What is Literacy?

Literacy is viewed as a flexible group of skills and strategies that are closely linked to context and purpose. Contemporary views of literacy have moved beyond simple print literacy to encompass notions of active citizenship, new communications practices and information technologies, critical thinking and linguistic and cultural diversity. The multiplicity of literacy practices has led many educators to use the plural terms ‘literate practices’ and ‘multiliteracies’ to emphasise the diverse ways that we use the non-verbal, spoken, print, visual and multimodal communications practices of the world in which we live.

One definition of literacy agreed to by State and Federal ministers (MCEETYA) in 1997 is:

"Literacy is the ability to read and write and use written information and to write appropriately in a range of contexts. It also involves the integration of speaking, listening, viewing and critical thinking with reading and writing, and includes the cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, writer or reader to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situations."

Professional Learning to Support Literacy

The Learning and Teaching Branch provides support materials and courses for teachers in ACT schools. Definitions and examples for the different approaches are given as a guide for your information and to use when programming.

While information provided in the booklets describe the frameworks of the programs, it should be stressed that engaging in specific professional learning, dialogue and receiving on-going support is essential to embed these approaches. The Learning and Teaching Branch offer specific professional learning workshops that address these programs. Information on these workshops can also be found on the Professional Learning and Events Calendar on ‘Activated or by contacting the Learning and Teaching Branch and 620 59346.