multiple purposes for which texts are constructed.
- Independently selects and reads an increasing volume and range of complex texts.
- Strategically navigates texts with speed and efficiency
- Strategically navigates an extensive volume of texts for a complex task.
|involves responding to, interpreting, analysing and evaluating texts.|
‘Texts’ include oral, aural, written, visual, electronic and multimodal texts.
- Applies comprehension strategies and skills including predicting, visualising, summarising, monitoring, questioning and making connections to make meaning in subject contexts.
- Explores, analyses and responds to ideas in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts.
- Judges the value or effectiveness of texts according to their purpose and subject matter.
- Interprets and responds to points of view in texts with an awareness of underlying social, cultural and/or historical values.
- Identifies different interpretations of and perspectives in texts.
- Analyses and evaluates how texts are shaped by purpose, audience and context.
- Identifies an author’s point of view with textual evidence.
- Draws on knowledge of familiar types of text relevant to subjects to facilitate understanding of new texts.
- Identifies and infers the meaning of imagery and symbolism in spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts.
- Analyses and evaluates the impact of visual images on the meaning of texts.
- Locates and synthesises information to draw conclusions from a variety of sources.
- Consolidates an increasing repertoire of comprehension strategies.
- Draws on widening personal and textual experience and knowledge to make meaning of texts.
- Interprets texts that present challenging ideas and issues.
- Makes bridging inferences by linking pronouns, synonyms and other cohesive devices to clarify and build meaning.
- Compares own opinions and interpretations of texts with others’ and justifies position with textual evidence.
- Compares and contrasts different values and opinions presented on similar content.
- Identifies ways in which authors position the audience to accept particular views and perspectives.
- Identifies and evaluates ways in which authors use language, structures and textual features to achieve particular purposes.
- Identifies assumptions, bias and stereotyping in texts.
- Evaluates the credibility and reliability of textual sources.
- Recognises, articulates and reflects on effectiveness of strategies used to enhance comprehension.
- Makes reasoned inferences based on implicit information (including causal and temporal relationships).
- Explains how and why alternative interpretations of texts are developed by particular groups of people.
- Reconsiders the meaning of texts when exposed to alternative interpretations.
- Critically evaluates the ways in which authors use and integrate language, structures and textual features to achieve particular purposes.
- Evaluates information from a variety of sources for credibility, authenticity and usefulness.
- Uses textual evidence to explain how the audience is positioned by particular representations of people, events, data, ideas or issues.
- Questions and challenges information and assumptions in texts.
- Critically analyses texts for different perspectives and bias.
- Identifies ambiguities and conflicting messages in texts.
- Critically compares aspects and qualities of texts.
- Examines different perspectives on complex issues within and between texts.
- Explains how interpretations of texts are shaped by social, cultural and/or historical contexts.
- Explores and examines alternative interpretations of texts.
Activities to do at home
As a parent you are the most important reading role model for your children, but how can you promote reading in your home and support your child to meet, and potentially exceed, the expectations of the department?
Some activities that you may find useful as you help your teenager to read confidently for a wide range of purposes include:
- encourage the reading of a variety of materials about their areas of interest, for example, music reviews, websites about favourite bands, details of concerts — understand that their choices may be very different from your own
- encourage the viewing of a range of electronic materials on topics of interest, for example, websites — discuss which are valuable and which could be misleading
- encourage the reading of a range of visual texts such as diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, cartoons, comics
- read some of the same books and discuss characters, storylines and themes• share your thoughts on both what you are currently reading and what you were reading at a similar age
- encourage reflection on the materials that are being read, for example, What do you think of the way that the character was portrayed? How does that reading material/television program compare to other things you have read/viewed on that topic?
encourage your English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) learner, if they are new to English, to continue reading in their first language, if this is possible, while they are learning to read in English
- look together at numerical information, for example, statistics and data in newspapers, and think critically about the author's purpose
- encourage them to use a search engine to find/read good examples of texts that they may need to write, for example a resume and a letter of introduction when applying for part-time jobs
- share pro formas that are common in the workplace and wider community such as an application for a bank account or to join a gym or a tax file application form
show with them how to use internet banking or purchase tickets online
- share procedures and paperwork for paying household bills such as telephone, electricity and rates — explain what a budget might look like using the MoneySmart website
- read career materials with your child as you help them develop and implement their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan.
Please take a moment to complete this short Literacy and Numeracy Feedback survey by following the link below:
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (20xx). Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/
Department of Education. (2018). Literacy and numeracy resources and activities. Retrieved from https://education.qld.gov.au/parents-and-carers/school-information/literacy-and-numeracy/resources/hints-years-11-12
Department of Education, Skills and Employment. (2019). Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration. Retrieved from https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/pdf_accessible_-_alice_springs_mparntwe_education_declaration_acc_002.pdf
Department of Education and Training (2016). Moving Literacy Forward P-12. Retrieved from https://learningplace.eq.edu.au/cx/resources/file/1424052a-7684-4a39-97de-98e8ca7740ce/1/index.html
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Abingdon, OXON: Routledge.
Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority (2015). Beyond NAPLAN: How to reading challenging texts. Retrieved from https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/downloads/p_10/naplan_read_challenging_texts.pdf