Teaching Literacy


Teaching literacy is considered as the technique to strengthen skills of the students by using authentic reading and learning approach. It allows the children to learn basic skill of the programs to enhance their ability. The current study is going to elaborate benefits and limitation of NAPPLAN and other two assessment form such as summative and formative. Three content descriptions for upper primary years in Australian curriculum are going to be evaluated.

Briefly explanation of NAPLAN and two other forms of assessment and reporting in English

NAPLAN benefits

NAPPLAN provides mainly two types of benefits for the students by focusing on their basic skills that belongs from 4-5-years of age groups.  It supports the children of Primary to gain driving improvements in the outcomes and maintains accountability.

  • Driving improvements

It supports the teacher to identify weakness and strength which requires attention

It also provides education minister scope to monitor success of the policies and helps to identify need of extra resource and funding (Chakraborti et al. 2019)

It allows the teachers to compare peer result to discover areas of improvement within the Primary education

  • Accountability

NAPLAN allows maintaining accountability by receiving valuable education to gain better outcome.


Figure 1: Benefits of NAPPLAN

(Source: Chakraborti et al. 2019)

Limitation of NAPLAN

  • NAPPLAN has limited strength as it includes approximately 40 questions.
  • This type of test program conducted once in a year and does not measure capability of individual students. 
  • It also places high amount of pressure on the students as it post result on the website.
  • The NAPLAN test has been demonstrated as the scheme used in the USA which considered as failure.

[Refer to assessment 2]

Summative assessment


  • It allows the teacher to understand students’ requirements and which supports in identifying their achievements related to English literacy program. 
  • Summative assessment allows maintaining academic records and provides opportunity to boost up individual.


  • Summative assessment might de-motivate individuals
  • Rectification delay can develop major problem to maintain literacy standard
  • No remedy is given to the primary students which develops negative impact on literacy standard

Formative assessment


  • Formative assessment gives teacher opportunity to define goal of the learning session
  • It helps the student of primary school to improve their academic achievement
  • It also supports the primary schools to enhance student motivation and increase engagement of the students (education.vic.gov.au, 2019)
  • Self regulated learning can be maintained in time of learning


  • This type of assessment of literacy [program is time consuming and requires proper resources
  • Entire process of formative assessment is tiring and develops challenges 

Critical evaluation of NAPLAN

The National Assessment Plan- Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) mainly indicates the evaluation of learning outcomes achieved by pupils so that it could be used later for curriculum planning and government policy formation. This specific pattern of assessment could be distinctively applied for problem solving and critical thinking and it can help teachers to differentiate between actual outcome of creative potential and creative potential itself (Gorur, 2015). As this plan is mainly posing stress on the accuracy of English language skill so it can help teachers to assess which student is being fluent in the use of language and who are lagging behind.


Figure 2: Different kinds of assessment tools

(Source: nap.edu.au, 2019)

Critical evaluation of formative assessment

Formative assessment is basically an ongoing activity that judges students’ learning abilities based on their throughout performance of a year (Cizek, Andrade & Bennett, 2019). This kind of assessment tends to judge the regular class works, home-works, quiz and test results of students so that a basis assumption could be made on the part of their learning. Strategic questioning techniques are often used in formative assessment to check if students are capable to answer those or not. Fountas benchmark assessment is an important category of observing reading behaviors of students that is used in formative assessment. It could prove which student is most likely to outshine others and who would still need improvement to reach the preliminary stage of learning.

Critical evaluation of summative assessment

Summative assessment takes place in the end of final year so that the annual performance of a student could be compared with the standard benchmark. This kind of assessment mainly generates outcomes with the help of final project, midterm exams, senior recitals and papers. The main attribution of summative assessment lies in the backdrop of collecting information from studnets’ performance repports and guides them throughout the next formative year to facilitate their efforts in the right direction (Dixson & Worrell, 2016). Pinnel benchmark assessment is often used in summative assessment to interpret reading capability in terms of their final reading reports. Hence, summative assessment could be connected with formative assessment and could be assistive of judging the English language skill of primary school children.

Comparison among NAPLAN and formative and summative assessment

It has been found that NAPLAN is mainly accountable for judging students’ capacity in the education premise because it can teach students to become accountable and also to drive improvements in their learning outcomes. Summative assessment is mainly applicable for students of elder age groups because it judges the overall performance of a student at the end of the year and so it requires maturity to assess the outcomes. On the other hand, formative assessment could be potential enough for helping students to evaluate their learning skill but it is not solely suitable for English language.

