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English Studies additional modules

Elective Module (Preliminary or HSC): Local Heroes – English and Community Life

Indicative time: 20–40 hours

Module Description

Through the study of the module Local Heroes students develop an understanding of, and proficiency in the use of, language to investigate the positive contribution of individuals and groups in their local community. Students develop knowledge and skills to explore and research local issues and the life stories and experiences of community members in the local and broader community. They identify individuals who have made a positive contribution to the community and reflect upon how their own experiences and identity are influenced by the selected community members. Students respond to and compose a range of texts related to community life and engage in a range of rich language experiences that are given significance through being connected to their local community.

Students have the opportunity to interact purposefully with local organisations, groups and individuals, and establish connections with their local community. These community organisations could include sporting clubs, charities, creative and performing arts groups, business networks or media agencies. Students consider role models in the community and examine the qualities, behaviours and values these people exhibit to develop an understanding of how communities can be formed and sustained by social and cultural relationships. Students respond to and compose a range of short and more sustained texts, as well as critiquing and reflecting on the stories and experiences of these community members. They learn to appreciate how texts represent the connection between individuals and their communities, and the effect of such texts on individuals and communities. This study provides a context for the exploration of, and response to, students’ own and collective experiences and opinions through a range of creative and personal compositions. Through the study of these literary, oral and other texts, students further extend their skills in comprehending and responding to texts, and develop their abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively.

Suggested content

  • Students develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:
    • planning, drafting, writing and editing accurately and appropriately expressed brochures, media articles, interviews and other short and extended responses based on community events and life in general
    • analysing the language, structure and conventions of advertising, promotional and persuasive materials related to the representation of stereotypes
    • researching and summarising information about local individuals, groups and communities
    • reading, viewing, comprehending and analysing a wide range of texts, such as films, documentaries, biographies, newspapers or multimedia texts to explore and reflect on the contributions these identities make to a community
    • speaking and listening in discussion about the qualities, behaviours and values found in people who make a positive impact on others
    • accessing websites, advertisements and promotional materials relating to support groups and agencies
    • analysing language and techniques used to inform, describe, evaluate, compare, engage and persuade
    • planning, organising and carrying out projects with a community focus, both individually and in groups
    • identifying goals and project stages, identifying and allocating roles and tasks, setting deadlines, selecting media of presentation
    • editing and collating material to ensure accuracy and appropriateness of expression and quality of presentation
    • composing both short and sustained texts to demonstrate an understanding of the value of individuals and groups within the local community
    • developing knowledge and understanding of a number of literary and oral texts related to the exploration of what makes a community unique.
  • Students develop knowledge and understanding of a number of literary texts related to a local community and its members, and about the ways that community relationships can have a positive effect upon both individuals and the community at large. They strengthen their capacity for the analysis and appreciation of literary texts including novels, nonfiction, multimedia and film. Students study these texts for enjoyment and aesthetic experience, to extend their skills in comprehending and responding to texts in discussion and debate, and to develop their abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively.

Suggested learning experiences

  • Identify and discuss the qualities, values and behaviours found in people who make a positive impact on others.
  • View and analyse a biography of an individual who has made a positive contribution to their community. See The Oasis resource below.
  • Construct a biographical timeline that plots both the achievements and challenges of a hero’s life journey.
  • Research and present findings on a local community agency, citizen or historical figure who has made a contribution to their local community.
  • Compose a magazine article that profiles an important member or organisation of their local community.
  • Research and present issues and challenges of the local community and identify how local individuals or organisations could work towards resolving these issues. This may include Neighbourhood Watch, SES, Rural Fire Service, Army Reserve, Rotary or Quota Clubs.
  • Create a directory of local support organisations that describes their role in the community and the benefits they provide.
  • Invite guest speakers, listen to podcasts and explore websites that identify the positive contributions made by individuals and organisations to local communities.
  • Compose a pamphlet to promote a local community agency and its work.
  • Compose nominations for a ‘Local Hero Award’ to acknowledge contributions made by local community members.
  • Respond to and compose a script of an acceptance speech for a local community award. See <www.australianoftheyear.org.au>.
  • Create a visual montage of the local community and its people.
  • Arrange a class excursion to a regional or metropolitan community to explore and compare how people live in and engage with their local community.
  • Provide opportunities for students to participate in voluntary community programs. Students could keep journals reflecting on their experiences, then share with their class though PowerPoint presentations, including photographs and video clips as appropriate.
  • Reflex, discuss and/or write about how the learning experiences of this module may be relevant to broader and longer-term learning.

