A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. Each character or event may be a symbol representing an idea or quality.
The deliberate repetition of sounds or syllables, especially initial consonants, for stylistic effect. For example, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and “the snake slithers slowly”.
A brief reference, explicit or implicit, to a place, person, event, or to a part of another text.
Knowledge of the letters of the alphabet by name and an understanding of alphabetic order.
A literary device that involves a comparison of two otherwise unlike things, for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
The attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to what is not human, such as an animal or object.
A structural element that forms the foundation of a written word; any unit of a word to which affixes can be added. (e.g., act is the base of acted, action, activity, activate, react). Types of bases include:
- bound base. A base that requires an affix to form a word (e.g., -ject in inject and project).
- free base. A base that forms a word on its own (e.g., eat, date, weak).
An opinion, preference, prejudice, or inclination that limits an individual’s or group’s ability to make fair, objective, or accurate judgements. Bias may occur in any text. Explicit bias refers to attitudes and opinions that are consciously held and conveyed in texts. Implicit bias refers to unconscious attitudes or stereotypes conveyed in texts that may influence an audience’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
An aspect of phonemic awareness that involves the ability to combine individual phonemes (sounds) to form words. (Compare segmenting.)
The use of a capital letter to begin a sentence; to indicate a proper noun, a personal title, an acronym, or an initialism; and to set off important words in titles and headings.
A group of words containing a subject and a verb that are related to one another. All sentences must contain at least one clause.
- independent clause. A clause that expresses a complete thought and can stand on its own as a simple sentence.
- dependent clause. A clause that does not express a complete thought and cannot stand on its own as a sentence. Also called a subordinate clause.
The underlying logical connectedness of the parts of an oral, written, visual, or multimodal text. A paragraph is coherent if all of its sentences are connected logically so that they are easy to follow. An essay is coherent if its paragraphs are logically connected.
Words or phrases, including anaphors, synonyms, conjunctions, and pronouns, used to integrate information within and across sentences and to link and connect ideas in a text. Also called cohesive devices.
A word made from two or more words (e.g., sunshine, snowball, football).
The ability to understand and draw meaning from texts.
A variety of strategies that students use before, during, and after listening, reading, and viewing to construct meaning from texts, including: activating and using background and prior knowledge; making predictions; monitoring comprehension (e.g., visualizing; generating and asking questions; making connections); summarizing; and reflecting on their learning.
The deliberate repetition of similar consonant sounds for stylistic effect (e.g., stroke/luck).
Text that contains words reflecting grapheme-phoneme correspondences and morphological patterns that have been explicitly and systematically taught to early readers. Decodable texts are used in early reading instruction to practice phonics skills. See also grapheme-phoneme correspondence, morphology, phonics.
An affix by means of which one word is formed (derived) from another. Adding a derivational affix to a base is one of the most common ways of deriving a new word in English. Most affixes are Greek, Latin, or Anglo-Saxon in origin.
A word family made up of all the words derived from the same base.
A conversation between two or more characters in a story, or by two actors in a play or film.
digital media literacy
The skills, strategies, mindsets, dispositions, and social practices that enable people to creatively and critically participate in digitally networked contexts. Digital media literacy includes the ability to combine the multimodal properties of media literacy with the technological capabilities of digital literacy.
A text created, stored, and transmitted in a digital form (e.g., web page, social media post, email, computer graphic).
A combination of two letters representing one sound (e.g., consonant digraphs: ph, sh, ch, etc., and vowel digraphs: ar, ea, ir, er, oa, ue, etc.)
elements of style
Elements and devices used by creators of texts to help create meaning and aesthetically pleasing and distinctive texts. For example, elements of literary style include word choice, sentence structure, and syntax; figurative language; literary devices, rhetorical devices (e.g., repetition, emphasis, dramatic pause); and techniques to add rhythm and sound (e.g., alliteration, onomatopoeia). Elements of visual style include use of colour, line, shape, texture, pattern, and space to achieve harmony, balance, and focus. Elements of style in film include lighting and shooting style. Also called stylistic elements. See also alliteration, figurative language, literary device, onomatopoeia, syntax, word choice.
elements of text
The characteristic aspects of a particular text form or genre (e.g., the compositional elements of fiction include plot, characters, point of view, setting, style, and theme; audio elements of a film include speech, music, sounds, sound effects, and volume; the elements of an image include colour, composition, line, shape, contrast, repetition, style; cultural elements of texts include the use of cultural symbols, imagery, and motifs, the representation of cultural values, beliefs, and practices, and the historical and social context in which the text was created). See also genres, point of view, style, text form, theme.
