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Professions each tend to have a particular 'language', which is used to convey specific meanings within that profession. As education professionals, school leaders and teachers use certain words and terms with specific meanings to ensure shared understanding.

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Academic language or vocabulary
Terms that are commonly used in the classroom and learning contexts but not often in everyday contexts. Academic vocabulary includes the vocabulary required for classroom discussion and curriculum work, for example, 'define', 'method'.

A Māori concept describing a teaching and learning relationship where the educator is also learning from the student. The concept incorporates the linked ideas that educators’ practices are informed by the latest research and are both deliberate and reflective; that educators need to know and respect students’ language, identity, and culture; and that educators, students, whānau, hapū, and iwi share knowledge in productive partnerships.

The automatic processing of information as, for example, when a reader or writer does not need to pause to work out words as they read or write.

Book language
The kinds of structures and vocabulary typically found in storybooks rather than in oral language, for example, 'Once upon a time'; 'said Mum'.

Cognitive impairment
An impairment (such as intellectual disability) that affects a person's ability to think, reason, learn, or understand.

Cognitive resources
The knowledge, strategies, and awareness that students draw on to make meaning as they read and write. As reading and writing develop, some aspects of reading and writing become automatic, freeing up cognitive resources to deal with other aspects of tasks.

Competing information
Information in a text that doesn't match the reader's purpose for reading and tends to distract the reader.

Complex sentence
A sentence that has a main clause and at least one subordinate clause, which begins with a subordinating conjunction such as 'when', 'how', 'because', 'although', and so on. For example, 'She could paint amazing pictures (main clause) although she was only six (subordinate clause).' The subordinate clause is dependent on the main clause and cannot stand alone.

Compound sentence
A sentence consisting of at least two main clauses. The clauses are independent of each other (each one could stand alone) and are linked by a co-ordinating conjunction such as 'and', 'but', or 'or', for example, 'I mowed the lawn, but you trimmed the edges.'

Connotative language
Words and phrases that may be used deliberately to evoke particular associations in readers' minds and to affect the way in which readers interpret the text.

Content (of a text)
The ideas or information contained within a text.

Content-specific vocabulary
See topic words

Speech in written form. In the context of early reading, dialogue means direct speech using speech marks.

Evaluating (by students)
Considering selected ideas and information in the text in relation to their purpose for reading. Students generalise from the ideas and information in the text and make judgments about them by drawing on their own knowledge and experience.

Expressive vocabulary
Vivid, lively, and/or emotive language.

Figurative language
Language that uses images to build meaning without literal description and often without direct comparison, for example, by using metaphor, as in 'a green island fringed by a turquoise lagoon'.

The ability to speak, read, or write rapidly and accurately, focusing on meaning and phrasing without having to give laborious attention to the individual words or the common forms and sequences of the language. (The term 'fluency' is also used to refer to the upper levels of the Ready to Read colour wheel.)

Guided reading level
The level of text that a student can manage as they individually read the text in a supported instructional situation. Refer to chapter 4 of the Effective Literacy Practice books.

Independently, largely by themselves
With minimal support. The amount of support given and the way the student responds will help the teacher to make a professional judgment about the extent of control the student has over their reading or writing. See also unassisted student writing.

Integrating (by the student)
Bringing ideas and information together and considering how they link to other ideas, features, or structures and to their own prior knowledge and experience.

Interactive tools (reading and writing)
Tools that students use to interact reflectively with texts, tasks, and the world to meet learning purposes across the curriculum. Students use reading and writing in ways that help them to think, to construct and create meaning, and to communication information and ideas. As their expertise develops, students use their reading and writing to become more reflective about their learning.

Interest words
Words that have a high interest value for a student and are therefore often learned quickly. They may be associated with particular interests, such as dinosaurs or roles in a team sport.

Key competencies
Capabilities for living and lifelong learning. They are the key to learning in every area. The key competencies are specified in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Largely by themselves
See independently, largely by themselves.

Letter-sound relationships
The way certain letters or letter combinations in written language correspond to or represent certain sounds in spoken language.

A term used for the colour wheel levels of the Ready to Read series, the year levels of school classes, and the eight levels of learning that structure The New Zealand Curriculum. The term is also used in this book more generally, for example, to refer to levels of difficulty or expertise.

