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International Graduate Centre of Education

Early years teachers' pedagogical practices for teaching grammar and punctuation

"This research project allows Early Years’ teachers at Wanguri Primary School to connect closely with the Australian Curriculum English." - Pam Adams (Assistant Principal at Wanguri)

Pam Adams (left) and Linda Mahony (right)

Photo: Pam Adams (left) and Dr Linda Mahony (right)

Dr Linda MahonyChief Investigator: Dr Linda Mahony

Duration: 2015 - 2016

Partner: Wanguri Primary School

Funder: Australian Literacy Educators' Association

This exploratory study seeks to investigate early year’s teachers' practices for effectively teaching written grammar and punctuation at one school in Darwin, NT. NAPLAN results consistently show students in the Northern Territory perform the lowest in the country in writing and language conventions (Australian Curriculum, Assessment, and Reporting Framework, 2014). Therefore, it is necessary for there to be greater understanding of the pedagogical practices of teachers in the Northern Territory that can facilitate children's learning of written grammar and punctuation. Through semi-structured interviews, teachers will be encouraged to reflect on aspects of their knowledge, thought processes, and pedagogical practice for teaching young children written grammar and punctuation. Data will be analysed using the principles of grounded theory to generate insights from 8-10 early years teachers of children from Preschool to Year 2. Through this project, we aim to identify examples of best practice that are occurring in the NT context for teaching grammar and punctuation as well as identifying ideas for improving teaching. Through improved teaching, a knock-on effect may result in increased student learning and application of grammar and punctuation knowledge in children’s writing.

This is a collaborative project between an assistant principal at a local school and an academic partner from Charles Darwin University and has been funded by the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA).

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