Expert literacy videos

These seven videos feature experts discussing different dimensions of language and literacy education. They are designed to be used by educators to support professional dialogue to inform language and literacy programs and practice.

What is literacy?

This video features experts defining and discussing literacy. Listen to the view of literacy presented by each of the experts.

Discussion questions

  • What view of literacy does each expert provide?
  • In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different?
  • How do these views influence your own definition of literacy?
  • How do these views resonate with your own classroom practice?
  • To what extent are these views linked to your school’s curriculum and approach to literacy?

Metalinguistic awareness

This video features Professor Debra Myhill discussing the importance of metalinguistic awareness or understanding for students, that is, their capacity to verbalise or talk about the way a text is constructed.

Discussion questions

After listening to Professor Myhill’s discussion of metalinguistic awareness:

  • In what ways can metalinguistic awareness support readers and writers?
  • What are some key pedagogical strategies that teachers might use to develop metalinguistic awareness in their students?
  • How do you/ might you develop your students’ metalinguistic awareness?

School and home literacy

In this video, Professor Joe Lo Bianco discusses the differences between school and home literacy practices.

Discussion questions

In light of Professor Lo Bianco’s comments about school and home literacy practices, consider the following:

  • What kinds of literate experiences do your students have at home?
  • How close or distant are these experiences to their experiences of school literacy?
  • How does your school acknowledge home literacy practices?
  • How does your school support students to bridge the gap between home and school literacy?

Critical literacy

This video features Professor Joe Lo Bianco discussing critical literacy, and its relevance to school education.

Discussion questions

In light of Professor Lo Bianco’s comments about critical literacy, consider the following:

  • What is your understanding of critical literacy?
  • Why is critical literacy a crucial element of literacy education in school?
  • To what extent does your school address critical literacy?

The power of vocabulary

This video features Professor John Hattie and Professor Joe Lo Bianco discussing vocabulary and register in learning area disciplines.

Discussion questions

Consider the discussion of vocabulary from Professor Hattie and Professor Lo Bianco:

  • Why is vocabulary important for language and literacy education?
  • How do you consider vocabulary in your planning and teaching?
  • What is meant by the term register, and why is it important to consider?
  • What were key pedagogical strategies were highlighted when considering the vocabulary demands of a lesson?
  • How is vocabulary instruction important for literacy learning?


This video features Professor Lorraine Graham discussing differentiated teaching and learning.

Discussion questions

Reflect on the concept of differentiation discussed by Professor Lorraine Graham:

  • What explanation of differentiation is provided in the video?
  • How does this relate to your own ideas about differentiation?
  • What were some kinds of differentiation practices identified in the video?
  • What are some key examples of differentiation you use in your teaching?

Oral language development

Interacting with others is a key goal of early childhood education. Professor Iram Siraj discusses the importance of oral language for early childhood, primary school, and beyond.

Discussion questions

  • Why is oral language important in the early years?
  • Why are all adults important as “educators” of children?
  • How do interactions between children and educators/parents promote children’s language development?
  • What is meant by rich language experiences in early childhood?
  • How do rich language experiences set children up for later success in school?
  • What key practices and strategies did you see in the video that encourage language learning?
  • Why is relational and intentional teaching important for language and literacy learning?