PETAA releases new position statement on teaching English - Education Matters Magazine
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PETAA releases new position statement on teaching English

Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA) has unveiled a new position statement designed to provide an evidence-informed model of English teaching at the classroom and school level.

It said its groundbreaking document represents PETAA’s commitment to providing evidence-informed guidance to educators, ensuring the highest standards of English teaching and learning in primary schools.

“English education holds a central position in the Australian curriculum, serving as both a foundational subject and the gateway to accessing other areas of learning. English also plays a critical role in enabling individuals to participate in civic life,” PETAA said.

Recognising this critical work, PETAA’s position statement underscores the important role member associations play in equipping teachers with the necessary tools and knowledge to foster understandings about language, literary appreciation, and literacy skills among students.

“PETAA’s position statement reflects our deep understanding of the evolving landscape of English teaching and our unwavering commitment to empowering educators with access to useful theory, sound research and evidence-informed practices so they can set their students up for success,” immediate PETAA past president Pauline Jones said.

“All teachers need access not just to the latest research, but to trusted associations that will provide the strategies, instructional practices and guidelines that will allow them to teach explicitly, meaningfully, and thoughtfully,” incoming PETAA president Helen Adam said.

“PETAA’s role in this process is vital: we give support and ongoing training to teachers as they work within the rapidly changing environment that is the 21st century classroom.”

Key highlights of PETAA’s position statement include:

  • Language: PETAA builds teachers’ knowledge so that they can support their students to develop a conscious knowledge of how language works in different contexts of use and at various language levels, e.g. text, sentence, group/phrase, word, sound.
  • Literature: PETAA recognises the central place of literature in English curriculum and in cultural practice. PETAA builds teachers’ understandings so that they can confidently identify and use a diverse range of literary texts in their teaching.
  • Literacy: PETAA appreciates that literacy involves making meaning, using and adapting language knowledge and skills in various modes and for various purposes. Across the primary years, listening, speaking, reading and writing need to be developed systematically and concurrently. Teachers support students to build on foundational skills (incl. phonic and word knowledge) to meet the demands of general and specialised purposes and contexts, with fluency and confidence.

“PETAA provides teachers at all stages of their careers with the knowledge and resources to enable them to make informed decisions to support their students’ learning,” CEO Megan Edwards said.

“Teachers are experts who select and sequence content and learning activities in order to support learning that develops cumulatively over time. These sequences are initiated through teacher-directed explicit teaching of knowledge and skills, followed by guided practice that develops knowledge and skills so that students can operate independently.

“We are here to support them every step of the way.”

For more information on PETAA and the position, visit 

Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA) is a national not-for-profit association committed to supporting primary teachers in delivering best practice English and literacy instruction. Through professional development, resources, and advocacy, PETAA empowers educators to foster a lifelong love of language and literacy in students across Australia.

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