Suggested resources

Websites

Film

  • Stenders, Kriv, Red Dog, Roadshow, 2011.
  • Sitch, Rob, The Castle, Roadshow, 1997.

Prose Fiction

  • Zusak, Markus, The Messenger, Pan Macmillan, 2002.
  • De Bernieres, Louis, Red Dog, Vintage, 2002.

Non Fiction

  • McConchie, Peter, Elders, Wisdom from Australia’s Indigenous Leaders, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Elective Module (Preliminary or HSC): Who do I Think I am? – English and the self

Indicative time: 20–40 hours

Module Description

Through the study of the module Who do I think I am? – English and the self, students develop an understanding of language and texts typically used to express people’s ideas, emotions and beliefs about themselves and their lives. In responding to and composing texts, students learn about how an individual can share experiences and reveal beliefs, aspirations and talents through exploring how language is used in conversations, interviews, biographies, autobiographies and written reflections in digital, print and visual mediums.

The module Who do I think I am? – English and the self emphasises the power of language to help students develop and express a positive view of themselves and their relationships and roles in families and communities. Students respond to and compose texts to explore and analyse language used to build and strengthen relationships and to communicate the achievements and feelings of individuals.

Students have the opportunity to develop their ability and willingness to introduce and talk about themselves in private and community forums, and to present themselves positively in a range of contexts including more formal contexts, such as job interviews. Students also develop awareness of how to present their personal image appropriately and judiciously for a public audience. They strengthen their skills in the preparation and presentation of portfolios that showcase their interests, abilities and achievements.

Students also have the opportunity to experience, engage with and critique both short and sustained literary texts that focus on individuals ‘telling their stories’ imaginatively, in ways that explore issues of identity and self-worth.

Suggested content

  • Students develop knowledge, skills and understanding in:
    • analysing online advertising blurbs for self-help books, and evaluating and making purchasing choices, on the basis of the advertising material
    • reading, comprehending and evaluating book reviews and making purchasing choices based on specific criteria (including budgetary criteria)
    • researching, analysing, selecting, synthesising and presenting a personal story
    • planning, drafting, writing and editing letters, advertisements, blogs, and other forms of short and extended responses necessary for secondary school studies
    • reading and viewing personal stories of survival and change, rural and urban lifestyles and opportunities with a focus on how they shape personal identity
    • researching, discussing and writing about resilience and success
    • reading, viewing, comprehending and analysing a wide range of texts that represent personal identity including digital texts such as newspaper articles, interviews, biographies, personal stories, obituaries, websites, blogs and wikis
    • developing and publishing personal learning plans
    • exploring elements of, and developing skills in, making appropriate and judicious decisions about how they project themselves to the public in online formats
    • compiling a personal dossier of skills, achievements and associated evidence
    • recognising and drawing connections between life choices and future possibilities through discussion and reflective writing
    • planning, organising, allocating tasks and setting deadlines, editing and collating material for presentation of texts that reflect a positive image of themselves
    • reflecting on and writing short and sustained texts about how personal experience informs identity.
  • Students develop knowledge and understanding of a number of literary texts that represent individuals dealing with challenges, building resilience and achieving success. These texts may include longer texts, such as novels, autobiographies, biographies, films and documentary television series. Through the study of these texts students also extend their skills in comprehending and responding to texts, and develop their own abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively.

