Q1. Are the Textual Concepts materials mandatory to use?
No, the Textual Concepts materials are a resource for professional learning and learning design in English K-10.
Q2. Who is the resource designed for?
The resource has been designed for all teachers of English, K-10.
Q3. What's the difference between a concept and a process?
Concepts are the knowledge of English (what students learn about) and the processes are the ways this knowledge is acquired (the ways students learn to use the concepts eg through experimenting).
Q4. Where does literacy fit in with designing learning this way?
English is a discipline with its own concepts, approaches and language. Literacy is a sub-set of these.
English is not synonymous with literacy but it has its own set of practices, expressed through the learning processes. These practices centre on texts and the way texts can be read, understood and written. Students who have control of the textual concepts will naturally demonstrate high levels of literacy.
Q5. Why should I use the Textual Concepts resource in English?
The resource will help you interpret the NSW English syllabus for the Australian Curriculum K-10, through carefully considered definitions and support materials. You can locate what is valued in subject English so that you can design lessons and units of learning that focus on what is important. The resource clarifies the knowledge and understanding in English at each Stage and through the processes allows you to develop learning sequences that challenge students and promote effective learning.
Q6. How do syllabus outcomes work with this resource?
The resource focuses on what are the essential learnings for English study. It does not replace outcomes but engages with outcomes to clarify what is needed to teach English effectively. This understanding is not always explicit in the outcomes and content points and using the Textual Concept resource enables teachers to focus on essential disciplinary learning.
Q7. How do we add concepts to a scope and sequence that covers English, science, history and geography in K-6?
English is a discipline in its own right with its own set of knowledge and practices centred on textual study. The English Textual concepts are the core of subject English making explicit the ways we interact with texts. They keep learning focussed on the key ideas of the subject and they bring depth and variety to textual experiences. English has its own conceptual understandings which are required by the syllabus at each stage of learning.
Literacy, however, is a general capability within Learning Across the Curriculum which extends across all subject syllabuses. Literacy should be included in all scope and sequences that cover science, history and geography but English requires its own scope and sequence of conceptual understandings.
Q8. Are the concepts able to be placed within a K-6 scope and sequence?
When developing an English K-6 scope and sequence it is important to address the English Textual concepts and the related syllabus outcomes and content. The types of texts chosen, learning and teaching experiences and assessment tasks designed should remain fluid to enable teachers to make informed choices that reflect their class and school context.
At this stage in English syllabus implementation it is best to start by becoming familiar with the English Textual concepts, processes and the related syllabus outcomes and content and begin to design some learning sequences or short learning units using quality literature which include quality assessment tasks and address the syllabus outcomes and content.
As we become more familiar with the conceptual understandings required by the syllabus outcomes and content we will be more able to make informed decisions about scoping or sequencing English concepts in a K-6 context. A scope and sequence could grow from what conceptual understanding has been addressed in a grade or stage over a year or two.
Q9. Can we start small or should we use the whole resource at once?
Starting small is a good idea if teachers are not familiar with the English Textual concepts, processes and related syllabus outcomes and content. It is best to start by becoming familiar with the English Textual concepts, processes and the related syllabus outcomes and content and begin to design some learning sequences or short learning units using quality literature which include quality assessment tasks that address the syllabus outcomes and content.
There are many connections to be made between concepts, processes and syllabus content. Some teachers may feel comfortable working on a couple of related concepts at a time.
Q10. What about the units I love?
It's likely that the units of learning that are effective are already grounded in conceptual understandings or are rich in processes. Apply the conceptual lens to identify these and make the concepts and processes explicit. Consider other units in your scope and sequence to identify any gaps in conceptual understanding and then decide what changes you need to cover the range of concepts for a well-rounded program.