The Four Roles/Resources of the reader

In many assignments for this unit I notice people referring to the ‘Four Resources’ model of literacy developed by Freebody & Luke. However not many people are citing a primary source for this, i.e. a paper written in the 1990s by Peter Freebody and Allan Luke. Instead people are citing other readings, such as Ludwig’s (2003) ALEA Newsletter article as the scholarly source for information about the Four Resources.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s adequate, but it’s not ideal!

Therefore I am going to add one of the original papers for this into the list of further readings for the unit. The one I have chosen is available free, online via QUT eprints:

Freebody, P. & Luke, A. (1990). Literacies programs: Debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL, 5(3), pp. 7-16.

The file can be downloaded from:

It is always much better to cite an original source for a theory rather than someone else’s description of it. Here is the introduction to the paper I’m going to recommend:

Freebody & Luke (1990, p.7)

Freebody & Luke (1990, p.7, my underlining)

The paper goes on to say this:

“We will elaborate the position that a successful reader in our society needs to develop and sustain the resources to adopt four related roles: code breaker (‘how do I crack this?’), text participant (‘what does this mean?’), text user (‘what do I do within this, here and now?’), and text analyst (‘what does all this do to me?’).” (p.7)

You should note that the model changed names from the ‘Four Roles’ to the ‘Four Resources’ of the reader during the early 90s when then model was being refined. However the basic elements of the model stayed the same.

AITSL: Illustrations of Practice

Howdy readers!
The purpose of this post is to make you aware of a resource created by AITSL called the ‘illustrations of practice’.

One way that you can use this resource is to watch short film clips featuring graduate teachers and reflect on their approaches. There are seven illustrations of practice featuring English at the Graduate level, and two of these are for high school:

Video on ‘engaging every learner’:

Video on ‘knowledge of concepts and substance’:

There are many more illustrations of teachers working at the Proficient level that would also be of interest, e.g.

Video on ‘creating a eulogy’ with a Queensland year 9 class:

Video on ‘transformative classrooms’:

What’s in store for 2014?

Happy 2014 2 - Flickr image by Angie Stalker (CC-BY-2.0)

Happy 2014 2Flickr image by Angie Stalker (CC-BY-2.0)

Wow, this is the fourth year of running this blog, can you believe it!?

That’s right folks, this blog kicked off at the start of 2011 and has been used each year for various projects in English Curriculum Studies 1. If you are new to the blog then please take a look around, especially at the pages up the top because there are quite a few interesting links and ideas available here for new English teachers.

This blog has two main aims:

  1. To be a model blog, demonstrating to new teachers what a class blog might look like
  2. To be an actual blog, showcasing some of the things we do in this unit and publishing examples of student work.


One thing that this blog doesn’t model very well is the use of comments to promote student discussion. This is because I traditionally use Twitter in my class for public online discussion, and wiki pages in Blackboard for non-public student writing/sharing. However you are always welcome to add a comment on the blog posts here too – I do get a notification when you do so and will definitely come and read it :)

In 2014…

This year our unit codes have changed, so the old CLB018 code is now CRB909, and the old CLP408 code is now CRP407.

The assignments have also been re-jigged to fit the new course structures in Education, but I’ll still be integrating some of my favourite activities such as FIVE THINGS and the DIGITAL IDENTITY COLLAGE (now they’ll be in Assignment 1 instead of the old ‘portfolio task’).

In semester 1 we’ll also see the week 6 poetry workshops continue, as well as our fourth annual POETRY FORUM.

I’m excited to get started with new CRB909/CRP407 students next week. If you’re in my class and have found yourself at this blog then you must have done something awesome like read your unit outline or clicked through to this URL from Twitter…you are a star!

See you soon, future English teachers!

Affinity spaces: Pinterest

An affinity space, according to Wikipedia, is a virtual or physical place where informal learning takes place; they are where groups of people are drawn together because of a shared, strong interest or engagement with common activity.

Earlier this semester I asked students in CLP408 to investigate an online affinity space of their choice to discover how teachers could use the space for learning.

Here is what Natalie found out about Pinterest:

How teachers are using Pinterest as an affinity space:
As a collaborative space that draws people together from around the globe, Pinterest is a fantastic site for exploring teaching concepts and related imagery for the classroom. Dominant information regarding teaching relates primarily to junior grades, including prep; but there are still thousands of pins (ideas, information, links, art, quotes, books, lessons, etc.) connected to English teaching for senior grades, if your searches are topic or content related.

Pinterest users are able to pin found related images into personal folders for future reflection, but images collected are also available for access and viewing by the community of pinners connected to Pinterest. This makes the knowledge collected a shared experience within the online community.

Searches: lesson plans, teaching, teachers, teaching theories, classroom strategies, senior English, junior English, behaviour management, English curriculum, Australian English curriculum (both pins and boards).

Pinterest - English board Dec 2012

What are your hopes for being an English teacher?

In class today we discussed our FEARS in relation to English teaching.
Please use this blog post to share a more positive message…what are your HOPES in relation to teaching English?


