Plan teaching and learning strategies

Plan teaching and learning strategies; and Adjust content, process, product or learning environment

Notes about this section

This course is focused on the process for programming a unit of learning. The planning of teaching and learning strategies will be developed as you prepare for the teaching of this unit.

This section contains content that may assist in the learning design process in English.

The English learning design process and …

Effective curriculum planning and programming requires teachers to differentiate learning in response to students’ learning profiles, interests and needs. Differentiation relates to understanding individual differences and devising teaching strategies to challenge and support every student’s learning.

Differentiation occurs in classrooms through adaptations in any or all of the following:


When a teacher differentiates by content, they may adapt what they want the students to learn or adapt how the students will gain access to the knowledge, understanding, and skills.


When a teacher differentiates by process, they take in to account the students’ profiles and use a variety of instructional delivery methods.


When a teacher differentiates by product, they facilitate various ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned.

Learning environment

When a teacher differentiates the learning environment, they adapt the physical layout of the classroom and also the way that they use the space.

Differentiated programming

Tomlinson, C.A. and Allan, S.D. (2000), ASCD, infer the following definition of differentiated programming in Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms.

    Differentiated programming is …

    • having high expectations for all students

    • permitting students to demonstrate mastery of material they already know and to progress at their own pace through new material

    • providing different avenues to acquiring content, to processing or making sense of ideas, and to developing products

    • providing multiple assignments within each unit, tailored for students with differing levels of achievement

    • allowing students to choose with the teacher’s guidance, ways to learn and how to demonstrate what they have learned

    • flexible (teachers move students in and out of groups , based on students’ instructional needs).

    Differentiated programming is not …

    • a different lesson plan for each student each day

    • assigning more work at the same level to high-achieving students

    • all the time (often it is important for students to work as a whole class)

    • using only the differences in student responses to the same class assignment to provide differentiation

    • giving a normal assignment to most students and a different one to advanced learners

    • limited to subject acceleration (teachers are encouraged to use a variety of strategies).

    What is the literacy continuum?

    Screenshot of the NSW literacy continuum. Click to visit.

    The NSW literacy continuum

    The NSW literacy continuum outlines a progression of student learning in literacy and across all Key Learning Areas. The continuum helps identify where students are now and the next steps for learning.

    The continuum does not describe what students are expected to know and do in relation to specific syllabus content. It is, however, intended to be used to design teaching and learning programs that respond to students’ literacy needs across the whole curriculum.

    Using the literacy and numeracy continuums in conjunction with the syllabuses assists teachers to differentiate the core program to respond to their students’ specific literacy and numeracy needs.

    Using literacy data

    When designing learning in English you can use literacy data to help inform the teaching of the skills the students need so they can demonstrate deep understanding of concepts.

    For example, if the concept of characterisation has been identified, the literacy continuum and other tools will help identify literacy skills and knowledge that students need as they work with texts.

    Essential question:

    How are words and images used to represent characters?

    Derived from the concept + syllabus content.


    Understands print conveys meaning and creates texts to represent an idea or person.

    Derived from syllabus content + literacy data.

    Essential question:

    How do authors construct compelling characters?

    Derived from the concept + syllabus content.


    Paragraphing to structure an analysis and evaluation of characterisation.

    Derived from syllabus content + literacy data.