The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians; it helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. The study of English plays a key role in the development of literacy, which helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace.

The current Australian Curriculum: English is well-regarded with comparable content and standards to first language curricula in other countries. The structure of the curriculum has not changed, with the three strands of language, literature and literacy retained. The proposed revisions have tidied up the curriculum to make it more manageable for teachers, in particular, reducing content by removing duplication across content descriptions and improving their alignment with the achievement standards.

Australian Curriculum Review – the process

In preparing for the Review, ACARA:

  • considered the latest research and international developments; and
  • consulted with practising teachers, curriculum experts, key academics and professional associations.

We formed the English Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group to provide advice and feedback, with members nominated by state and territory education authorities and non-government sectors.

We also wanted a specific focus on primary schools, so we created the Primary (F–6) Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group. These groups helped give advice and feedback on how we could improve the curriculum for our youngest students.

From this research, teacher feedback and our work with the reference groups, we identified some key areas where the English curriculum could be improved.

Download the English Consultation Curriculum

To give feedback, you need a copy of the proposed Australian Curriculum, which is available in three formats:

  • all elements
    • introductory information - includes the rationale, aims, organisation of the learning area, key connections and key considerations
    • curriculum content for all levels - includes year/band level descriptions, achievement standards, content descriptions and elaborations
  • scope and sequence - with achievement standards and content descriptions only
  • comparative information - showing the current and proposed revisions to content descriptions and achievement standards only.
You can access the primary level scope and sequence charts that combine all the learning areas and are presented by year level

How to have your say

Provide your feedback through our survey, which will ask you to respond to statements about the revised curriculum. You can see a copy of the survey questions before you begin to give your feedback.

For further information on the survey, including how to save and return to it, refer to the survey information sheet.

The three strands of language, literature and literacy have been retained and the Review has focused on making the curriculum more manageable for teachers, in particular by reducing content in order to achieve depth of learning.

The consultation version of the Australian Curriculum: English includes the following key changes:

  • Content descriptions have been revised to provide greater clarity to teachers about what to teach.
  • Content has been reduced to avoid repetition within the learning area or with other learning areas.
  • Achievement standards have been refined to reflect the language and demands of the curriculum at each year level.
  • Cognitive alignment between content descriptions and achievement standards has been strengthened.
  • Core concepts have been identified to show the interrelated nature of the English curriculum.
  • Content descriptions and elaborations have been written that illustrate how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority can support the teaching and learning of English.
  • Content elaborations have been improved to ensure that there is a clear relationship to the content.

Literacy is the development of skills to understand how meaning is made through language and texts in all learning areas, but the core development of literacy is in the English curriculum. Literacy is important for learning in and out of school and for participating in life in the broader community.

English is the integrating framework of disciplinary knowledge. It focuses on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, creating, speaking and writing. Literacy is key to accessing these skills in the English curriculum. Essential to English are the appreciation, analysis and enjoyment of a range of literary texts.

The National Literacy Learning Progression provides expanded and detailed information about the way in which literacy skills are developed. The National Literacy Learning Progression has been used to inform refinements to the English curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum: English supports a balanced approach to learning to read in the early years and allows states and territories or schools to determine how this balance might be achieved. Phonics has always been a key component of reading and spelling in the Australian Curriculum: English, particularly in the early years where learning to decode texts is fundamental. The English curriculum coordinates the development of phonics skills with learning a range of other reading skills, including understanding how texts work, recognising familiar text structures and exploring stories. The English curriculum includes references to ‘decodable texts’ and ‘predictable texts’ as part of a balanced reading program. These references have not been changed in the proposed revisions.

The use of software content has been removed from the literacy strand because some content has been integrated into existing content and other software content is not essential learning in English or it duplicates content in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies.

Analysing and evaluating texts content has been removed from the literacy strand in Years 6–9 to eliminate duplication with similar content descriptions in the analysing, interpreting and evaluating sub-strand in the literacy strand.

The oral presentations content descriptions have been moved from the interacting with others sub-strand to the creating texts sub-strand in the literacy strand to fit logically with the content descriptions related to the creation of texts.

The punctuation content descriptions have been moved from the text structure and organisation sub-strand to the expressing and developing ideas sub-strand in the language strand. This is a more appropriate position in the curriculum to reflect the processes of expressing and developing ideas in written texts.

Twelve content descriptions have been consolidated to six in the literature strand to remove repetition. In the engaging with and responding to literature sub-strand, the content descriptions related to 'personal responses to the ideas, characters and viewpoints in texts' and 'expressing preferences and evaluating texts' have been combined to remove repetition.

Twenty content descriptions have been consolidated to 10 in the literature strand to remove repetition. In the engaging with and responding to literature sub-strand, the content descriptions related to experimentation and adaptation duplicated skills and understanding in the creating texts sub-strand.

Twenty content descriptions have been consolidated to 10 in the literacy strand to remove repetition. The current interacting with others sub-strand had two threads of content descriptions named ‘listening and speaking interactions’. These have been consolidated into one thread of content descriptions to ensure students develop the core skills and understanding, while removing content duplication.