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Teaching reading in Australia

(13 Posts)
SaltyMyDear Mon 07-Nov-16 07:44:51

Does anyone know how reading is taught in Australia?

Do they use phonics? Or mixed methods? Or sight words?

Is it up to each school how they teach it?

Also, does anyone know if they have any kind of national or state reading test?

And if they do, are the results available to the public?


RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 07-Nov-16 08:08:25

As far as I know, they are attempting to move towards phonics only, but it's still largely mixed methods.

SaltyMyDear Mon 07-Nov-16 10:12:13


NightCzar Mon 07-Nov-16 10:25:15

We don't use phonics. It's all sight words. This isn't my school but seems like a standard list used across NSW States may vary though. (

DDs have learned one sound or blended sound a week through kindergarten and also how to recognise and now write these 200 sight words.

Feenie Mon 07-Nov-16 15:53:39

We don't use phonics. It's all sight words. .. DDs have learned one sound or blended sound a week

That's phonics! grin

Feenie Mon 07-Nov-16 15:58:01

I don't know anything about the Australian curriculum, but on reading the above curriculum is does say they emphasise fluency in letter-sound correspondences of English. So there must be something there.

Feenie Mon 07-Nov-16 15:59:37

Next page:

Phonics and word knowledge: Students develop knowledge about the sounds of English (phonemes) and learn to identify the sounds in spoken words. They learn the letters of the alphabet (graphemes) and how to represent spoken words by using combinations of these letters. They attend to the speech stream and learn that sentences are made up of words, and are introduced to understandings about the complexities and subtleties of learning English. Students learn that patterns and generalisations relate to the spelling of words in English and involve word origins, prefixes and suffixes, visual and meaning strategies. Reading skills are inherently complex, have infinite possibilities for use, and therefore require practice and application when students engage in the receptive modes of communication (listening, reading and viewing) and the productive modes of communication (speaking, writing and creating) not just in English, but across the curriculum. The application of phonemic awareness and phonic knowledge to the development of reading, especially from Foundation to Year 2, is of critical importance.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 07-Nov-16 17:36:57

There was a national inquiry into reading in Australia in 2005 that concluded that children should be taught to read using explicit systematic phonics teaching. I think they've had much more trouble getting rid of phonics as part of a number of strategies than we have.

NightCzar Mon 07-Nov-16 18:24:26

Sorry, when I say they've leaned a sound, it'll be more like a letter: eg for f, it's been "eff" not "fuh". So it doesn't seem like the phonics my UK nieces are learning.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 07-Nov-16 18:27:06

Sounds a bit like the national literacy strategy. There's a vague attempt at including some phonics, but no one really bothers with that bit much.

mrz Mon 07-Nov-16 19:17:54

littlepinkmouseofsugar Mon 07-Nov-16 21:18:14

Education differs slightly depending on which state you are in I believe, as they can tailor the Australian curriculum to suit their needs apparently (according to the WA ed dept website). Although there are moves to make it nationally streamlined re school starting ages and curriculum which have always traditionally varied a fair bit, depending on where you live in the country.

Reading was always phonics based in WA even back in the 70s and that was still the case when I studied teaching here back in the 90s.

Re national tests they have more or less SATs equivalents called NAPLAN tests every couple of years from mid primary age and up I think. NAPLAN tests are new-ish - they used to trust teachers a lot more over there and they have always had more autonomy in the classroom in the past. I'm not sure if there is a phonics test like there is here though, again some states might do these and private schools do things differently as well.

mrz Tue 08-Nov-16 06:18:50

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