Research and advice by educators,
for educators


As experts in children’s language, Oxford University Press is constantly listening to Australian children, and reflecting on their use of language to develop an understanding of how their ideas are communicated.

Oxford University Press has established Oxford Children’s Language Australia (OCLA) to implement language research initiatives, share insights with the education community, and support teachers with developing students’ language and literacy development.

We partner with leading Australian language and literacy research experts to further our collective understanding of Australian children’s language and proudly share evidence-based research insights and advice to support the education community in developing our children’s language and literacy skills.



Let's close the children's language gap. Read our
latest research and advice.

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Understanding children’s language

Supporting language and literacy development

Australian evidence-based research

Oxford Children’s Language Australia Corpus


The Oxford Children’s Language Australia Corpus includes continuously updated language data that reveals contemporary vocabulary used by Australian children in their own writing. Oxford conducts associated language research to:

  Record and analyse words that Australian children choose to write

  Understand the language children need to acquire to read and spell well

  Help educators to make informed planning decisions when selecting language content

  Identify the skills to teach so educators can support students to become successful and independent spellers, writers and readers


Language is at the heart of education. But in a rapidly changing world it continues to evolve. Since 1908, Oxford University Press has supported Australian educators in developing children's language and literacy skills.

We're proud to partner with Australian language and literacy experts to unlock the power of language for learning. Join us at the home of Australian children’s language.

Video duration: 47s

Research partnerships

Australian academic partnerships

Our children's language research, developed in association with our research partners, aims to support the education community deliver best-practice teaching based on evidence-based pedagogies.

Oxford's academic partners:

Tessa Daffern

Director and Principal Education Consultant, Literacy Education Solutions; Senior Honorary Fellow,
University of Wollongong

Dr Rosemary Johnston

Professor of Education and Culture, University of Technology Sydney

Professor Sharryne McLeod

Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition,
Charles Sturt University

Susan Taylor

Primary Teacher; Academic Tutor, Macquarie University

Anne Bayetto

Lecturer, College of Education,
Flinders University

Damon Thomas

Senior Lecturer, English Education, University of Tasmania

Janet Fellowes

Founder and Consultant, Inspire Literacy; former Senior Lecturer,
Edith Cowan University

Emina McLean

Lecturer in Literacy,
La Trobe University

We also partner with:

Australian National Dictionary Centre

The Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) is a joint Australian National University (ANU) and OUP project. It was established in 1988 as a centre of excellence and expertise for the study of Australian English. The ANDC has two aims: to conduct research into Australian English, and to provide lexicographical expertise to Oxford University Press Australia.

Skoolbo

Skoolbo is a learning media company based in Canberra. Over the last six years, Skoolbo’s learning programs have been used in more than 100,000 schools and by millions of children worldwide. They have amassed a significantly large set of literacy and numeracy skills learning data across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA.

Read our latest research

Let's close the language gap

Help us to transform student language skills and participate in the 10,000 word writing pledge.

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Learn more

Reading for Meaning

A guide to research on
the best-practice teaching of comprehension in today’s world.

The paper is a guide for schools to consider the research into effective reading instruction, reflect on current comprehension practices, and introduce The Comprehension Skills Framework which can be put into practice in the classroom.

  • What is reading comprehension and why itis important?
  • An overview of research into the effective reading instruction
  • The Comprehensions Skills Framework, skills and strategies for best-practice teaching
  • Comprehension and learners with languages other than English

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Guided Reading

Explore the benefits and limitations of levelled texts and strategies for using them effectively.

This paper explores the benefits and limitations of levelled texts as part of a reading program, and strategies for using them effectively. It provides evidence-based information for educators about:

  • decodable and predictable levelled texts
  • levelling systems
  • text level allocation
  • reading across a wide range of texts
  • talking about reading with families, caregivers and students.

Read the paper

The New Oxford Wordlist

Our latest report provides an updated list of high frequency words children use in their first three years of school.

The 2017 Oxford Wordlist research study was conducted in Australian schools and sought to compare data with the first Oxford Wordlist research conducted in 2007. This paper explores the writing samples of young writers in Years F-2 provides evidence-based information for educators about:

  • the use of high frequency words among children in Year F-2
  • provides an updated list of high frequency words from the research conducted in 2007
  • explores the implications for educators.

Read the report

Children's Word of the Year

The Children’s Word of the Year is derived from our language data analysis of the words Australian children most write in years 3–8.

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Oxford Wordlist

Our free interactive wordlist tool allows teachers to access frequently used words to create customised wordlists for targeted teaching.

By selecting characteristics most relevant to students in your classrooms, you can create customised Wordlists for early readers and writers, using these lists to plan relevant programs and determine those words most likely to allow all students to engage with the curriculum.

Learn more

Storyathon

Storyathon language data is added to the Oxford Children’s Language Australia Corpus and helps inform our Children’s Word of the Year.

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  • Turpis egestas sed tempus urna
  • Egestas sed sed risus pretium quam
  • Dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit

Learn more

OCLA Corpus

The largest active database of Australian children's writing in years F–8 monitors language development and helps to inform our children's language resources.

By selecting characteristics most relevant to students in your classrooms, you can create customised Wordlists for early readers and writers, using these lists to plan relevant programs and determine those words most likely to allow all students to engage with the curriculum.

Learn more

We invite you to join our educator community to receive:


free access to insights from evidence-based research and pedagogy

free access to a rich variety of resources to support teaching practice

professional learning and development opportunities