Issues in Educational Research
Australia's Institutes for Educational Research in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia
School of Education
Connected text reading is crucial to beginning reading development as this is where children apply the reading skills they are learning. The most recent version of the Australian Curriculum includes the requirement that teachers use both predictable and decodable texts in early reading instruction. As each text type is underpinned by a different approach to reading instruction, this creates a potential dilemma for teachers when implementing the curriculum. A preliminary study of the instructional practices used to teach reading in the first two years of schooling was therefore conducted to investigate how early years teachers make use of two different text types that are arguably incompatible. An online survey regarding approaches to reading instruction and use of different text types was distributed to Western Australian Pre-primary and Year 1 teachers via several social media platforms. A total of 138 teachers responded. Survey responses indicated that these teachers do not have a coherent understanding of the purpose of different text types in beginning reading instruction. The findings highlight the need to improve early years teachers’ knowledge of the instructional strategies aligned to each text type so that they can make informed decisions when supporting children’s reading development.
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