English help

Being able to communicate and understand the written and spoken word is an important building block to learning. These resources will help you support the development of your child's English skills.

Reading and comprehension tips

To help your child become a more effective reader suggest some of these strategies:

  • Predicting – use information from the text, images or your own experience to try and predict what might happen next, how characters might react or what the outcome will be.
  • Questioning – ask and answer questions about the text to help children understand the meaning of the text.
  • Monitoring – if something doesn’t make sense as you read it, stop, reread and think or discuss what you’ve read to understand the meaning.
  • Visualising – it can help to paint a picture in our head of things being described or explained in a text – it helps bring the text to life.
  • Making connections – compare what you are reading to
    • something in your own life
    • another text you have read or watched
    • something happening in the world.
  • Summarising – notice the most important things in the text and use your own words to describe what you have read.

Explore more comprehension tips.

Writing tips

All writing has a purpose. Make sure your child is thinking about who they are writing for and why. For example, there’s a difference between writing a letter to a family member when on a holiday and a tourism brochure or story or film set in the same location.

Read your child’s writing or get them to read it to you. Praise them for having a go at writing words that are new to them.

Encourage writing at home

The following approach can help when students practise their writing:

  • Ask your child to keep a diary of special events such as a diary or blog.
  • Have you child label photos or pictures with captions.
  • Make notes, letters and stories regularly.

Explore more writing tips.

Spelling tips

Spelling is closely linked to writing and reading. At school, students learn the importance of accurate spelling. When your child asks how to spell a word, always encourage them to have a go first, then discuss their effort and make sure you have a dictionary for checking. If using an online dictionary make sure it is an Australian dictionary, not American. The same goes for a spellcheck on the computer – check the language is set as Australian English.

Look, say, cover, write, check

The following approach can help when students practise their spelling:

  • Look carefully at the word.
  • Say the word.
  • Cover the word.
  • Write the word from memory.
  • Uncover and check the spelling against the correct word.
  • Repeat.

Explore more spelling tips.

More information

Our English A to Z glossary has more than 350 definitions of commonly used English terms used in primary and high school.

Visit our English tips pages for advice on how you can help your child with reading, writing, talking and listening.

Our Teaching strategies section contains literacy resources that teachers use in conjunction with the results of NAPLAN to identify areas of development in reading, writing and language conventions.

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