The process of applying knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (also called letter-sounds patterns) to spell words. (Compare decoding.)
A device used in film and literature that takes the audience from the present moment in a chronological narrative to a scene in the past.
Spelling rule in which one-syllable words ending with the sound /f/, /l/, /s/, or /z/ double the last letter. For example, puff, spell, hiss, and fizz follow the FLSZ rule. Also called the floss rule.
The ability to identify words accurately and to read text quickly with ease, pace, automaticity, and expression. As they develop fluency, students read expressively, with proper phrasing and punctuation, and gain more meaning from the text.
A literary device in which a creator provides an indication of future events in the plot.
The types or categories into which texts are grouped. For example, literary genres include: novel, short story, essay, poetry, and drama. See also conventions.
A letter or a cluster of letters that represent a phoneme in a word. For example, single letters often represent a phoneme (e.g., c, g, t, p) but digraphs (e.g., sh, ch) are common and three or four letters can also represent a single phoneme occasionally (e.g., <igh> in light or <eigh> in eight). See also phoneme.
See visual text.
A literary device in which exaggeration is used deliberately for effect or emphasis (e.g., a flood of tears, piles of money).
A group of words that, through usage, has taken on a special meaning different from the literal meaning (e.g., Better late than never! or Piece of cake.)
A framework, described by Stó:lo scholar Jo-ann Archibald, for understanding the characteristics of Indigenous oral narratives and the process of storytelling. Indigenous Storywork establishes a receptive listening context for holistic meaning-making, bringing storytelling into educational contexts and demonstrating how stories have the power to heal the heart, mind, body, and spirit. Indigenous Storywork is built on the seven principles of respect, responsibility, reciprocity, reverence, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy.
A conclusion or opinion reached using reasoning and evidence from a text, based on what the creator states and implies in the text and what the reader brings to the text from their prior knowledge and experience.
- local inference. An inference formed based on an understanding of implied information at the local level of sentences and paragraphs.
- global inference. An inference based on an understanding of implied information in the whole text (e.g., about the theme of the text). A global inference usually requires the application of the reader’s previous knowledge.
The stress and pitch of spoken language. Intonation is used to communicate information additional to the meaning conveyed by words alone (e.g., a rising intonation at the end of a sentence indicates a question). (Compare tone.)
A technique using contrast or contradiction for the purposes of humour or emphasis; for example, a statement that has an underlying meaning different from its literal or surface meaning.
The ability to understand and express thoughts or ideas in a given language. Traditional literacy refers to the ability to read and write. See also digital media literacy.
A particular pattern of words (e.g., rhyme, parallel structure), figure of speech (e.g., hyperbole, irony, metaphor, personification), or technique (e.g., comparison and contrast, foreshadowing, juxtaposition, analogy) used in literature to produce a specific effect. Also called a stylistic device. See also figurative language, imagery.
The plural of medium. See medium.
Any work, object, or event that communicates meaning to an audience. Most media texts use words, graphics, sounds, and/or images, in print, oral, visual, or digital form, to communicate information and ideas to their audience. Examples include: advertisement, database, vlog, film, newspaper, magazine, brochure, interview, clothing, song, dance. See also multimodal text.
The channel or system through which a text is conveyed, determined by the text’s mode(s), purpose, and audience, and including print, audio, visual, audio-visual, and digital means. For example, the medium for a written text might be a handwritten letter or book; the medium for an oral text might be a podcast or video clip. The plural is media. Media for reaching mass audiences include print, radio, television, artifacts, and the internet. See also mode of communication.
An individual’s ability to reflect on and evaluate the structure of language objectively. Metalinguistic awareness refers to awareness in the area of phonology, syntax, and pragmatics. It allows individuals to monitor and control their language use, and is a strong predicator of reading development for all children. Multilingual children may experience accelerated development of metalinguistic awareness.
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to something to which it is imaginatively but not literally applicable (e.g., heart of gold, night owl).
Any kind of inaccurate or misleading information. Misinformation can be spread unintentionally by those who believe it to be correct. (Compare disinformation.)
mode of communication
An element in meaning making that describes the means by which communications are designed and perceived. The six modes of communication are linguistic (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), visual (representing and viewing), aural (sounds and music), gestural (e.g., using body language, facial expressions, gestures), spatial (e.g., using scale, proximity, direction), and multimodal. See also multimodality.
The smallest unit of meaning within words. A morpheme can be either a prefix, a suffix, or a base. Words are made up of one or more morphemes.