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Teaching Phonemic Awareness Integrated through Literature and Creative Arts

A working understanding of phonemic and phonological awareness is essential for today’s primary school teachers. This professional development workshop will support teachers’ professional growth through consideration of research and active engagement in the critical analysis and application of phonemic and phonological strategies in literature, visual arts, music and movement.

About this course

Are you up to date with the latest professional approaches for teaching children’s reading and literacy?

In this course, participants explore contemporary approaches for teaching phonemic and phonological awareness in the early years, through English and the creative arts. Preparing for the new NSW English Curriculum, participants map associated skills within the NSW K-6 English and creative arts syllabi to the national literacy learning progression.

Participants will engage in the critical analysis and application of engaging literature, visual arts, music and movement teaching strategies, reviewing and selecting those resources that best align with their own student needs.

This workshop informs teachers how to ‘work smart, not hard’, through a practical, cross-curricular, innovative and hands-on demonstration of phonemic awareness, linking effective learning with the arts and movement. Participants will be provided with hands-on, embodied experiences, links to resources as well as recommended multimodal texts for active contribution to teaching and learning cycles.

Course structure

The new, strong emphasis on phonics follows on from the results of standardised NAPLAN data which reveals that writing levels have dropped. Spelling is a critical component and at its core, is phonics. Foundational to phonics is phonemic awareness, with students not yet proficient facing major learning challenges by Year 4.

This engaging, hands-on and lively workshop will show you new ways for teaching phonemic awareness through the creative arts. It is all about ‘working smarter’ so that there is less work overall for the teacher!

Through a range of embodied experiences including movement, dance, and literature, participants will learn about phonemic awareness and how to make it work across the curriculum.

What will the day look like?

First session
  • Participants will learn about phonemic awareness and will be actively involved in making the sounds and exploring where the sounds are made and produced in the body. Further strategies for application in the classroom, such as literacy games and analysis of quality literature will be explored.
Second session
  • This session will examine a series of kinaesthetic learning activities, including music and movement; working with speech and music, drawing with paints, composition and symbolic representation. Participants will map the literacy learning progression with NSW English syllabus outcomes related to phonemic and phonological awareness and bring it all together.

Learning outcomes

  • Explore theoretical underpinnings and approaches for teaching phonemic and phonological awareness, through English and the creative arts, mapping these understandings with the English K-6 syllabus outcomes and the literacy learning progression
  • Review resources and practice explicit phonemic strategies to engage students.

Who is this course for?

  • Primary teachers
  • Early childhood teachers
  • English teachers
  • Literacy and learning specialists and curriculum coordinators
  • Arts teachers
  • Final year pre-service teachers.


Professional recognition

NESA has recently changed its professional development requirements. Teachers are strongly encouraged to review the NESA website for the latest information.

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