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ECL1100 Language Development and Early Literacy Learning

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Early Language & Literacy
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070101 - Teacher Education: Early Child
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 April 2021


Examiner: Eseta Tualaulelei


Enrolment is not permitted in ECL1100 if EDX3270 has been previously completed.

Other requisites

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Meaningful human interaction and successful participation in social life rely on a range of communicative skills typically developed during infancy and early childhood. The Australian Early Years Learning Framework recognises the importance of early childhood settings that build on children’s language and literacy knowledges, and acknowledges the significance of multiple forms of literacy to children’s successful learning across all curriculum areas. Early childhood educators therefore require knowledge of children’s pre-linguistic communication and oral language development. In order to create effective literacy learning environments, early childhood educators also require knowledge of the ways that children progress from pre- and emergent literacy to eventually become readers who can decode, interpret and produce written texts.


This course provides an introduction to theories of language development and learning. The course focuses specifically on children's language and literacy development in the years prior to schooling. Key aspects of pre-linguistic communication and oral language development in infancy and early childhood will be explored, including affective, embodied, linguistic, representational and intersubjective communication. The role of symbolic and imaginative play in young children's development of communicative skills, relational learning and meaning-making will be considered. The course will address the role of familial, cultural and educational contexts in providing a diverse range of language and literacy experiences in the early years. Pre-service educators will consider how the theories of language development and learning covered in the course inform pedagogic approaches to fostering young children's development of oral language and early literacy learning.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service educators should be able to:

  1. apply knowledge and understanding of research and describe, observe and interpret pre-linguistic communication and oral language development in infants and young children (APST 1.2, 5.4);
  2. describe theories and research related to early literacy learning, and their implications for relevant pedagogic strategies (APTS 1.2, 2.5);
  3. describe specific forms of play, engaging activities and interactions that contribute to children’s oral language development, communicative repertoires and early literacy learning (APST 1.2, 2.5, 5.2);
  4. describe, observe and interpret the role of familial, cultural and educational contexts in providing literacy experiences for young children, and communicate information about children’s language and literacy learning to parents/carers (APST 3.7);
  5. describe pedagogic strategies and resources that can be used by educators and parents for fostering children’s language development and early literacy learning (APST 3.3, 3.7).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Pre-linguistic communication and oral language development in infants and young children 20.00
2. Theories of language and literacy and their implications for pedagogies in early childhood education 20.00
3. Functions of play in language development, communication and literacy learning 15.00
4. Literacy learning through familial, educational and sociocultural contexts 15.00
  1. Observing literacy learning and interpreting observational data
  2. Moderation of observational data and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of children’s involvement, development and learning
6. Pedagogic strategies and resources that foster language development and early literacy learning 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Fellowes, J & Oakley, G 2019, Language, literacy and early childhood education, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Irving, E & Carter, C 2018, The child in focus : learning and teaching in early childhood education, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 14 Dec 2021 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 24 Jan 2022 (see note 2)

  1. Inquiry task
  2. Portfolio of work

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.

Date printed 17 April 2021