Academic language The more abstract and conceptual ways of representing meanings in writing and other modes in formal educational settings

Academic literacies The ways in which meanings are expressed in the various discipline areas – science, history, social studies, art etc

Academic meanings The processes of representation and communication of meanings in formal knowledge disciplines

Achievement assessment Testing what students have learned on the assumption that all students without cognitive disabilities are capable of comparable performance

Analytic phonics An approach to learning to read and write by starting with the look of meaningful whole words, then taking apart their sounds (as contrasted with synthetic phonics, where you start with the sounds of letters and then put them together into words)

Analytic phonics Learning to read and write by taking apart the sounds of meaningful whole words

Analytical learning Learning which investigates the relationships between things, causes and effects, reasons and logics, and which critically interrogates human interests

Applied learning Learning by using or creating things – texts, objects, social arrangements

Asynchronous messaging Messages that are not communicated live, in real time, but are recorded for another person to receive at another time

Audio meanings Meanings made in sound, including ambient and deliberately made sounds and music

Authentic learning Learning that sets out to connect with the lives of learners or to have demonstrably practical uses. It is learner- or child-centred, true to the interests and motivations of the learner, and focuses on internalised understanding over correct memorisation. This approach is often also called ‘progressive’ or ‘experiential’ pedagogy

Bilingualism Using two main languages for everyday community life and learning

Bodily configuration A kind of gestural meaning that involves body spacing, body movement and gaze

Braille A tactile form of writing for those who are sight-impaired

Civil society Self-organising communities and social groups such as families and cultural organisations

Cognition Capacities to think, which in humans but not other animals include capacities to represent the world in symbol systems such as language, visual imagery and gesture

Communication Signs that are made, which another person may at some time receive

Complex thinking Thinking that represents and associates particular things

Comprehension Understanding the meaning of written texts, as intended by the author

Concept The meaning behind a symbol, as represented in a person’s mind

Conceptual learning Learning generalising concepts and linking these concepts in theories – for instance science, traditional phonics and grammar, or Multiliteracies ‘design analysis’

Conceptual thinking Thinking that represents and connects generalisations

Constructivism A theory of learning based on the idea that individual children self-assemble meanings

Corporeal differences Bodily differences and the meanings given to these differences including age, race, sex/sexuality and physical and mental abilities

Cosmopolitanism An ideology and practice of valuing differences and managing diversity

Critical literacies Approaches to literacy which focus on texts that communicate student interests and experiences and address challenging social issues such as discrimination and disadvantage

Critical thinking Learning to see the world from multiple points of view, not assuming that things are exactly what texts say they are. Learning to question texts and interpret the human interests expressed in texts

Crosswalk A comparison of one schema with another; e.g., the way in which different pedagogical approaches are conceived

Curriculum A tying together of the micro-sequences of pedagogy into larger frameworks of courses, subjects and disciplines

Demographics The social scienti! c task of classifying social groups for the purposes of statistical analysis and program design

Design A pattern in meaning and a process of making meaning

Design analysis A process of analysing the design elements of a written meaning or multimodal meaning

Diagnostic assessment Assessment designed to fi nd out what students know in order to design learning activities appropriate to their needs

Didactic teaching Spelling out learning content explicitly, such as the facts and theories of a discipline, on the expectation that learners will memorise the content they are presented. This approach is often also called ‘transmission pedagogy’ or ‘direct instruction’

Differences Social categories that describe the differences between individuals and groups of individuals, such as class, locale, family, age, race, sex, sexuality, physical and mental abilities, language and ethnicity

Differentiated instruction Pedagogical approaches that cater for learner differences by offering a range of activity options and modes of meaning

Discrimination Systematic exclusion of a person or group of people based on negative attitudes towards them, and practices or habits of exclusion

Disadvantage Social structures that reinforce and reproduce inequality

Diversity The social relationships and organisation of human differences, operating sometimes productively, and other times in discriminatory or inequitable ways

Epistemology A way of knowing, or a philosophy or theory of how you come to know

Exophoric reference Reference to something outside a social situation or a text, shown, for example, in schooling’s peculiar way of speaking about anything and potentially everything in the outside world

