Literacy teaching strategies explored at national conference

Literacy was the focus of a recent national conference, hosted in Perth by the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association and the Australian Association for the Teaching of Education.

In response to the theme The Art of English,the 8 to 11 July forum addressed language, literature and literacy, and featured a presentation by Girraween Primary School’s Helen Chatto, Kate Strudwick and Jasmine Murdoch.

Assistant principal Jemma Rust said: “Our presentation outlined Girraween’s research into effective literacy building tools, such as the creation of word conscious classrooms, targeting the meaning of words and teaching spelling using metacognition strategies — the methods used to help students understand how they learn.

“The conference challenged our thinking as educators, and gave us the opportunity to meet other educators, authors and illustrators, and open a professional dialogue and share expertise.

“At Girraween we see ourselves as learners, and it’s important to keep abreast of current practices in the teaching of literacy. With four staff attending the conference we will share what we’ve learned, and implement practices to strengthen our teaching methodologies.

“I was particularly impressed by Indigenous author Ambelin Kwaymullina, who by questions such as ‘What stories do you hear about Aboriginals?’ raised the possibility of an unconscious bias against Aboriginal people.”

Jemma Rust, the incoming state director of ALEA Northern Territory, is encouraging greater representation of the Territory at the 9 to 12 July conference in Melbourne next year.

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