Digital Collage – Tatjana

Another example of a collage and reflection, by Tatjana Padjen (2013, semester 1):

tatjana p polyvore collage

Collage made using Microsoft Paint

REFLECTION: This collage represents my identity as an English teacher. I’ve made the background Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory because that is how I want my students to feel when they step into my classroom, as if they are stepping into a wondrous world. To represent that the students are going to be a product of their sociocultural upbringing, I decided to make my collage-students the currently very popular girl band ‘Little mix’. The teacher in the collage is a mixture of memes that circulate the internet, as I want to be seen to them as aware of popular technology trends and resources on the internet that I can provide, and if I don’t, we can all have a LOL about it – hence the LOL-face meme. The iPhone in the corner represents my belief in multiliteracies and using advancing technology. Also, although it probably isn’t very clear, in the message space on the iPhone it has a quote from The Simpson, said by the loveable Ralph, “Me fail English? That’s umpossible.” Although ironically, this sentence is grammatically incorrect, the motto of failing English not being a possibility is one I support. Finally, the Futurama “floating brains” can be seen in two ways, either the students having to think ‘outside the square’ or outside their own head, or as ideas out there in the world that need a creative, intellectual English student to discover them.

Digital Collage – Sam

One of the challenges that students can opt to complete in this unit for their portfolio is a digital collage, reflecting on their identity as an English teacher.

Here is an example of a collage and reflection, by Sam (2013, semester 1):

Collage made using

Collage made using

REFLECTION: Visualising my English teaching identity was an enjoyable and reflective process. My initial instinct was to identify my favourite novels and represent them using quotes and imagery; I soon realised, however, that this was not addressing the task. The interactive design and simple interface of polyvore had spirited me away, so I rolled my chair away from the glowing alter (aka my computer) and began to engage with the real question. I began by brainstorming what compels me to engage with the subject of English, and what it means to teach it. This enquiry threw up a maelstrom of ideas, but at its heart the themes of truth and imagination were central. Understanding language, context, and culture, through a lens of imagination and critical reflection, is how I see my English teaching identity. This provided a focal point for my collage, represented by big brother’s eye from 1984, one of my favourite novels. Furthermore, I wanted to represent my love of pop culture and contemporary adaptation. I think it is important to still appreciate classic and canonical works such as Shakespeare, and how this can be achieved in a contemporary way to engage young adults. Finally, the dictionary is a grounding object that reminds me that English relies on a foundation, which includes lexicon, grammar and other attending systems. (Sam M., 2013)

e4ac: Units of work for English

I’m pleased to share with you all this link to an excellent new resource:

e4ac screenshot

‘English for the Australian Curriculum’ is the web-home for a number of units of work that have been especially developed for the Australian Curriculum.

The reason I’m so excited is that these units have been developed by some of the best in the business – the project to create these units was a combined effort, with AATEALEA and PETAA leading the resource making for Education Services Australia. If you haven’t heard of all those acronyms before then what you need to know is that AATE, ALEA and PETAA are all National Associations of teachers in our field and that ESA is a government publisher. You can’t get any more sanctioned than that!

So please, go forth and explore. In the area for Secondary materials you will find something for Year 7, 8, 9 and 10:

Four empowering literature-based units of work that pursue imagination and inquiry to develop critical literacy skills and ethical understandings across a range of social media and authentic texts.

…and it’s all published under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license, which means it’s yours to use and share freely, with acknowledgement and for non-commercial purposes.

Stephen Fry talks about language and pedantry

This is a video that many students have recommended to me, and now I recommend it to you…

In the clip, British actor/writer Stephen Fry puts forward his view on language, and criticises ‘pedants’ for being too pedantic about using words “correctly”.

Thanks to the students that passed this around again via Twitter this semester – let’s keep this powerful message ALIVE!

What’s new in 2013?

Here's to a fresh start! Thanks for all the love and good vibes friends & fam! I'm excited to see what we get up to in 2013✌

Here’s to a fresh start! CC-BY Flickr image – Leah Gregg

When I started this blog to support classes in 2011 I wasn’t sure if it would still be kicking in 2013.

But – here we are, semester 1 is about to begin, and the blog lives!

‘What is this blog for?’

…I hear you ask.

Put simply this is a model of a class blog. I created it to support students in English Curriculum Studies 1 by providing a place to occasionally complete homework and connect in the virtual world.

There are links at the top of the page other handy resources for this unit:

  • Kelli’s YouTube channel for CLB018
  • CLB_018 Twitter profile
  • The Facebook page for ETA Queensland

And there are pages that house collections of teaching resources (e.g. language meets design, play on words)

‘I’m a 2013 student – do I have to use this blog?’

Not if you don’t want to :)

Students studying in external mode often like the extra opportunity to connect with classmates – if this is you, don’t be shy, drop us a line here anytime on any post (old or new) using the comment box!

There are links to other resources on the right-hand-side of the page. I suggest you have a browse through them … also feel free to go and stalk old posts in the archives to see examples of prior students’ work.

New in 2013

There won’t be many changes to the blog in 2013, but hopefully a couple of posts each semester to model ways of showcasing student work.

In 2013 our CLB018 and CLP408 units will continue to use Twitter as our primary online conversation tool.

The Poetry Forum will once again run in semester 1 – this time we might even be adding a live student audience!

Students in semesters 1 and 2 will also receive free copies of the ‘zine made by student in CLP408 (semester 2) last year. A cool PBL project that we will no doubt repeat in semester 2 this year!

I’m looking forward to meeting the new cohort in a few weeks :)

See you then,



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