Experiential learning Learning by immersion in activities that are authentic to real-world settings and communicative experiences

Experiential learning Learning by immersion in texts, activities, physical settings and social situations

First language An indigenous language and a culture that originally represented and communicated meanings in ways that did not need or use an alphabetical or character-based writing system

Fluency The smoothness, accuracy and rate of reading

Fordism The system of production-line industrial work that Henry Ford played a large part in inventing

Formative assessment Assessment that provides learners with feedback on what they are learning

Functional grammar A theory of language, invented by linguist Michael Halliday, that analyses differences in the structure of language according to its varied social purposes or functions

Functional literacy An approach to literacy that focuses on the meaning of real-world texts and the ways in which different types of texts are structured to serve different purposes

Generalisation A cognitive process of applying a symbol to delineate the essential features of a group or class of things

Genre A kind of text that serves a particular social purpose

Gesticulation A kind of gestural meaning that involves movements of the hands and arms to accompany talking

Gestural meaning Meanings involving bodily presence or movement

Gestural signing Gestures that represent and communicate abstract symbols, including the sign languages of those who are hearing-impaired

Globalisation Social and historical processes in which the whole world becomes a frame for human action

Grammar The way in which words are connected to make meanings in sentences, including changes in word forms to indicate number or time and the ordering of words in sentences

Hypertext A computer link from one place in a digital text to another text or place in that same text

Icon A signifier that stands for something in the world (a signified), where the connection is made by the likeness of the sign to its signified

Identity Who a person feels him/herself to be, as an individual and as a member of various social groups

Identity A person’s ways of thinking, communicating and being, based on their life experiences and aspirations

Imagination A capacity to create mental images of possible as well as actual things

Indicator A signifier that stands for something where the connection is made by pointing to a particular thing

Intelligence testing Testing of mental capacities on the assumption that these are, to a relevant degree, a product of heredity

Interpretation The sense one person makes of a message communicated by another person

Knowledge economy An economy in which information, communication, cultural and service industries play a more important role and provide a greater proportion of jobs, and in which traditional manufacturing and agricultural sectors require the use of information and other advanced technologies

Lifeworld The world of everyday life experience. Things that you know and feel intuitively, and which may need to be explained explicitly to outsiders for them to understand. Things that you learn from living in the world, and do not have to be taught

Lifeworld The everyday life of individuals in communities

Lifeworld meanings Everyday, casual ways of speaking and thinking about things

Literary canon Written texts regarded as the best writing and highest cultural expressions of a society and its language – and because of this, worthy of appreciation through learning

Material differences Differences that affect people’s access to social resources, such as socio-economic class, locale or neighbourhood and family circumstances

Media The materials used to make meaning

Mental images Images in a person’s mind of things that they can’t for the moment see

Metacognition Thinking about thinking; one example of this is metalinguistic awareness, or a capacity to think and communicate about one’s communications

Meta-representation Meanings about meaning, symbols that describe symbol systems, such as grammar, visual keys and musical notation

Mode of meaning A way of making meaning: written, visual, spatial, tactile, gestural, audio and oral

Modernity A time, beginning at about 1500, when there emerged new manufacturing technologies (such as printing), new ways of thinking (such as science and secular reasoning) and new social relationships (such as urban and industrial work)

Morpheme A meaning unit within a word or that combines several words

Multilingualism People in a society speaking many languages

Multilingualism Social settings where people come from many language backgrounds and still use multiple languages for varied purposes

Multimodality The use of different and combined modes of meaning: written, visual, spatial, tactile, audio and oral

Multimodality Using more than one mode in a text or a meaning-making event

Nationalism A period in which the power of nation-states grows and strong governments take control of geographic areas with clearly defined borders. Nationalism is the ideology that supports this process, often insisting on standardisation (such as every student being taught the one, national language) and the related phenomena of assimilation (people who are different changing their language and culture to fit it) and homogenisation (making all citizens
more or less the same)

Narrative A genre of text that tells a story

Natural learning Child-centred or self-directed learning in which the interests and motivations of the child are central

Neoliberalism An ideology that wants to make the state as small as possible, believing that the market and the corporation are better forms of social organisation and more productive than the state

