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English Studies Revised Modules

Approved December 2010

Elective module (Preliminary or HSC): In the marketplace – English and the world of business

Indicative time: 20–40

Through the study of the module, In the marketplace – English and the world of business, students develop understanding and proficiency in the use of language related to the world of business and commerce. They develop knowledge, understanding and skills in comprehending and using appropriate terminology, styles and language forms for analysing, discussing, responding to and evaluating general issues and topics related to business, such as advertising and consumerism. They improve their skills in comprehending and creating informative, analytical and persuasive texts, including digital and print media, in-house business publications, graphical representations such as charts and tables, websites and workplace policy documents.

Work undertaken as part of this module supports enjoyment in, and confident use and understanding of, a range of texts that explain, instruct, hypothesise and present arguments related to business and commerce. This work may involve the study of texts related to business at the local, national and international level, with students strengthening their understanding of how language and other techniques are used to explore, describe and explain the impact of business and commerce on the working and recreational lives of individuals and communities in Australia and beyond. Such work may reflect the diverse nature of individual student interest through a focus on the individual student’s work placement or a specific area of interest such as workplace communication.

This study may also extend to an investigation into advertising and its relationship with business and subsequent effects on consumers, focusing on an analysis of how language forms and features are manipulated in the promotion of products and ideas. The study also supports the development of communication skills in related senior studies.

Students also have the opportunity to experience, engage with, critique and create literary and other texts in both print and electronic forms that explore, through an imaginative use of language, issues related to the diversity and complexity of business, innovation and achievement. These texts may include substantial texts such as novels, autobiographies, biographies, films or plays. Through the study of these literary 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 reports, essays and other forms of short and extended responses necessary for related secondary school studies
    • reading and composing various informative and persuasive articles including digital and print media, in-house publications, graphical representations such as charts and tables, websites, brochures and workplace policy documents about topics and research related to business and commerce
    • identifying, analysing and using language and terminology specific to the workplace and to consumers
    • researching issues of particular interest related to the workplace and commerce. Students may conduct their own interviews and investigations within a workplace while also engaging with broad types of expert research
    • comparing and evaluating different views on business or commerce issues and presenting comparisons and findings
    • comparing, analysing and evaluating advertising related to business products and projects
    • explaining, instructing, hypothesising and presenting arguments related to significant business projects, innovations and specific individuals
    • planning, organising and carrying out projects, 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.
  • Students develop knowledge and understanding of a number of literary and other texts related to the worlds of business and commerce. These texts may include longer texts such as novels, biographies, autobiographies, documentary television series and plays. Students consider how language and other expressive features have been used to explore and dramatise the lives of individuals involved in business and commerce. Alternatively, the texts may relate to significant moments of innovation and initiative in business, or aspects of business or commerce that have had an impact on everyday living. Students undertake the study of these texts for enjoyment, to extend their skills in comprehension and their skills in discussion and debate, and to develop their abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively.

Suggested learning experiences

Students may:

