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VCE English Units 1 & 2
The English language is central to the way in which students understand, critique and appreciate their world, and to the ways in which they participate socially, economically and culturally in Australian society. The study of English encourages the development of literate individuals capable of critical and imaginative thinking, aesthetic appreciation and creativity. The mastery of the key knowledge and skills described in this study design underpins effective functioning in the contexts of study and work as well as productive participation in a democratic society in the twenty-first century.
ENGLISH UNIT 1
In this unit, students read and respond to texts analytically and creatively. They analyse arguments and the use of persuasive language in texts and create their own texts intended to position audiences. Students develop their skills in creating written, spoken and multimodal texts.
The term ‘set text’ refers to texts chosen by the school for Areas of Study 1 in Units 1 and 2.
Area of study 1: Reading and creating texts
In this area of study students explore how meaning is created in a text. Students identify, discuss and analyse decisions authors have made. They explore how authors use structures, conventions and language to represent characters, settings, events, explore themes, and build the world of the text for the reader. Students investigate how the meaning of a text is affected by the contexts in which it is created and read.
The texts set as the focus of this area of study should have literary merit and be worthy of close study. These texts may be fiction or non-fiction and presented in written, spoken or multimodal forms.
Students consider the similarities and differences between texts, developing awareness that some features are specific to texts, while others are similar across texts. Students are encouraged to draw on prior knowledge and supplementary material to broaden and deepen their understanding of texts. Students practise their listening and speaking skills through discussion, developing their ideas and thinking in relation to the texts studied.
Students develop the ability to respond to texts in written and spoken and/or multimodal forms. They develop analytical responses dealing with the ways in which texts convey meaning and various points of view on key issues. They use planning and drafting to test and clarify their ideas, and editing for clear and coherent expression. They include textual evidence appropriately and craft their writing for convincing and effective presentation.
In developing creative responses to texts, students explore how purpose and audience affect the choices they make as writers in developing ideas and planning work, making choices about structure, conventions, and language to develop voice and style. They practise the skills of revision, editing and refining for accuracy and stylistic effect.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to produce analytical and creative responses to texts.
Area of study 2: Analysing and presenting argument
In this area of study students focus on the analysis and construction of texts that attempt to influence an audience. Students read a range of texts that attempt to position audiences in a variety of ways. They explore the use of language for persuasive effect and the structure and presentation of argument. They consider different types of persuasive language, including written, spoken, and visual, and combinations of these, and how language is used to position the reader.
Students consider the contention of texts; the development of the argument including logic and reasoning, tone and bias; and the intended audience. Students consider how authors craft texts to support and extend the impact of an argument.
In considering the presentation of arguments in oral form, students also learn about the conventions of oral communication for persuasive purposes. Students consider the persuasive impact of tone, diction and audience engagement in the presentation of a viewpoint. They practise their listening and speaking skills through discussion and debate, developing their own arguments and critiquing the arguments of others.
Suitable texts may be drawn from a variety of sources and may be written, spoken or multimodal. Appropriate texts could include editorials, letters to the editor, opinion and comment pieces, reviews, speeches or transcripts of speeches, advertisements, essays, radio or television excerpts, cartoons and other forms of print and digital media.
Students practise written analysis of the presentation of argument and the use of language to position the intended audience. They craft and present reasoned, structured and supported arguments and experiment with the use of language to position audiences. In developing an argument or analysis, they draft, revise and edit to clarify and critique their thinking, and for technical accuracy, coherence, persuasive effect and quality of evidence.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse how argument and persuasive language can be used to position audiences, and create their own texts intended to position audiences.
ENGLISH UNIT 2
In this unit students compare the presentation of ideas, issues and themes in texts. They analyse arguments presented and the use of persuasive language in texts and create their own texts intended to position audiences.Students develop their skills in creating written, spoken and multimodal texts.
Area of study 1: Reading and comparing texts
In this area of study students explore how comparing texts can provide a deeper understanding of ideas, issues and themes. They investigate how the reader’s understanding of one text is broadened and deepened when considered in relation to another text. Students explore how features of texts, including structures, conventions and language convey ideas, issues and themes that reflect and explore the world and human experiences, including historical and social contexts. Students practise their listening and speaking skills through discussion, developing their ideas and thinking in relation to the texts studied.
The texts set as the focus of this area of study should have literary merit, be worthy of close study and facilitate comparative study.
Students produce a written comparison of selected texts, discussing important similarities and differences, and exploring how the texts deal with similar or related ideas, issues or themes from different perspectives. They develop an understanding of the choices available to writers and creators of texts, and the ways in which comparing texts can offer an enriched understanding of ideas, issues or themes. They use the features of written analysis and textual evidence soundly and appropriately, dealing in detail with the ideas encountered in the texts. They draft, revise, edit and refine for technical accuracy, and for clear, coherent and effective presentation of the insights gained through comparison.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare the presentation of ideas, issues and themes in two texts.
Area of study 2: Analysing and presenting argument
In this area of study students build on their understanding of argument and the use of persuasive language in texts that attempt to influence an audience. Students consider a range of texts where the primary purpose is to convince an audience to share a point of view. They develop an understanding of how texts are constructed for specific persuasive effects by identifying and discussing the impact of argument and persuasive language used to influence an audience.
Students practise developing and presenting reasoned points of view on issues of contemporary social relevance. In constructing arguments students focus on the logical development of their own ideas, and select evidence and language to support their arguments.
In addition to developing critical analysis of the use of language and the presentation of argument in texts, students practise presenting arguments and points of view in writing. They draft, revise and edit their writing to clarify and critique their thinking, and for precision and coherence in argument and quality of evidence. They craft for persuasion using a range of language features intended to position an audience to share the point of view expressed. They use the features of texts appropriately and include accurate referencing and acknowledgment.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify and analyse how argument and persuasive language are used in text/s that attempt to influence an audience, and create a text which presents a point of view.
The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. Teachers should use a variety of learning activities and assessment tasks that provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes for satisfactory completion of the unit.