Suggested learning experiences

  • Develop a vocabulary bank on general character traits based on their study of a number of texts.
    • Categorise into positive, negative and interesting attributes.
    • Identify traits that describe both their current identities and identities they aspire to.
  • Access a range of online questionnaires (suitably checked by their teacher) in response to the search query ‘What kind of person am I?’
    • Read through the questions as a class group and discuss the probable purposes of the different questionnaires. Why are some questionnaires more serious than others?
    • Individually, select and complete a questionnaire. Make a note of their choice and the results in the workbooks for the module. Talk to the class about their choices and results if they wish.
    • Compile a short list of typical questions asked and a short list of the different types of questionnaires.
  • Devise an original questionnaire about personal identity and explain its purpose.
  • Compile a series of enquiry questions/topics that would be required to undertake a personal investigation of one’s heritage or personal history.
  • In pairs, access the website www.amazon.com and navigate to the ‘self-help’ books category.
    • Read a selection of the advertising blurbs and book reviews.
    • Decide on three books they would buy.
    • Together, write brief summaries of the blurbs and reviews, with brief explanations of how the images, blurbs and reviews contributed to their choices. Edit this writing and polish it for the workbooks or module portfolios.
  • View an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (SBS Television). The episodes concerning John Butler or Cathy Freeman would be appropriate … see resources list.
    • Analyse how the documentary creates and sustains the interest of the viewer.
    • Identify and discuss personal experiences, qualities and reactions evident in the participant’s investigations in the episode.
    • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the episode. Consider how language and filmic techniques have been employed.
    • Reflect on the purpose of the investigations in the documentary and discuss the strategies employed to seek out the participant’s history.
  • Write a short autobiographical account titled Who Do I Think I Am? This might be based on personal experiences, discussions with friends or relatives, historical or personal documents researched, or it might be entirely fictitious.
  • Read extracts from autobiographies, biographies or memoirs of a range of Australians who have been through significant life changes. Discuss their experiences, focusing on how people have adapted to new situations and how they have shaped their own life journey (extracts could be taken from My Place by Sally Morgan).
  • Read the introduction to the non-fiction text Destination Saigon to explore, discuss and respond to the way in which the author has grown as a person due to his travel experiences.
  • Read personal stories, excerpts from biographies, newspaper articles and interviews, blogs, obituary. Write brief reviews of those stories that particularly interest them and share with class.
  • Respond to and critique personal stories published in the Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald or those found on the site <http://storiesfortrainers.com/>. Students discuss or write reflectively about the two stories that interest them most.
  • Listen to a podcast of an interview with an individual who has been through a significant life experience and who has experienced significant life change.
    • Take notes of the interview with particular attention to the way the individual responded to the experiences.
    • Compose an appropriate invitation.
    • Prepare a brief introduction.
    • Prepare questions before the visit.
    • Take notes and record answers to the questions if the interview takes place.
    • Write a short personal account of the impression the visitor made on the individual student. Edit this account carefully for effectiveness and accuracy.
  • As a whole-class group, view and discuss a film that explores experience through change, such as Shine, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? or The Color Purple. As individuals, students write a 300-word review of the film. They edit and polish this work for their module portfolio.
  • Read and respond to fiction and non-fiction texts (for example My Name is Mina or The Beginning of After) to explore, discuss and evaluate the ways that characters:
    • accept their personal circumstances and the contexts they live in
    • overcome adversity through the use of their personal qualities and skills
    • determine their future direction and make decisions based on their learning.
  • Develop a personal learning plan to showcase an evidence-based appraisal of personal skills and qualities as well as providing long-term objectives that encourage lifelong learning.
  • Write a personal letter addressed to one’s future self, depicting who they are currently and what their ambitions are for their future at this time. This could also include the creation of digital avatars depicting them currently and/or in the future.
  • Access cyber safety resources to develop students’ understanding of appropriate representation of self and the consequences of inappropriate online publishing.
  • Develop an e-portfolio or a social networking site page to promote the student’s current life, such as friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
  • Compose or compile a personal scrapbook and/or journal to showcase personal qualities they possess or want to possess. This could include a visual slideshow or collage of images that represent personal identity and vision. This work should be presented in the student’s module portfolio.
  • Reflect on, discuss and/or write about the ways that the learning experiences of this module may be relevant to their broader and longer-term learning.

Suggested Resources

Prose fiction

  • Bauer, Joan Close to Famous. Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile, 2011.
  • Castle, Jennifer The Beginning of After. HarperCollins, 2011.
  • Joseph, Lynn The Color of My Words Harper Collins, 2000.
  • Heiss, Anita Avoiding Mr Right. Random House, 2008.
  • Weller, Archie The Window Seat. University of Queensland Press, 2009.
  • Moloney, James Gracey. University of Queensland Press, 1994.
  • McDonald, Meme & Pryor, Boori My Girragundji, Allen and Unwin, 1998.
  • Mason, Walter Destination Saigon, Allen and Unwin, 2010.

Drama

  • Davis, Jack No Sugar, Currency Press, 1986.

Non-Fiction

  • Almond, David My Name is Mina. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Press, 2011.
  • Morgan, Sally My Place. Fremantle Press, 1987.

Films

  • Hicks, Scott Shine, Miramax, 1996.
  • Hallstrom, Lasse What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Paramount Pictures, 1993.
  • Walker, Alice The Color Purple, Warner Bros 1985.