  • Conduct an individual research project of the business or wider industry that is related to their work placement/experience. This investigation could become the primary focus of this module and contribute to the student’s overall portfolio for assessment. Areas of focus for this investigation may include:
    • the origins of the business
    • modes of communication within the workplace such as meeting agendas, electronic and oral communication, memos, and policy documents
    • individual research project of the business or wider industry that is related to the student’s work placement
    • the use of promotional material of the business and its effectiveness
    • the role of workplace training within the business
    • the development and implementation of policy documents and procedures, eg grievance procedures, dealing with consumer complaints
    • analysis of the way in which the business deals with competitors
    • interviewing key members of the business, such as the Manager, Human Resources etc
    • summary and evaluation of the methodologies used in the investigation process.
  • Work in groups to study business at the local level.
    • Identify and list the types of nearby local small businesses
    • Categorise types of businesses, eg real estate, construction, agricultural equipment.
    • Select a specific business owner to interview. Use information gleaned from the interview to compile a list of tips for establishing and conducting a successful small business.
    • Present the findings to the class and compare with the findings of other groups
    • As a class, compile a ‘manual of advice’ for success in small business, choosing structural and language forms and features appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Locate the Indigenous Business Australia website (see reference below) and in pairs, research two of the Portfolio Profiles in the Mine and Mining Services section. Compare the two projects by examining aspects such as geographical location, personnel and technological and machinery requirements. Write a brief analysis of the findings and brief the class on the similarities and differences between the two mining ventures.
  • Explore the official website of the World Expo.
    • In small groups students summarise the purpose and importance of this international event and consider the implications for local, national and global businesses.
    • Each group then creates a product, a company and a business strategy in order to participate in the next World Expo. These strategies are then presented to the class for peer assessment.
  • Monitor the national and international news in print and electronic media about a business or commerce issue.
    • Explore an issue, such as globalisation, that is presented in these stories and analyse the effects of such an issue on the local business community and its consumers.
    • Create an electronic database about these stories using Microsoft Excel. Categorise the stories according to the issue or type of business targeted and the medium of reporting used (print, electronic). Annotate each of the stories with comments concerning specific features relating to the structure and language features and forms of the reports.
    • Select a number of these reports and write an evaluation making judgements about the effectiveness of the reports.
  • Develop an awareness of how business is embedded in everyday and professional life by working in small groups to assemble a series of print and electronic advertisements related to a particular type of business, such as furniture retailing. These advertisements are analysed by comparing medium of production, structure, content, and language and visual techniques. Findings are then presented to the class via a PowerPoint presentation using excerpts from the advertisements.
  • Investigate the ways in which advertising works within government regulations to promote the products and services of business:
    • Research and discuss government regulations around the advertising industry. Identify relevant information in the Advertising Federation of Australia website. Discuss the role of the AFA and the effect of the Code of Ethics.
    • View and discuss an episode of The Gruen Transfer that explores the implications of values and ethics within advertising.
    • With a partner, create a dossier of advertisements that illustrates aspects of government regulations. Annotate the advertisements to demonstrate values, ethics and regulations.
    • Write a short personal response to one advertisement in the dossier in terms of its overall effectiveness, values portrayed and your personal connection to the advertisement.
  • View the episode ‘Unfinished Business’ (from Australian Story). Summarise the main events in this story, identifying the adversity and problems witnessed by Ian Conway. In pairs, identify how this text conveys attitudes and opinions of the speakers and the issues under discussion by analysing structure and language.
  • Locate information on regulations about consumer rights and responsibilities on the NSW Fair Trading website (URL below):
    • Write a letter of complaint or commendation about a product or service which demonstrates a consumer right principle.
    • Research appropriate letter structure and language to establish suitable tone.
  • Take the opportunity to reflect on and discuss ways in which the learning experiences of this module may be of relevance to students’ learning in other senior study areas, and for future education and other areas in their life.

Suggested resources

Drama

  • Thomson, Katherine, Navigating, Currency Press, 1998
  • Thomson, Katherine, Diving for Pearls, Currency Press, 1993
  • Williamson, David, Corporate Vibes, Currency Press, 1999

Fiction

  • Tan, Shaun, The Arrival, Lothian Books, 2006

Nonfiction

  • Dundas, Ken, Managing Human Resources: How Business Works, Thomas Nelson Australia, 1994 (may be out of print)
  • Lewis, Julie, ‘A Salesman’ in Coffey, B R (ed), Rough with the Smooth: Stories of Australian Men, Fremantle Press, 2000
  • Moodie, Anne-Maree, Small Poppies: Profiles of Australian Small Business, Prentice Hall Australia, 1996 (may be out of print)
  • Ruthven, Phillip K, ‘The Marketplace and the Business Environment at Large in 2010’ in Ruthven, Phillip K et al, Workplace 2010, Business Council of Australia, 1995 (may be out of print)
  • Smallwood, Gracelyn, ‘Demanding More than a Great Vocabulary’ in Scutt, Jocelynne A (ed), Breaking Through: Women, Work and Careers, Artemis, 1992 (may be out of print)

Film

  • Dearden, James, Rogue Trader, 1999 (out of print - may be available through All About Movies)
  • Muccino, Gabriele, The Pursuit of Happyness, Sony, 2006

Poetry

  • Samuel Wagan Watson, ‘abandoned factories’ from Itinerant Blues
  • Bruce Dawe, ‘Enter Without So Much As Knocking’, ‘Americanized’ and ‘Abandonment of Autos’

Media

  • Australian Story – Unfinished Business, ABC Television, 2009 (episode and transcript available online at: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/unfinishedbusiness/default.htm
  • Print media advertisements from The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Land, The Australian and local newspapers, brochures and leaflets.
  • The Gruen Transfer, ABC Television

Websites


Elective Module (Preliminary or HSC): The way we were – English for exploring our past

Indicative time: 20–40 hours

Through the study of the module The way we were – English for exploring our past, students develop understanding and proficiency in the use of language related to history with a specific focus on the ways history is presented through texts. They develop knowledge, understanding and skills in comprehending and using terminology and styles and language forms necessary for analysing, discussing, responding to and evaluating general issues and topics relating to ‘exploring our past’. They further develop their skills in comprehending, expressing opinions and composing imaginative, analytical, persuasive and informative texts about ‘the way we were’ in different contexts, such as the local community, the wider community and the workplace.