Locating (by students)
Searching for and finding information and ideas for specific purposes related to curriculum tasks.

A person's awareness of how they think and learn; the process of thinking about one's own learning.

Non-continuous text structures
Text structures that are not based on sentences organised into paragraphs, for example, charts and graphs, tables and matrices, diagrams, maps, forms, information sheets, advertisements, vouchers, and certificates.

Personal vocabulary
Words and phrases that have personal meaning for the reader or writer, such as familiar names and words for places, activities, actions, and feelings that are important to that person.

See writing processes

Progressions (in the context of this book)
The learning steps or pathways in the Literacy Learning Progressions and/or the English Language Learning Progressions. These progressions (and the National Standards for reading and writing) reflect a cumulative model of literacy development, in which the student builds new learning on their existing knowledge and skills by engaging with increasingly complex texts and tasks, guided by expert instruction.

The level or reading age at which a text can be read. Readability levels of School Journal texts are based on the Noun Frequency Method. Note that the concept of reading age provides only a rough guide to the complexity of a text, and the term is not a valid way to describe a student's level of reading expertise.

Reading comprehension strategies
The strategies that enable students to build and enhance their understanding of a text as they read and to think critically about it. See Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4, pages 131–135, and Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8, pages 141–151.

Reading processing strategies
The 'in the head' ways in which readers make use of the sources of information in a text to decode words. They include attending and searching, predicting, crosschecking and confirming, and self-correcting. See Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4, pages 38–39, and Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8, page 36.

The language features associated with a particular kind of audience or occasion, including an awareness of the specialist vocabulary associated with specific audiences, topics, or text forms.

Seen text
A text the student has already seen and read in an instructional setting, such as guided reading. See also unseen text.

Simple sentence
A sentence containing only one main clause, for example, 'Finches perched in the branches' or 'Mi'i is away today.'

A reference point or benchmark that describes the performance desired at a specific stage.

Subject-specific vocabulary
Words that are used in the context of a specific subject, for example, 'alliteration', 'chemical reaction', 'communities'.

Synthesising (by students)
Drawing two or more pieces of information together to create new understanding. In doing this, the student selects and uses information according to their purpose for reading or writing.

The planned reading, writing, oral, or practical activities through which students engage with the curriculum for an identified learning purpose.

A piece of spoken, written, or visual communication that is a whole unit, for example, a conversation, a poem, a web page, a speech, or a poster.

Text features
A general term for all the written, graphic, and interactive characteristics that make one text similar to or different from another. Text features include the generic structure of the text (which is linked to its purpose); the layout of the text; the use of visual language features (such as headings, maps, diagrams, and illustrations); the language used; and the voice and register.

Text form
The essential structure of a text type with characteristic features, for example, a poem, a magazine article, and a letter to the editor.

Text type (genre)
A particular kind of text, with features and conventions linked to the text's purpose, for example, an illustrated article to explain how something works, a letter written to argue a case, or a narrative written to entertain.

An identified theme or subject.

Topic words
Words that are specific to a topic; for example, 'muster' and 'drafting' are specific to the topic of sheep farming.

Unassisted student writing
Writing that has been done using available resources but with minimal support from the teacher. See also independently, largely by themselves.

Unseen text
A text the student has not seen, or has seen but has not attempted to read. See also seen text.

Visual language features
Text features that consist of graphic elements (examples include headings, text boxes, maps, charts, diagrams, illustrations, and photos as well as links, menus, and buttons, as found in web pages).

The personal characteristics in a text (including tone, register, style, and text features) through which the reader can identify either a particular writer or the kind of person that the writing suggests the writer is.

Word-solving strategies
Strategies used by readers to work out (decode) unfamiliar words, for example, looking for known chunks and using knowledge of letter–sound (grapheme–phoneme) relationships. Strategies for working out word meanings include looking for definitions and using prior knowledge of word endings such as 'ful'.

Writing processes
The many ways in which writing is developed from the original idea to recording in print or other media. The processes selected depend on the writing purpose and on the writer’s own style and thought processes and may range from jotting down ideas for a reminder list through to planning, drafting, revising, and publishing a text. See Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8, page 153.

Published on: 19 Oct 2009