OLSEL resources

These resources are for schools who have attended the OLSEL training.

The OLSEL resources include 'an OLSEL implementation guide' (the 4 elements), a selection of work programmes and term planners (written by the OLSEL schools to help you with your own planning documentation), some presentations on the Colourful Semantics Program and the Parent Information Sessions.

Addressing the four elements

Description: In considering what aspects of oral language should be targeted to enhance early literacy acquisition, we can be guided by the current findings of the OLSEL research project. At this stage of the project, the following 4 elements of oral language ability have been identified as explaining the most variance in students’ early reading acquisition:

  1. Phonological and phonemic awareness;
  2. Understanding and using longer and more complex sentences;
  3. Awareness and application of the Story Grammar Sequence; and
  4. Vocabulary knowledge.

Link: An implementation Guide
Link: A guide to navigating the OLSEL folder of notes (for 2009/2010 only)


More resources on the "4 elements"
Link: What is story grammar? How to teach story grammar?

Link: A story grammar plan (designed by an OLSEL school)

Link: What is a Story Grammar Marker?

Link: The Story Grammar Marker in action (Mindwing Concepts)  View the youtube video

Link: Story Grammar Outlines

To further explore story grammar, search out these researchers/educators:

  • Stein and Glenn;
  • Applebee;
  • Roth and Spekman;
  • Gillam et al;
  • Laura Justice;
  • Amer (for ESL students)
  • Boudreau;
  • Moreau

Longer and more complex sentences
How do we determine whether or not a sentence is more complex?
One option is to use a formula to establish the 'readability' of the text.

Link: How to setup the readability function in Word2007

Link: About - The Flesch Kincaid readability formula


The 'fifth' element - self talk / self-scipts

Self-scripts (self talk) are things students can tell themselves to do, to scaffold reading. Through learning self-scripts, a student learns to understand what they will do when they read. When teaching self scripts it is important to move the reader from "What did I do when I read?" to "What will I do when I read?"
The student will need to learn self scripts at each stage- before, while & after reading.

Link: Using self scripts to talk my way through the reading process.


Developmental Sequences for the 4 elements

Link: John Munro's Developmental Sequences for:

 1. Vocabulary development (word meanings)
 2. Phonemic & phonological development
 3. Grammatical and discourse development (longer & more complex sentences)
 4. Story Grammar - No developmental sequence available


The Phonological Early Reading Instruction program (PERI)

Description: The PERI program Outline

Link: To apply to do the PERI PL activity go to IPLS on the CEOM website.


Assessing and Monitoring student outcomes for the '4 elements

  1. Phonological and phonemic awareness

    SPAT (Sutherland Phonological Awareness Test (Neilson)
    * Administering the SPAT (which norms do I use?)

  2. Comprehension and use of longer and more complex sentences

  3. Awareness and application of the Story Grammar Sequence

    Listening Comprehension Task (ERIK)

    Speech Pathology Screener Package (CEOM)

    Oral Retell (J. K. Munro)

  4. Vocabulary knowledge

    Synonyms Test  (J. K. Munro) 


More assessment and monitoring tools
Overview of the Reading Progress Test (RPT), Progressive Achievement Test - Reading (PAT-R) and a range of other literacy and oral language assessment tools.
Powerpoint (coming soon)

Reading Progress Test (RPT)
To assess pre-reading and early reading skills through administration of a Literacy Baseline test in the first year of school and two reading comprehension tests for the second and third year of school.

Link: To ACER online shop to purchase RPT

Link: Task Analysis of Basline, RPT1, RPT2

The ICPALER checklists (J. K. Munro)
You can use the ICPALER Oral language screening profile (brief) to collate how often a student or a group of students shows each aspect of ICPALER. A higher rating on this chart suggests more effective use of the aspect.

From this you can see which students merit a more in-depth profile. You can use this chart to identifying those students whose language use may not be appropriate. For this you can use
the ICPALER Oral language observational profile (in depth).

Links: Click below to download the checklists as spreadsheets


Calculating Effect Sizes

When to use effect sizes.  Why use effect sizes? How to use effect sizes? What scores to use.
OLSEL Effect Sizes - Powerpoint (2013)

  • Excel spreadsheet - Calculating effect sizes - Sample
  • Excel spreadsheet - Calculating effect sizes - Blank
  • Calculating the effect size for an individual student (refer to the ERIK grid below, for an example) 
  • Excel spreadsheet - Calculating effect sizes for ERIK* - Blank
    This spreadsheet also includes details on how to calculate an individual student's effect size, by situating their performance within the performance of the group.
    * ERIK - Enhancing Reading Intervention Knowledge

Weekly Work Programme

Sample 1: Prep/Year 1

Sample 2: Junior (BLANK)

Sample 3: Years1/2 - reading and writing

Sample 4: Prep/Year 1

Sample 5: Years Prep/one/Two (BLANK)

Sample 6: Year 1/2

Schools OLSEL journeys

Sample 7: Prep, Year 1 and Year 2/3 planners (St Monica's, Footscray 2012)

Sample 8: Prep  1-week program - Jack and the Beanstalk (St Alban's 2009)
1-week program - The Three Little Pigs (St Alban's 2009)

Sample 9: Prep 2-week program - A Little Red Hen (St Anne's Sunbury 2012/13)
1-week program - A Nice Walk in the Jungle (St Anne's Sunbury 2012/13)
1-week program - Where the Forest Meets the Sea (St Anne's Sunbury 2012/13)

Resources referred to by St Alban's (2009)

Term Overviews

Sample A: Prep/Year 1

Sample B: Years 1/2 - English (VELS) 

A Ballarat School's OLSEL Journey (2011)
Presentation by Robyn Cranage and Anne Bone - 16 May, 2011.
Link: Camille and the Sunflowers


Other Resources designed by OLSEL schools
Parent-Led Learning Centre Proformas (used with Year 2 students, adapt for other students)
Proforma for working with Fiction texts
Proforma for working with Non-Fiction texts

Colourful Semantics "What Doing" continuum

Bookmark 1; promoting the use of Colourful Semantics and Questioning, while reading.

Bookmark 2; promoting the use of  Questioning and self-management strategies, while reading


Colourful Semantics

An overview of Colourful Semantics by a CEOM Speech Pathologist.

We wish to acknowledge Alison Bryant as the originator of the Colourful Semantics content adapted for CEOM.

Link: About Colourful Semantics (2010)

Link: Colourful Semantics and Complex Sentences  (2013) 

A Powerpoint illustrating how one school uses Colourful Semantics.

Link: Colourful Semantics in a school

Link: Colourful Semantics - Memory Game


Parental Engagement

The importance of parental involvement in the OLSEL project.

Presentation given at the Victorian Literacy and Numeracy in Low SES Communities Pilot Projects Forum, 23 August 2010.

Link: Family Engagement


Parent Information Sessions

1. Parent Information Session - Asking Questions

Link: Powerpoint - Asking Questions

Link: Session Notes - Asking Questions

2. Parent Information Session - Using longer Sentences

Link: Powerpoint - Using longer Sentences

Link: Session Notes - Using longer Sentences


Title: Australian Early Development Index (AEDI)

Description: The AEDI is an Australian adaptation of the Canadian Early Development Instrument (EDI).  It is a population measure of how young children are developing in different Australian Communities. The AEDI has been completed nationally for the first time between 2009 and 2010.
For the first time, Australia has a national snapshot of young children’s health and development.

Contact: Cathie Nolan, Victorian AEDI  Coordinator
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Link: The AEDI website

Link: Access the Powerpoint presented to the OLSEL research schools, 13 July 2010.