Work undertaken as part of this module supports enjoyment in, and confident use and understanding of, a range of texts that analyse and explain, challenge and argue and imagine and hypothesise, with regard to exploring our past. This study develops student understanding of how language and other techniques are used in texts to present and reflect on the past.

This study focuses on the ways in which texts present significant events, people and achievements of the past at the local and/or global level. In addition, it may also extend to providing students with the opportunity to consider texts through the notion of the individual such as a parent, employee, sportsperson, or musician who is historically important, or through a community perspective such as a focus on refugees, rural communities or an Indigenous community. The study also supports the development of communication skills in related senior studies.

Students have the opportunity to experience, engage with, critique and create literary and other texts in print, spoken, visual and electronic forms, with a particular focus on recounts and historical narratives. The texts may depict events, individuals, communities and/or the workplace in factual or imaginative ways, and may include extended texts such as novels, biographies, autobiographies, films and plays, as well as other texts such as artworks, poems, picture books, speeches, films, oral stories, obituaries, media texts and workplace and community texts. Through the study of these literary and other texts, students further extend their skills in comprehending and responding to texts and develop 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 reports, essays and other forms of short and extended responses necessary for related secondary school studies
    • reading, listening to and viewing stories about events, individuals or communities in the past, identifying and evaluating the ways in which history is represented in recounts and narratives
    • using writing, speaking and representing skills to compose their own stories about work and/or community in the past
    • reading and composing informative articles, feature articles and reports about topics related to community and work in the past and associated research, comprehending vocabulary and terminology generally related to history
    • researching issues related to how stories about the past have been compiled and identifying and evaluating the broad types of research that may have been undertaken to gather and summarise information
    • comparing and evaluating differing perspectives of events, people, achievements and communities in the past and presenting comparisons and findings
    • planning, organising and carrying out projects related to the analysis of representations of past events, people, achievements and communities; 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.
  • Students develop their knowledge and understanding of a number of literary and other texts related to aspects of Australia’s past or another international context. They develop their capacities for the close reading of texts such as novels, autobiographies, biographies, plays and other texts such as artworks, picture books, poems, speeches, films, oral stories, biographies and autobiographies, obituaries, media texts and workplace and community texts. Students undertake the study of these texts for enjoyment and aesthetic experience, to strengthen their skills in comprehension, discussion and debate and to develop their abilities to use language expressively and imaginatively.

Suggested learning experiences

Students may:

  • In pairs, conduct research about the history of the local community:
    • Construct a timeline entitled My Community and present the timeline using PowerPoint, incorporating appropriate graphics and text.
    • Select a particular group within the community, such as a sporting group or the local volunteer radio station. Research significant events and personalities associated with this group and how the history of the group has been represented in a variety of ways over time. Choose an appropriate multimedia platform to present the history of this community group.
    • Identify an individual who could provide an insight into the history of the local community. Prepare, conduct and record an interview with this person, then present excerpts from the interview to the class as part of the presentation.
  • Compare the attitudes to work apparent in the poems ‘Shipwright’ by Val Vallis and ‘The Violence of Work’ by Geoff Goodfellow. Identify specific structural and language features which establish and reinforce these different attitudes. Discuss with other classmates the effectiveness of each poem in presenting a perspective of work in the past.
  • View and analyse one of the episodes of The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World or The Worst Jobs in History. With teacher support and modelling, draft and edit a critical review of the episode. One section of the review should contain an analysis of the different types of information presented in the episode. This information could focus on technology and issues related to worker health and safety. Use this episode to investigate a similar project or similar professions in Australia.
  • Select a job from an earlier period in Australia’s history. Invent and develop a character who was employed in such a position. Research information concerning the tasks and functions of the job, and working conditions, such as hours of work. In the voice of the character you have developed, write a personal account of your work and its challenges in the form of a story. Present the story dramatically to the class and include a carefully edited version in the portfolio.
  • Explore and research an Australian or world event, innovation or invention and its consequences through a variety of non-fiction texts including websites (eg company or local historical), archives, memoirs, interviews, media texts of the time and museum displays. Work in small groups to compose a factual text, such as an oral or written news report to summarise the event/innovation/invention and its impact on you today. Individually compose fictionalised stories in written, spoken or digital form based on the research.
  • Organise an excursion or invite a guest speaker to gain more information about an event, innovation or invention. Write a letter of inquiry or invitation using appropriate language and following the speaker’s address to the class, compose a letter of thanks.
  • Organise an excursion to the Powerhouse Museum or a similar museum focusing on technology and featuring a number of methods of display and instruction such as short documentary films, interactive exhibits and standing displays accompanied by written explanations. As part of the excursion, invite the museum’s education officer to address the class on the role and impact of technology in the past in different contexts such as the domestic context, the workplace context etc.
  • Choose a letter from the text, Letters from our Heart: the lives of Australians through correspondence. Record a reading of the letter or excerpts from it then add appropriate visuals and music for a multimedia presentation to the class or another suitable audience.
  • Select an historical event of interest and examine how two texts represent the event in different ways. For example, the television series, The Leaving of Liverpool and the novel Land of Milk and Honey or the nonfiction texts, The Gallipoli Story and Soldier Boy.
  • As a class, listen to and read an historical speech that has challenged or changed history. Investigate the context of the speech and analyse the reasons for its impact. Consider a future context and compose your own speech as a history-maker.
  • Reflect on, discuss and/or write about ways in which the learning experiences of this module may be of relevance to students’ broader and longer term learning.

