National Literacy Learning Progression

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Interacting description

This sub-element describes how a student becomes increasingly proficient at active listening, strategic and respectful questioning and using language to share information and negotiate meaning and outcomes. Students interact across an increasing range of curriculum contexts and purposes in pair, group or whole-class oral interactions. This sub-element focuses on the development of two-way interaction processes to clarify and create understanding.

This sub-element is closely related to the sub-elements Listening and Speaking.

Some students will communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies to demonstrate their literacy skills. This may include digital technologies, sign language, braille, real objects, photographs and pictographs.

Each sub-element level has been identified by upper-case initials and in some cases lower-case letters of the sub-element name followed by ascending numbers. The abbreviation for this sub-element is InT. The listing of indicators within each level is non-hierarchical. Where appropriate, examples have been provided in brackets following an indicator.

InT1 Foundation

  • shares simple ideas with peers
  • responds to questions in class discussion
  • listens without interrupting (See Listening)
  • uses non-verbal responses (nods)
  • uses home language or dialect to interact with familiar peers and adults

InT2 Foundation to Year 1

  • contributes simple ideas and shares personal experiences to participate in informal group discussions
  • shows signs of active listening, looks at the speaker
  • shows beginning awareness of discussion conventions (pauses when another speaker starts)
  • uses appropriate language or dialect to interact with speakers of the same language


InT3 Years 1 and 2

  • actively listens to stay on topic in a small group discussion
  • joins in small group and whole-class discussion
  • asks relevant questions for clarification or to find out others’ ideas (What do you think about that?)
  • takes turns as speaker and listener
  • interacts using appropriate language in pairs or a small group to complete tasks

InT4 Years 2 and 3

  • interacts to extend and elaborate ideas in a discussion (provides an additional example)
  • presents simple ideas clearly in group situations
  • actively encourages or supports other speakers
  • shows awareness of discussion conventions (uses appropriate language to express agreement and disagreement in class discussions)
  • uses language to initiate interactions in a small group situation (‘I have an idea’)

InT5 Years 4 and 5

  • interacts to critically evaluate ideas and refine meaning
  • explains new learning from interacting with others
  • uses a range of strategies for effective dialogue (questions claims made by a speaker or presents an alternative point to the previous speaker)
  • initiates interactions confidently in group and whole-class discussions
  • asks pertinent questions to make connections between a range of ideas
  • uses open questions to prompt a speaker to provide more information
  • clarifies task goals and negotiates roles in group learning
  • monitors discussion to manage digression from the topic
  • identifies and articulates a point of view of a speaker, to move a conversation forward

InT6 Years 6 and 7

  • synthesises ideas from group discussion into a common theme or hypothesis
  • poses problems, hypothesises and formulates questions about abstract ideas in group situations
  • restates different views and makes suggestions to negotiate agreement
  • asks questions to clarify assumptions made by the speaker
  • questions others to evaluate accuracy of thinking or problem-solving processes
  • interacts with school or the broader community, adjusting language and responses to suit purpose and audience
  • uses language to align the listener with personal position (of course, as you can imagine, obviously)

InT7 Years 8 and 9

  • gives an extended explanation and evaluation of a complex concept, issue or process
  • justifies a personal stance, after analysis of arguments on a particular issue, using evidence and elaboration in a group situation
  • uses language strategically to subtly align others to own point of view