Conversations About Texts

Teach your students to write effectively
Develop the skills to teach grammar in a way that your students will gain an understanding of the basics and learn practical ways to implement their knowledge.

The focus of Conversations About Texts is on teaching grammar in the context of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts in primary school and the middle years. We will explore the teaching of texts as the context in which grammar is taught to support meaning. Knowledge about grammar is only useful if students use it to read and write, and recognise how authors, including themselves, can use language to make meaning.

The presenters have worked as TESOL teachers and consultants in classrooms and recognise a growing need in the teaching of grammar to support implementation. At the same time, they are aware that many participants will review their own grammatical knowledge or address grammar for the first time.

Module 1 – Literary Texts

Mode: 20 hours (includes 6 x 2-hour workshops plus 8 hours of additional assignment/reading time)

Session outline:

  1. Talking and listening – What's the difference? (grammatical intricacy and lexical density) 
  2. Reading – What's going on? (the verbal group)
  3. Reading – Who and what? (the noun group)
  4. Writing – Where? When? How? (adverbials and theme)
  5. Writing – Creating joint and independent texts (sentence structure)
  6. The third voice in your classroom – Using quality literature (nominalisation and theme)

Module 2 – Factual Texts

Mode: 20 hours (includes 6 x 2-hour workshops plus 8 hours of additional assignment/reading time)
Prerequisite: Module 1 


  1. Lesson-plan reading (1000 words) – Due Session 4 in class
    Choose a text and develop a modelled reading lesson with a clear grammatical focus and present to the group. 
  2. Lesson-plan writing (1000 words) – Due Session 6 in class
    Scaffold a written response with a clear grammatical focus based on the modelled text.
  3. Present a sequence of lessons (1500 words) – Due Session 6
    Must include a rationale justifying and describing the modelled reading and guided writing lessions and how oral-language activities will be used to provide a scaffold for literacy development. 


Each module costs $770* per person including GST. Individual schools or communities of schools that have a minimum of 20 participants and a venue for the workshops, can contact us to discuss a reduced rate.

* Subject to change

Registration and enquiries

For enquiries about the 20-hour programs for modules 1 and 2, which include assignments, please contact Rachel Payne, program coordinator with the Office of Professional Learning. Phone +61 2 9351 8520 or email

Please check our calendar for details of our scheduled conferences, short courses and workshops.


Dr Kathy Rushton

Course enquiries

Rachel Payne

Program Coordinator