Documentary

Media

  • Your Time Starts Now, weekly articles in Good Weekend Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Multimedia


Elective Module (Preliminary or HSC): MiTunes and textEnglish and the language of song

Indicative time: 20–40 hours

Module description

Through the study of the module MiTunes and words English and the language of song, students develop a deeper understanding of how language is used in a range of song lyrics to express emotions, attitudes, ideas and themes. Through responding to and composing texts, students explore the relationship between the language forms and features used in poems and how these can be used imaginatively and powerfully in song lyrics. Songs used for the study of language may be accessed from CD albums, online sources and music clips.

Students have the opportunity to use language imaginatively by composing poems and song lyrics for a range of purposes, such as to recount stories, express personal emotions, protest, observe, reflect and speculate. In doing so, students edit, refine and publish their own lyrics and short texts in digital, print and visual mediums. Student compositions may also include song reviews and short biographies, autobiographies and videos about lyricists, musicians and composers.

Through engaging with the study of a range of literary and other texts, students gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the ways language can represent particular views and aspects of the world. Through studying these texts, students also extend their skills in comprehending and responding, and develop abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively. Their study may also extend into exploring how language and the use of visual images and music can evoke particular responses from an audience.

Students also strengthen their skills in teamwork as they work collaboratively to present their views, discoveries and compositions related to a selected range of song lyrics and poetic forms of their choice.

Suggested content

  • Students develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:
    • exploring the relationships between poetic forms and song lyrics
    • researching and summarising information about song writers and the creative process
    • planning, drafting, writing and editing poems, lyrics and reviews
    • analysing the language, structure, and conventions of song lyrics and poetry
    • identifying, discussing and evaluating how the meaning of lyrics can be represented visually
    • planning, organising and implementing projects with a focus on songs, both independently and collaboratively, identifying goals and project stages, identifying and allocating roles and tasks, setting deadlines, selecting media of presentation, editing and collating material to ensure accuracy and appropriateness of expression and quality of presentation
    • presenting electronic portfolios, logs, music video clips, PowerPoints and posters
    • listening, responding to and evaluating a range of lyrics in the context of the accompanying music and any related images or multimedia effects.
  • Students develop knowledge and understanding of a number of literary texts related to music. Students closely analyse song lyrics and poetry, and how the skilful use of language shapes meaning. Texts that could also be considered include music reviews, biographies, autobiographies, poetry or soundtracks that reflect personal experience. Students study these texts for pleasure and meaning, and to extend their understanding of the way artistic expression reflects a particular view of the world.

Suggested learning experiences

  • Select a song that is meaningful to them and identify how language is used to shape meaning:
    • research a poem based on themes or experiences similar to those portrayed in the lyrics of one song they have selected
    • compose a brief explanation of their choice.
  • In pairs, students choose a song or poem and represent the meaning of the language in a series of selected images or short video clip.
  • Compile an album/anthology of thematically linked songs or poems:
    • students discuss and present how themes are represented in their chosen song lyrics
    • represent the themes of the lyrics through creating a CD cover/booklet, including cover art, lyrics and blurb.
  • Navigate the site www.bbc.co.uk/later/shows:
    • discuss the concepts raised in the blogs/posts regarding specific episodes and interviews of the show Later … with Jools Holland
    • view an episode of the show to form an understanding of the process involved in the composition of music and its effect on an audience
    • write reflections from viewing the Later … with Jools Holland episode into learning journals.
  • As a class view and discuss Songwriter 101 (TALE) to understand the songwriting process from stimulus to composition. Students should develop a flowchart representing the process of songwriting.
  • Read extracts from reviews, autobiographies, biographies and memoirs of a variety of songwriters:
  • summarise each extract
  • discuss the inspiration that assisted in the creation of their compositions
  • compose a short autobiography, biography or memoir of a significant event of a composer
  • compose a review of a song or album.
  • Keep an independent learning journal or blog to reflect on their developing understanding of how lyrics can represent their world and the world of others.
  • Peer evaluate and self-evaluate representations and presentations using a negotiated evaluation checklist.
  • Reflect on, discuss and/or write about how the learning experiences of this module may be relevant to their broader and longer-term learning.

Suggested resources

Poetry

Music

Visual images links

Film

  • Haynes, Todd, I’m not there, 2007.
  • Lawrence, Mark , Music and lyrics, Warner Bros 2007.
  • McDonald, David, Woodstock – Can’t get there from here, 2007 (trailer).
  • Mangold, James, Walk the line, 20th Century Fox, 2005.
  • Wright, Jo , The Soloist, Dreamworks, 2009.

Radio

Multimedia

Software & Applications

  • AnimationDesk – draw, import and edit images
  • iMovie – create movies
  • Wallpapers – a source of images
  • www.ck12.org/flexbook – free textbooks
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