Content descriptor for summative assessment

It can be stated content descriptor for the assessment like summative in for the children is effective to understand in an in depth manner. It has been identified that curriculum for the subject like English is effective to understand by using summative assessment in an effective manner. It has been found from the study of Hofmeyer et al. (2018), that summative assessment  needs some content descriptor of 5 years as per the description of ACARA for 5 years. In this aspect, it is possible to state that literary is in the English literature needs to be assessed by using summative assessment. It can be possible to say that in the students of 5-6 years students, they mainly communicate with the teachers along with peers in the classroom of the schools (Hofmeyer et al. 2018). As for this reason, it is effective for them to understand the literature in an in depth manner by discussing with them.


Figure 3: NAPLAN result

(Source: Myschool.edu.au, 2019)

As per the content descriptor, it has been discussed that students need to be engaged with the enjoyment during the classes. As for this reason it can be useful for them to learn in a systematic way. It can be possible to say that independent readers in the classroom need to learn the subject for imparting knowledge within their mind. In this aspect, it has been found from the study of DeKeyser (2018) that summative assessment is very much effective for understanding the overall knowledge of the students at the end of the year. In this context, the students of 5-6 years need to impart knowledge from their teachers as well as peers in the classroom. In this content descriptor, it is mentioned that there is a range of the text of literacy for the foundation to the year 10 which comprises the literature of Australia. It includes the literature of text in a well manner. In the case of the students of 5-6 years of the primary schools, it is required to use this content descriptor for the summative assessment. It helps to evaluate the overall performance of the students in an effective way (Bardovi?Harlig, 2018). It is helpful for the students to become persuasive, informative as well as imaginative f other text of the literature. It can be evaluated by suing summative assessment at the end of the course. According to ACARA, it is also useful to develop the textual vocabulary as well as figurative language of the students (australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2019).

Content descriptor for formative assessment

The English curriculum has been built around 3 basic interconnected stands including, language, literacy as well as literature. The programs of learning and teaching are required to integrate and balance all these strands together. From the viewpoint of Santamaría Lancho et al. (2018), these strands together actually focus on the development of the knowledge, skills and understanding of the students in writing, creating, understanding and speaking. In the year 4, students basically experience various forms of learning as well as various contexts which are related to the several other aspects of the curriculum. They develop an interaction with the teachers or instructors in their class including face to face or virtual communication. This on the other hand could be linked to the formative assessment of learning. It is generally sued as the very beginning of the instructional period. At this instructional period, the teachers primarily check and monitor and understand their learning (Australiancurriculum.edu.au, 2019).


Figure 4: NAPLAN output in years

(Source: Myschool.edu.au, 2019)

It is necessary to understand the wide ranges of differences among the language of recording and factual reporting and the language of feeling and opinion. In addition to that, it is also crucial to make effective connections between various ways by which different authors depict similar ideas,, relationships and storylines. Discussing literary experiences with the others and sharing the responses are also to be taken into account. 

In the addition that, the features of the language in relation to the texts are to be identified and explained from the earlier times forms an important aspect. A comparison is also necessary with images, layouts, vocabulary, as well as contemporary texts. The presentations have to be planned, rehearsed and delivered, including important learning contents. The range of various texts of literacy for the foundation to year 10 is comprised of several Australian literatures that include narrative oral traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (Kirbya et al. 2018).

In case of the formative assessment, following reports are to be included:

  • Report of group summary
  • Report of school summary
  • Report of relative growth
  • Report of various assessment areas
  • Report of writing criteria
  • Report of item analysis

Self assessment

It can be said from my opinion that self assessment is possible to be done by using the knowledge of ACARA along with the NAPLAN test for 5 years students. In the case of the students of primary school in a country like Australia, it can be possible to done self assessment by using portfolio. It has been identified that summative assessment of the students can be useful to do self assessment at the end of the year. On the other hand, I think formative assessment can be effective to measure the performance of the students during the study.

Port folio

[Refer to appendix 1]


After conducting a thorough analysis of wide ranges of aspects related to literacy and teaching of primary school children in Australia, a firm conclusion can be drawn. It can be said that various forms of assessment like summative and formative are extremely helpful and beneficial for augmenting the learning as well as the literacy among the students. NAPLAN assesses the students aged between 2 to 9 years putting major focus on their achievement of literacy. However content descriptors for English language of year 4, 5 and 6 have been discussed with major focus on language, literacy and literature.




