In any contemporary classroom, an inclusive attitude to literacy involves
educators accommodating to all the individual needs of the students, and at the
same time, exhibiting the skills to cater for those needs with engaging and rich
learning experiences. This should include the planning for assisting EAL students,
who have a range of language levels, conceptual understanding and literacy
comprehension. This means that in order to provide literacy education that will
foster and support meaningful learning experiences for all, literacy instruction
must include a wide range of instructional strategies that will fulfill the needs of
every child.
When planning a lesson, it is important to include a range of different
instructional strategies, as this will help support each child’s individual learning
style, strategies such as a whole class read aloud for the introduction, and shared
reading in focus groups. Shared reading also proves to be a useful scaffolding
technique. ‘In a scaffold approach to literacy there is a place for the teacher to
model, share, and guide and encourage independence in reading and writing’
(Hill, (2012), p. 82). This unit of literacy work has been planned around catering
to all childrens diverse learning styles, and specifically EAL students learning
needs. Each lesson assists the learning of EAL students by exercising a range of
teaching activities that will foster the development of each child’s literacy ability,
such as working in supportive groups, explicit vocabulary teaching, scaffolding
language development skills, constructive feedback and the importance of
modeling the writing process.
When choosing a text type to base my unit of learning around, I decided to begin
my research in AusVels. Under level 5 English, I found this description; ‘Plan, draft
and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts,
choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to
purpose and audience. ACELY1704’ (AusVels, 2013). I decided on the text type
‘information narrative’, as factual information can be interlaced around a
particular event, character or setting, in this case, the first fleet and Australia in
1788. Information narratives share the same language features as a fictional
narrative, but the two text types are distinctive in their final form. Lisa UmmelIngram states that the goal is to give English language learners in the classroom,

and in this case, the ELD class, opportunities to personally and meaningfully
connect to writing (Ummel-Ingram, 2004). Two language features of an
information narrative that I used in my plan was the use of descriptive language
to create vivid imagery and point of view, switching between first, second and
third person to help tell the narrative.
The use of descriptive language was first introduced to the unit of work in lesson
focus three, when we are learning to build on descriptions using literary devices
to enhance the characters in our information narrative. Using the ‘Have a guess’
activity from Wing jan, p.260, the children would use descriptive language to
create a profile of an animal without mentioning the name of the animal, they
would then read it to a partner and the partner would guess what animal is being
referred to, by what descriptive language they used. This activity would
encourage the students to think about characteristics and traits that are unique
to the animal, which would help the reader to develop visual imagery. Throughout
the lesson, the teacher would constantly be questioning and probing, How do
these words help to develop a character? What do these words mean? Can you
show me what these words look like? In general, research shows that instruction
involving questioning is more effective than instruction without questioning.
Questioning is one of the nine research-based strategies presented in Classroom
Instruction That Works (Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock 2001). This oral language
activity is great for learning the language feature ‘descriptive writing’ as children
can make connections between how the descriptors used are powerful enough to
create an image in the mind of the reader, and thus are a great tool to use in any
type of narrative writing.
For both language features, the lessons are started with a discussion and
brainstorming time as a whole class. Where the language features may be
explored and students can voice what they already know and also identify new
vocabulary. Wessels (2011) entails that preparation for literacy learning should
include two main characteristics; accessing background knowledge and
connecting and extending upon vocabulary. Group discussions are also a time
where the students may observe the teacher modeling the language feature as
well as the oral language feature. After the introduction and discussion time,
students are able to move off into small groups or work individually to complete
the oral language activity for that lesson. The EAL group in the ‘have a guess’

lesson would be doing the same activity, but with characters from the My Place
Dan 1788 episode. Adesope, Lavin, Thompson and Ungerleider (2011) claim that
recent evidence suggests that proficient literacy in a second language “can be
achieved when peers engage in interactions and cooperatively negotiate meaning
and shared understanding” pg. 632. This is why working in smaller groups with
EAL students in beneficial to their literacy learning as it permits them to more
explicit learning and one on one support from the teacher as well as EAL peers.
Children are able to engage in discussion about the oral language activity where
they can share ideas and meanings, and also voice any misunderstandings during
the small group time.
The second language feature from the information narrative text type I used, was
point of view, in first, second and third person. In the lesson focus three (2), the
lesson introduces the students to first, second and third person, as it aims to
show students how to identify and switch between different points of view. The
whole class task is again taken from Wing jan, p245, ‘writing from another point
of view’. This oral language activity is good to break up the static energy in the
classroom, as it allows the students to present their work to the class in the form
of a short role play. As Protheroe (2011) highlights, presenting information
visually so that relationships between ideas can be clearly seen, such as the use
of role play, is a great comprehension strategy for EAL learners. This is why for
this whole class activity, there is no small EAL group, they will also be presenting
a role play.
The language features of an information narrative that were explored in my
lesson plan were introduced and investigated through the use of oral language
activates. The activates chosen were because of their ability to be altered or set
at different levels, to cater for each individuals learning styles, especially the EAL