New media Communications media since the rise of digitisation and the internet, which are now easier and cheaper to access and which support wider social participation, with more people acting as creators of textual content

Objectivity A focus on facts and concepts that can be claimed to be true or correct

Oral meaning Language as represented in speech

Pedagogy A consciously designed sequence of learning activities

Pedagogy A sequence of activities designed to facilitate learning

Perceptual images Making sense of something that is immediately seen

Phoneme A sound of speech that can be represented in writing

Phonics The connections between the sounds of speech and the formation of words from the letters of the alphabet and punctuation

Post-Fordism A system of work that requires multiskilling, teamwork and contribution to corporate culture

Postmodern A social orientation based on the idea that there is no single way of being human and no universal truth. There is just a wide range of perspectives based on different life experiences, histories, cultures and interests

Process writing Learning to write as a series of steps, like the steps adult and professional writers use: planning, drafting, conferencing, rewriting, publishing

Reference Symbol-to-world meanings

Report A genre of text that provides information

Representation Making a meaning for oneself, using a sign system to ‘make sense’ of the world

Selected response assessment Assessment that expects students to give right and wrong answers

Semiotics The study of sign systems

Sense Symbol-to-symbol meanings

Sign system A series of interconnected signifiers (symbols), which stand for a series of interconnected signifieds (things that can be experienced in the world)

Social language The particular way of communicating of a social group – for instance, an ethnic group, an age or peer group, a profession, an affinity or interest group, or a group sharing an understanding of a certain kind of technology. The vocabulary the group uses, the way its members express their ideas, the ways of communicating that may seem strange or difficult for outsiders to understand

Social language The ordinary way of speaking in the lifeworld

Spatial meaning The way meanings are shaped by structures and landscape, and the flows or patterns of human movement through these spaces

Standards (educational) Statements of expected learning outcomes in a particular subject area at a particular level of learning

State Government in control of law-making, courts, policing and the military

Summative assessment Assessment that tells learners, teachers, administrators, parents and other interested stakeholders what students have learned

Supply response assessment Assessment that asks students to give open-ended responses to questions or prompts

Syllable A sound unit within a word consisting of a vowel (or vowels) and often also a consonant (or consonants)

Symbol A signifier that refers to a general meaning

Symbolic differences Differences in cultural and social meanings including language, ethnicity, gender identities and sexual orientation

Synaesthesia Switching between modes to express meaning

Synaesthesia Switching between modes

Synthetic phonics An approach to learning to read and write by starting with the sounds of letters, then putting them together into words (as contrasted with analytic phonics, where you start with the look of meaningful whole words, then take apart their sounds)

Synthetic phonics Learning to read and write by putting the sounds of letters together into words

Tactile meaning The meanings of bodily sensations of touch, taste and smell

The virtual Life-like communications across distances

Traditional grammar A theory of language that names parts of speech and the formal grammatical connections between these parts of speech in a sentence (syntax)

Transformational-generative grammar A theory of language, invented by the linguist Noam Chomsky, that analyses the deep structures of meaning common to all languages

Visual communication An image that has been made to communicate a meaning with another person

Visual design The process of creating visual meanings, combining various visual design elements

Visual meanings Meanings made through images

Vocabulary A person’s or a culture’s stock of words and their meanings

Voice The way a person expresses their identity

Whole language A focus on learning to read and write by starting with real meanings in whole texts, and incidentally addressing formalities and conventions such as phonics, grammar and the literary devices

Whole language A ‘naturalistic’ approach to learning to read and write in which students are immersed in real texts that interest them and experiences of making meaning through reading and writing

Writing The use of alphabetical symbols (representing sounds, such as English) and characters (representing concepts, such as Chinese) to record language

Written meanings Meanings represented in written words, sentences and whole texts. Writing in languages like English is based on the alphabetical principle, in which the letters of written words roughly follow the sounds of the same word, spoken. This contrasts with languages like Chinese, which are principally logographic, and whose characters represent ideas

Zone of proximal development A zone of learning in which students operate beyond their level of cognitive capacity, but with adult scaffolding – for instance, the teacher is using concepts, but as yet the student can only think in complexes or pseudo-concepts