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Senior External School (Year 11-12)


Wendy Linton
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The academic study of English is the study of communication in all of its various forms.

English studies involve:

  • the integration of the skills of speaking, listening and critical thinking with the skills of reading and writing;
  • the mastery of practices using traditional and new communication technologies;
  • teaching students to interpret, construct and make judgments about the meanings of texts in a range of contexts for different audiences and purposes;
  • focusing on meaning making; and 
  • the development of knowledge and understanding across all areas of the curriculum.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Introduction to this subject

2. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak.

A novel set in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death. Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, and it is her first act of thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. But these are dangerous times, especially when Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish man in their basement.

3. Imaginative and Reflective Writing

A study of short story and reflective writing genres, including tales by Isaac Asimov, Roald Dahl and others. We will deconstruct stories and consider how writers use structure and aesthetic features to effectively engage readers.

4. Media Study: Documentary - Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock

A documentary exploring the impact on an individual of eating nothing but McDonald's for 30 days. Themes covered include: the contribution of fast food to the obesity epidemic in America, corporate greed and advertising.

5. Poetry analysis

Analysis of 10 - 12 Australian poems. We will examine the poets' representation of groups, places, concepts; treatment of values, attitudes and beliefs; invited readings.

6. Drama study: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's classic tragedy of a fearless warrior destroyed by ambition and power. Written in 1606, Macbeth's themes of terror and abuse of power remain relevant to a modern audience.

7. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Study of Steinbeck's classic novella set in the dustbowl of California in the 1930s. The plot centres around two itinerant farm workers, George and Lennie. Themes include loneliness, disability, powerlessness and the elusive nature of the American Dream.

8. Past Exams - Internal

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