These podcasts explore evidence-based practices and focus on quality teaching of literacy and numeracy through a series of conversations.

Assessment of reading

Members of the department’s literacy team outline the student reading assessments available to department teachers, how these assessments support identifying reading behaviours and strategies of students, and how to use assessment feedback to inform targeted teaching [Duration: 19:22].

Listen to let's chat about the assessment of reading.

Decodable texts in the classroom

Year 1 teachers from Cronulla Public School talk about how they use decodable texts in their classrooms during guided reading sessions and for independent practice of the strategies that students are being taught [Duration: 16:03].

Listen to using decodable texts in their classrooms.

Neuroscience of reading

A classroom teacher from Blackheath Public School shares what they learnt about the neuroscience of reading and what the implications of that knowledge has meant to classroom practice when teaching children to read. [Duration: 16:27].

Listen to neuroscience of reading.

Oral language, phonological awareness and phonics

A two part discussion with speech pathologist Jane Beale

In part 1, Jane discusses how oral language is the system used for spoken words to communicate ideas, knowledge and emotions. It has a strong relationship to reading and writing and is recognised as a component of early reading instruction.

In part 2, the conversation moves into phonological awareness, and phonics and how these components work together for effective early reading and writing instruction.


A conversation with Professor Anne Castles about the systematic and explicit instruction of phonics. Anne explains how phonics can support early reading acquisition, as a foundation skill that helps students learn to read [Duration: 28:17].

Listen to a speech pathologist's view on oral language, phonological awareness and phonics


In this conversation, Dr Tessa Daffern explains why an instructional approach for spelling should include phonological, orthographical and morphological word forms. Effective spelling instruction should be explicit and occur frequently from the early years of school [Duration: 21:10].

Student engagement

Eddie Woo discusses the importance of student engagement, and defines what this means, explaining the research and giving some practical advice [Duration: 23:54].

Vocabulary for reading instruction

Listen to Dr Danielle Colenbrander chat to us about vocabulary for reading instruction [Duration 26:52].


Members of the Literacy team discuss handwriting, why it is such an important skill and how to teach it effectively.

Listen to In conversation about handwriting [Duration 22:36].

More information

Subscribe to the NSW Department of Education Literacy and Numeracy podcast channel wherever you get your podcasts or listen on SoundCloud.

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