Glossary

A strategy of emphasis, highlighting what is important in a text. In images, salience is created through strategies like placement of an item in the foreground, size and contrast in tone or colour. In writing, salience can occur through placing what is important at the beginning or at the end of a sentence or paragraph or through devices such as underlining or italics.

Exposing and criticising the shortcomings or behaviour of an individual or a society in a text, using techniques such as exaggeration, humour, ridicule and irony.

When reading, moving eyes quickly down a page, seeking specific words and phrases. Scanning is also used when a reader first finds a resource to determine whether it will answer their questions.

Recognising and separating out phonemes in a word. Students may say each sound as they tap it out. Stretching (for example, mmmaaannn) is an example of segmenting. When segmenting words, there is a pause between each phoneme (for example, /m/-/a/-/n/ is an example of segmenting).

information related to meanings used when reading. Semantic information includes a reader’s own prior knowledge and the meanings embedded in a text. Readers use semantic information to assist in decoding and to derive meanings from a text.

a punctuation convention used to join clauses that could stand alone as sentences. In this way, clauses that have a close relationship with one another may be linked together in a single sentence.

In writing, a sentence is marked by punctuation, but in speech the boundaries between sentences are not always so clear.

There are different types of sentences:

  • simple sentence – has a form of a single clause (for example, ‘David walked to the shops.’ or ‘Take a seat.’)
  • compound sentence – has two or more main clauses of equal grammatical status, usually marked by a coordinating conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘or’. In the following examples below, the main clauses are indicated by square brackets
    • [Jill came home this morning] [but she didn't stay long].
    • [Kim is an actor], [Pat is a teacher], [and Sam is an architect].
  • complex sentence – has one or more subordinate clauses. In the following examples, subordinate clauses are indicated by square brackets:
    • I took my umbrella [because it was raining].
    • [Because I am reading Shakespeare], my time is limited.
    • The man [who came to dinner] is my brother.

A letter that is in the written form of a word but is not pronounced in the spoken form (for example, ‘t’ in the word ‘listen’ or ‘k’ in the word ‘knew’).

Has a form of a single clause (for example, ‘David walked to the shops.’ or ‘Take a seat.’).

Resources used by poets to convey and reinforce the meaning or experience of poetry through the skillful use of sound (for example, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhythm, rhyme).

Any sound, other than speech or music, used to create an effect in a text.

The relationship of spoken sounds of English to letters of the alphabet or to letter clusters.

Convey meaning and communicate with purpose. Some students participate in speaking activities using communication systems and assistive technologies to communicate wants and needs, and to comment about the world.

A slip of the tongue where the initial sounds of a pair of words are transposed (for example, well-boiled icicle for well-oiled bicycle).

The variety of spoken and written English language in Australia used in more formal settings such as for official or public purposes, and recorded in dictionaries, style guides and grammars. While it is always dynamic and evolving, it is recognised as the ‘common language’ of Australians.

When a person or thing is judged to be the same as all others of its type. Stereotypes are usually formulaic and oversimplified.

The ways in which aspects of texts (such as words, sentences, images) are arranged and how they affect meaning. Style can distinguish the work of individual authors (for example, Jennings’s stories, Lawson’s poems), as well as the work of a particular period (for example, Elizabethan drama, nineteenth-century novels). Examples of stylistic features are narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, juxtaposition.

A function in the structure of a clause usually filled by a noun group/phrase (for example, ‘The dog [subject] was barking’). The normal position of the subject is before the verb group/phrase, but in most kinds of interrogatives (questions) it follows the first auxiliary verb (for example, ‘Was the dog barking?’, ‘Why was the dog barking?’).

In main clauses the subject is an obligatory element, except in imperative (command) clauses (for example, ‘Be very tactful’) and in casual style (for example, ‘Want some?’).

Most personal pronouns have a different form when they are the subject of a main clause (for example, I caught the ball. She has the answer etc.), than when they are the object (for example, Max threw the ball to me; Max told me the answer) Similarly ‘Give it to Mary and me’ is correct, not ‘Give it to Mary and I.’).

In the present tense, and the past tense with the verb ‘be’, the verb agrees with the subject in person and number (for example, ‘Her son lives with her’ ‘Her sons live with her’).

Subject matter refers to the topic or theme under consideration.

Use of language which reflects the perspective, opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment of the writer or speaker.

Subordinating conjunctions introduce certain kinds of subordinate clauses. They include conjunctions such as ‘after’, ‘when’, ‘because’, ‘if’ and ‘that’.

Examples of different types of subordinating conjunctions:

  • ‘When the meeting ended we went home.’ (time)
  • ‘That was because it was raining.’ (reason)
  • ‘I'll do it if you pay me.’ (condition)
  • ‘I know that he is ill.’ (declarative)
  • ‘I wonder whether/if she’s right?’ (interrogative)

A meaningful element added to the end of a word to change its meaning (for example, to show its tense : ‘-ed’ in ‘passed’). Common suffixes are ‘-ing’; ‘-ed’; ‘-ness’; ‘-less’; ‘-able’).

The process of dividing words into syllables.

A unit of sound within a word (for example, ‘bat’ has one syllable; ‘bat-ting has two syllables).

A word having nearly the same meaning as another (for example, synonyms for ‘old’ would be ‘aged’, ‘venerable’, ‘antiquated’).

The ways in which sentences are formed from words, group/phrases and clauses. In some education settings, the terms ‘syntax’ and ‘grammar’ are used interchangeably.