Suggested resources

Drama

  • Beynon, Richard, The Shifting Heart, Harper Collins, Australia, 1982
  • Bird, Carmel, The Stolen Children – Their Stories, Random House, 1998
  • Brown Bille, Bill and Mary, Phoenix Education, 2004
  • Gow Michael, Away, Currency Press, 1986
  • Lawler Ray, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Currency Press, 1957
  • Misto, John, The Shoe-horn Sonata, Currency Press, 1996

Fiction

  • Spiegelman, Art, Maus: a Survivor’s Tale, Pantheon Books, 1991
  • Sacco, Joe, Palestine, Fantagraphic Books, 2001
  • Taylor, William, Land of Milk and Honey, Harper Collins NZ, 2005

Poetry

  • Kinsella, John (ed), The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry, Penguin, 2008. Anonymous, ‘Click Go the Shears’; E.J. Rupert Atkinson, ‘The Stock Exchange’; Brian Vrepont, ‘The Netmakers’; Val Vallis, ‘Shipwright’; Jack Davis, ‘Mining Company’s Hymn’; Geoff Goodfellow, ‘The Violence of Work’

Nonfiction

  • Facey, A B, A Fortunate Life, Penguin, 2005
  • Stone, Gerald, 1932: A Hell of a Year, Pan Macmillan, 2006
  • Hill Anthony, Soldier Boy, Penguin, 2001
  • Michael Fullilove (ed) ‘Men and Women of Australia!’: Our Greatest Modern Speeches, Random House Australia, 2005
  • Cunxin, Li, Mao’s Last Dancer, Viking, 2003
  • Campbell, Jennifer (ed), Letters from our Heart: the lives of Australians through correspondence, Hardie Grant Books South Yarra, 2003
  • Carlyon, Patrick, The Gallipoli Story, Penguin, 2003
  • Fitzsimons, Peter, The Ballad of Les Darcy, Harper Collins, 2009

Film

  • Hannam, Ken, Sunday Too Far Away, Roadshow, 1975
  • Sitch, Rob, The Dish, Roadshow, 2000
  • Turkiewicz, Sophia, Silver City, 1984 (now out of print – may be available through All About Movies)
  • Jordan, Gregor, Ned Kelly, Focus Features USA, Universal Pictures UK, 2003
  • Weir Peter, Gallipoli, Australian Film Commission, 1981
  • Fincher, David, The Social Network, Columbia Pictures, 2010

Media

  • Cadbury, Deborah, Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, Roadshow, 2008 (available from ABC shops)
  • Cain, Jonathon & Barnes, Jimmy, ‘Working Class Man’ (song lyrics) from album For the Working Class Man, Geffen, 1985
  • Quint, Ray, Bastard Boys, Roadshow, 2007 (available from ABC shops)
  • Jenkins, Michael, The Leaving of Liverpool, ABC TV, 2002
  • Maher, Brendan, Sisters of War, ABC TV, 2010

Websites

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