Australiancurriculum.edu.au (2019), English Retrieved on 16th September 2019 from: https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/english/?year=11577&year=11578&year=11580&strand=Language&strand=Literature&strand=Literacy&capability=ignore&capability=Literacy&capability=Numeracy&capability=Information+and+Communication+Technology+(ICT)+Capability&capability=Critical+and+Creative+Thinking&capability=Personal+and+Social+Capability&capability=Ethical+Understanding&capability=Intercultural+Understanding&priority=ignore&priority=Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+Histories+and+Cultures&priority=Asia+and+Australia’s+Engagement+with+Asia&priority=Sustainability&elaborations=true&elaborations=false&scotterms=false&isFirstPageLoad=false

Bardovi?Harlig, K. (2018). Teaching of Pragmatics. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, 1-7. Retrieved on 18th August, 2019 from: http://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/03-41-3-h.pdf

Chakraborti, T., Sreedharan, S., Grover, S., & Kambhampati, S. (2019, March). Plan explanations as model reconciliation. In 2019 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) (pp. 258-266). IEEE. Retrieved on: 17th September, 2019 from:https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8673193/

Cizek, G. J., Andrade, H. L., & Bennett, R. E. (2019). FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT. Handbook of Formative Assessment in the Disciplines. Retrieved on 10th September 2019 from: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WuyYDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT21&dq=formative+assessment&ots=IYb7nbFDNF&sig=qKKh7GXcp2s7cvCW11atOmGgfos&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=formative assessment&f=false

DeKeyser, R. M. (2018). Age in learning and teaching grammar. The TESOL encyclopedia of english language teaching, 1-6. Retrieved on 15th August, 2019 from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0106

Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice55(2), 153-159. Retrieved on 12th September 2019 from: http://digitalmappe.uit.no/jna000/wp-content/uploads/sites/432/2017/11/Dixson-and-Worrell-2016.pdf

education.vic.gov.au (2019), News, Retrieved on: 17th September, 2019 from:https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

Gorur, R. (2015). The performative politics of NAPLAN and Myschool. In National Testing in Schools (pp. 30-43), Abingdon:  Routledge. Retrieved on 12th September 2019 from: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315659312/chapters/10.4324/9781315659312-3

Hofmeyer, A., Toffoli, L., Vernon, R., Taylor, R., Klopper, H. C., Coetzee, S. K., & Fontaine, D. (2018). Teaching compassionate care to nursing students in a digital learning and teaching environment. Collegian25(3), 307-312. Retrieved on 16th August, 2019 from: https://www.oerafrica.org/FTPFolder/resources/health/ucm/resources/0 Orientation/ABC of PBL.pdf

Kirbya, S., Lyleb, D., Jonesb, D., Brunerob, C., Purcellc, A., & Dettwillerd, P. (2018). Design and delivery of an innovative speech pathology service-learning program for primary school children in Far West NSW, Australia. Public health research & practice28(3). Retrieved on 14th September 2019 from: http://www.phrp.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/PHRP28231806.pdf

myschool.edu.au (2019) Retrieved on 15th September 2019 from: https://www.myschool.edu.au/more-information/information-for-parents/a-schools-naplan-results/

Santamaría Lancho, M., Hernández, M., Sánchez-Elvira Paniagua, Á., Luzón Encabo, J. M., & de Jorge-Botana, G. (2018). Using Semantic Technologies for Formative Assessment and Scoring in Large Courses and MOOCs. Journal of Interactive Media in Education2018(1). Retrieved on 17th September 2019 from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1190185.pdf

nap.edu.au (2019), NAPLAN for year 5, Retrieved on 20th September 2019 from: https://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/the-tests




Appendix 1: Port folio

Purpose of the port folio:

The main purpose of the port folio is to evaluate the necessity of the curriculum of the students of 5 years in the primary school of Australia. On the basis of ACARA, the Australian curriculum is mentioned for the students of 5 years for understanding the NAPLAN test along with the summative as well as formative assessment.


Work done

Week 1

An in-depth understanding of the concept of the Australian curriculum for the students of 5 years in the primary school is provided. The knowledge of the Australian curriculum is imparted in this week.

Week 2

In this week, a detailed concept of NAPLAN tests is understood. NAPLAN test for the 5 years students are also done in this week by following skill tests, numeracy tests.

Week 3

In this week, formative assessment is understood in a detailed manner.

Week 4

Summative assessment is used in this week for understanding the assessment of the students of 5 years.

Week 5

Self assessment is done in the last week. In this week, overall learning outcomes are measured in a significant manner.

(Source: Created by the researcher)



Appendix 2: NAPLAN TEST grade and TEST

NAPLAN test grade



National Minimum standard


1 - 6



3 - 8



4 - 9



5 - 10


Table 1: NAPLAN test grade

(Source: nap.edu.au, 2019)



Writing and reading test


Grammar, spelling and punctuation test


Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

Table 2: NAPLAN test

(Source: nap.edu.au, 2019)






No Need To Pay Extra
  • Turnitin Report

  • Proofreading and Editing

    Per Page
  • Consultation with Expert

    Per Hour
  • Live Session 1-on-1

    Per 30 min.
  • Quality Check

  • Total


New Special Offer

Get 25% Off


Call Back