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.

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.

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