Stage 4 reading - Inference

Learning intention

Students will learn to use background information and clues to infer in both written and visual texts.

Syllabus outcome (2022)

  • EN4-RVL-01: uses a range of personal, creative and critical strategies to read texts that are complex in their ideas and construction

Syllabus outcome (2012)*

  • EN4-1A: responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
  • EN4-2A: effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies

*Note: Visit the Leading curriculum K-12 website for more information on the syllabus implementation timeline.

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT9: draws inferences, synthesising clues and evidence across a text (comprehension); distils information from a number of texts according to task and purpose (e.g. uses graphic organisers) (comprehension); identifies different interpretations of the text citing evidence from a text (comprehension); uses knowledge of a broader range of cohesive devices to track meaning (e.g. word associations) (see Grammar) (process); selects reading/viewing strategies appropriate to reading purpose (e.g. scans text for evidence) (process)

  • UnT10: reads and views complex or some highly complex texts (see Text complexity) (comprehension); draws inferences using evidence from the text and discounting possible inferences that are not supported by the text (comprehension); integrates automatically a range of processes such as predicting, confirming predictions, monitoring, and connecting relevant elements of the text to build meaning (process)
  • UnT11: • interprets symbolism in texts, providing evidence to justify interpretation (comprehension); strategically adjusts the process of reading and viewing to build meaning according to the demands of tasks and texts (process)

NAPLAN item descriptors

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Ignition task for inference

Students use their background knowledge to make inferences.

What is inference?

Students use clues and background knowledge to learn about inference.

What’s going on in this picture?

Students infer what is happening using their background knowledge and clues in images and short films.

Using texts to infer

Students investigate the kinds of evidence in texts that inferences can be made from and the process used to draw logical conclusions regarding 'hidden' meaning or themes.

Answering inference questions

Students learn how to answer inferential questions in a sample text.

Temporal and causal relationships

Students look at texts to identify words that show cause and effect and the order of events. Students learn methods to work out how the ideas in the text are unified and how to infer causal relationships when causal words are not evident.


  • Teaching and learning

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  • Educational Standards
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