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Introduction to English

In the English domain, texts and language constitute the central and essential concepts. The concept of texts focuses equally on creating and analysing texts, understanding and interpreting texts, and moving beyond interpretation to reflection and critical analysis. The concept of language includes the use of language and the development of linguistic competence, and the development of knowledge about language.

Students learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language and develop a sense of its richness and its power to evoke feelings, to form and convey ideas, to inform, to discuss, to persuade, to entertain and to argue.

The English domain is centred on the conscious and deliberate study of language in the variety of texts and contexts in which it is spoken, read, viewed and written. It is concerned with a wide range of written and spoken texts in print and electronic forms including literary texts such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction; film and other multimodal texts; media texts; information, commercial and workplace texts; everyday texts; and personal writing.

The study of English involves students in reading, viewing, listening to, writing, creating, comparing, researching and talking about a range of text types from the simple to the complex, from texts dealing with concrete and straightforward information to those dealing with increasingly complex and abstract issues and ideas. English teachers encourage students to explore the meaning of texts and how meaning is conveyed. They introduce critical approaches to the ideas and thinking contained in texts and support students in the development of critical understanding about the ways writers and speakers control language to influence their listeners, readers and viewers.

Students develop an understanding of the way purpose, audience and situation influence the structures and features of language and learn to apply their knowledge in their reading, writing, viewing, speaking and listening. They come to understand that different kinds of texts are appropriate for different occasions and learn to appreciate the variety of English usage in different times and places. They also learn about the ways language shapes and reflects attitudes in different times and places. Students are provided with opportunities to use language effectively in a range of contexts from informal to formal.

Students learn terminology or metalanguage to describe and discuss particular structures and features of language produced in a variety of contexts. They learn to control language by applying their understanding of the grammatical structures of Standard Australian English, by learning to spell accurately and use punctuation effectively, as well as by imitating good writers and speakers.

Understanding texts and recognising how language works within them is necessary for success at school and beyond for an active, informed and fulfilling life in modern Australian society and the global community. By understanding and working with texts, students acquire the knowledge, skills and personal qualities that enable them to read, view and listen critically and to think, speak and write clearly and confidently.


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