Responding to literature : accessible texts for reluctant readers

Jetnikoff, Anita & Kelly, Melissa (2014) Responding to literature : accessible texts for reluctant readers. Words'worth, 47(2), pp. 7-18.


The Australian Curriculum: English 5.2 states, across all year level descriptions, that “students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment”, with the level types of texts and levels of understanding developing over time (ACARA, 2014a). Problems arise when students are unable or unwilling to enjoy texts, and are reluctant to read, view, interpret, and evaluate written texts. This in turn impedes their ability to perform these texts for assessment purposes. The literacy abilities of students can vary widely within a single classroom, and it is a challenge for teachers to source and present texts which are accessible across the spectrum of reading abilities, as well as reflecting themes that are relevant and engaging for students, in addition to being consistent with the General Capabilities and Cross-Curriculum Priorities of the AC:E.

In senior English also, the mainstream Qld Senior Syllabus (QSA, 2010, p. 6) requires that students have learning experiences developed through 15-20 literary texts, including the in-depth study of a complete novel. In the leisure context of English Communications, students may also “write stories, poems, or song lyrics” (QSA, 2004, p. 14). Since students’ responses to literature often take the form of other imaginative text creation we address this in this paper.

We start by offering synopses of some accessible texts and strategies for teachers with these students who are unwilling or low literacy readers in junior secondary and senior level English. This paper canvases some easily read novels and some films with companion text suggestions which may serve as models for students responses. For the junior secondary texts, we identify how these align with the architecture of the Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities and Cross Curriculum Priorities. Then, we will outline some suitable imaginative responses as possible assessment outcomes, such as short stories and digital stories.

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ID Code: 67364
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Responding to literature in the Australian Curriculum, Accesssible literature for reluctant readers, Low literacy readers, Accessible texts
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is a non refereed and non funded paper and copyright belongs to the principal author as above.
Deposited On: 13 Feb 2014 23:00
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 18:26

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