National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP) and Aboriginal literacy

This is a program developed by Charles Darwin University, specifically for improvement of literacy in schools with high Indigenous populations.  It uses accelerated literacy and scaffolding literacy practices.  The ‘PQAR’ strategy is a central aspect of this program.  See explanation from Charles Darwin Uni below:

“Literate Orientation is a strategy through which students gain a literate interpretation of a text – including where appropriate its illustrations – right from the start of their study. This helps them understand what the text is about and they can then draw on this meaning to develop skills in decoding and monitoring.

Literate orientation uses questioning techniques that allow students to answer questions successfully.  By giving cues, called ‘preformulation’ in the program, teachers signal their purpose in asking the question that allows a student to answer correctly.

Explaining why the question was important, why it was asked and what it meant is called ‘reconceptualisation’ [or ‘recapitulation’]. It allows teachers to accept students’ answers and ‘broadcasts’ the reason for asking the question. This information feeds into the next lesson as common knowledge.  It also alerts students to the fact that the teacher asks a question expecting them to find the answer in the illustration or the actual wording of the text.” (

I have found this strategy to be very useful in all classroom environments.  In the attached document, I use the strategy with a short story (not by an Indigenous author or with an Indigenous theme – I do diversify my teaching content!).  I have included the whole lesson plan, of which the NALP strategy is one part.  This lesson plan was presented with my colleagues Rita van Haren and Michelle Morthorpe at an ACTATE professional development workshop earlier this year.

Lesson example using NALP and learning by design