English Learning Area

Developing Confident, Literate and Cultured Citizens for the Future

The English learning Area provides opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values essential to their becoming active and literate citizens in a rapidly changing world.

The overall objective of the English learning Area is to develop students’ knowledge of English language, literature and literacy that can be successfully applied in authentic and increasingly complex settings.

The Lower School English programs for Years 7-10 are based on the three interrelated strands of the Australian Curriculum: English.

Strands and Sub-strands

The strands of language, literature and literacy are grouped into sub-strands as indicated in the table below:-

Language Literature Literacy
Language variation and change Literature and context Texts in context
Language for interaction Responding to literature Interacting with others
Text structure and organisation Examining literature Interpreting, analysing and evaluating
Expressing and developing ideas Creating literature Creating texts

 


Language

Language variation and change:

Students learn that languages and dialects are constantly evolving due to historical, social and cultural changes, demographic movements and technological innovations. They come to understand that these factors, along with new virtual communities and environments, continue to affect the nature and spread of English.

Language for interaction:

Students learn that the language used by individuals varies according to their social setting and the relationships between the participants. They learn that accents and styles of speech and idiom are part of the creation and expression of personal and social identities.

Text structure and organisation:

Students learn how texts are structured to achieve particular purposes; how language is used to create texts that are cohesive and coherent; how texts about more specialised topics contain more complex language patterns and features; and how the author guides the reader/viewer through the text through effective use of resources at the level of the whole text, the paragraph and the sentence.

Expressing and developing ideas:

Students learn how, in a text, effective authors control and use an increasingly differentiated range of clause structures, words and word groups, as well as combinations of sound, image, movement, verbal elements and layout. They learn that the conventions, patterns and generalisations that relate to English spelling involve the origins of words, word endings, Greek and Latin roots, base words and affixes.


Literature

Literature and context

Students learn how ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters that are expressed by authors in texts are drawn from and shaped by different historical, social and cultural contexts.

Responding to literature:

Students learn to identify personal ideas, experiences and opinions about literary texts and discuss them with others. They learn how to recognise areas of agreement and difference, and how to develop and refine their interpretations through discussion and argument.

Examining literature:

Students learn how to explain and analyse the ways in which stories, characters, settings and experiences are reflected in particular literary genres, and how to discuss the appeal of these genres. They learn how to compare and appraise the ways authors use language and literary techniques and devices to influence readers. They also learn to understand, interpret, discuss and evaluate how certain stylistic choices can create multiple layers of interpretation and effect.

Creating literature:

Students learn how to use personal knowledge and literary texts as starting points to create imaginative writing in different forms and genres and for particular audiences. Using print, digital and online media, students develop skills that allow them to convey meaning, address significant issues and heighten engagement and impact.


 

Literacy

Texts in context:

Students learn that texts from different cultures or historical periods may reveal different patterns in how they go about narrating, informing and persuading.

Interacting with others:

Students learn how individuals and groups use language patterns to express ideas and key concepts to develop and defend arguments. They learn how to promote a point of view by designing, rehearsing and delivering spoken and written presentations and by appropriately selecting and sequencing linguistic and multimodal elements.

Interpreting, analysing, evaluating:

Students learn to comprehend what they read and view by applying growing contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge. They develop more sophisticated processes for interpreting, analysing, evaluating and critiquing ideas, information and issues from a variety of sources. They explore the ways conventions and structures are used in written, digital, multimedia and cinematic texts to entertain, inform and persuade audiences, and they use their growing knowledge of textual features to explain how texts make an impact on different audiences.

Creating texts:

Students apply knowledge they have developed in other strands and sub-strands to create with clarity, authority and novelty a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts that entertain, inform and persuade audiences. They do so by strategically selecting key aspects of a topic as well as language, visual and audio features. They learn how to edit for enhanced meaning and effect by refining ideas, reordering sentences, adding or substituting words for clarity, and removing repetition. They develop and consolidate a handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic, and that supports sustained writing. They learn to use a range of software programs including word processing software, selecting purposefully from a range of functions to communicate and create clear, effective, informative and innovative texts.


Language Modes

Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills through achievement in four interrelated language modes that relate to:-

  • Listening and Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Viewing

Within each language mode, content descriptions describe what learners are expected to know, understand and do.

Listening and Speaking

This strand refers to the various formal and informal ways spoken language is used to convey and receive meaning. It involves the development and demonstration of knowledge about the appropriate spoken language for particular audiences and occasions, including body language and voice. It also involves the development of active listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts.

Reading

This strand involves learners understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon and enjoying written texts. It encompasses reading a wide range of texts.. Reading involves active engagement with texts and the development of knowledge about the relationship between texts and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development and application of knowledge about a range of strategies for reading.

Writing

This strand involves learners actively conceiving, planning, composing, editing and publishing a range of texts including writing for print and electronic media and performance. Writing involves using appropriate language for particular purposes or occasions, both formal and informal, to express and represent ideas, issues, arguments, events, experience, character, emotion and information and to reflect on such ideas. It involves the development and application of knowledge about strategies for writing and the conventions of Standard Australian English.

Viewing

This strand involves learners in understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon and enjoying visual and non-print texts. It encompasses reading and viewing a wide range of texts and media. Viewing involves active engagement with visual texts and the development of knowledge about the relationship between such texts and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development and application of knowledge about a range of strategies for reading.

Learners become more confident in using appropriate terminology to discuss language conventions and use.

 


Standards

The English Area describes expected standards in three ways:-

  • Demonstration of achievement within each strand and sub-strand by examples of annotated evidence of learning in each student’s portfolio of work
  • Formal assessment of achievement in Reading, Writing and Viewing in semester tests
  • Links to the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) achievement bands for writing and reading.

 


Upper School English Courses

 

ATAR English – Year 11

Year 11 students studying ATAR English will develop analytical, creative, critical-thinking and communication skills in all language modes. The course encourages students to critically engage with texts of different types from different contexts. Students on this course are given opportunities to create their own imaginative, interpretive, persuasive and analytical responses. In 2016, the ATAR English Year 12 course will continue to develop these skills through comparing texts, analysing perspectives, and creating their own texts. The ATAR courses replace the Stage 2 and 3 WACE courses. Students enrolled in this course will sit examinations and have the opportunity to work towards university entry depending upon their results.

General English – Year 11

Year 11 students enrolled in the General English course consolidate and refine the skills and knowledge needed to become competent, confident and engaged users of English in a variety of contexts. The General course is designed to provide students with the skills that will empower them to succeed in a wide range of post-secondary pathways. The course develops students’ language, literacy and literary skills to enable them to communicate successfully both orally and in writing and to enjoy and value using language for both imaginative and practical purposes. Students continuing on this pathway into Year 12 in 2016 will learn how the interaction of structure, language, audience and context helps to shape how the audience makes meaning.

Foundation English – Year 11

Year 11 students who have not demonstrated the minimum standards in Literacy in the OLNA testing may enrol in Foundation courses. The English units in Year 11 are designed to support students in developing their understanding of literacy concepts through texts. Students will study a variety of modules across four contexts.

ATAR Literature – Year 11

The Literature ATAR course explores how literary texts construct representations, shape perceptions of the world and enable us to enter other worlds of the imagination. In this subject, students actively participate in the dialogue of literary analysis and the creation of imaginative and analytical texts in a range of modes, media and forms. Students enjoy and respond creatively and critically to literary texts drawn from the past and present and from Australian and other cultures. The ATAR courses replace the Stage 2 and 3 WACE courses. Students enrolled in this course will sit examinations and have the opportunity to work towards university entry depending upon their results.