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English – Relationships To Other domains

Introduction | The Arts | Civics and Citizenship | Communication | Design, Creativity and Technology | Health and Physical Education | The Humanities - Economics | The Humanities - Geography | The Humanities - History | Information and Communications Technology | Interpersonal Development | Languages Other Than English | Mathematics | Personal Learning | Science | Thinking Processes | Show All

Introduction

The advice for this section focuses on the relationships between the domains to provide students with multi domain learning opportunities that will help support their deeper understanding of the essential knowledge and skills.

The Arts

Arts education and English have a natural affinity with their focus on a variety of print, visual, oral, spatial and auditory texts as ways of understanding, making meaning and communicating about the world. English and the Arts contribute to the development of multi-literacies in students, with The Arts giving students more specialised understanding of visual literacy, spatial relationships, and alternative notational systems for communication.

Skills developed in English and the Arts include: exploring, interpreting and responding to texts, and creating texts/works using a variety of media and forms.

With the convergence of different textual forms and the growing importance for students to be able to create and critique new media texts, the Arts contribute to students’ development in the dimensions of English in significant ways. In order to make and study new media products and texts, students need to be skilled in the various arts forms that are used to make these works.

Civics and Citizenship

In English, students develop a critical understanding of texts and how language works that enables them to lead an active, informed and fulfilling life in modern Australian society and the global community. Students can engage with stories and concepts about Australian society and government through reading and responding to a range of texts. Students develop understanding of the language conventions appropriate in different spoken texts, including everyday communication, group discussion, formal presentations and speeches, storytelling and negotiating. Civics and Citizenship focuses on the development of skills and behaviours involved in interactions with the community and in engagement with organisations and groups. Students think critically about their own values and those of organisations and groups across a range of settings, and explore the diversity of society.

Communication

The English domain is centrally concerned with language and texts. Students read, view, write, compare, research and talk about literary, everyday and media texts. They explore the meaning of texts and how meaning is conveyed. They develop understanding of the way purpose, audience and situation influence the structures and features of language, and apply this knowledge in their own reading, writing, and speaking and listening.

The Communication domain is centrally concerned with the capacity to construct meaning and to convey information and understanding to others in a range of ways and in a variety of settings. The domain assists students to develop awareness that discourses differ across domains, that they need to learn the literacies appropriate to the various domains and that they need to use language and communication media as appropriate in each discipline.

Design, Creativity and Technology

In English, students use appropriate language for particular purposes and occasions to represent and reflect on ideas, issues, arguments, events, experience and information. The English domain encourages students to plan when creating texts, clarifying the audience and purpose of their text/s. In Design, Creativity and Technology, students order information and sequence events in planning to make a product or system. The analysing and evaluating dimension involves students writing and reflecting on the outcomes of design activities, and the impact of students’ own and others’ technological products on the individual, society and culture, the environment and the economy.

Health and Physical Education

In English, students develop critical approaches to the ideas and thinking in texts as they read, view, write, compare, research and talk about texts. Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers can use health and wellbeing examples to encourage students to reflect on their lifestyles and analyse ways the media influences their attitude to health. For example, the HPE domain emphasises the importance of self-esteem and body image in the maintenance of good health; English provides the means for students to develop critical approaches to the ideas and thinking in texts and to explore the concepts. In an assignment investigating the impact of celebrity and fashionable physique on the health of young people, students would need to identify main contentions in media articles, collate supporting evidence for arguments formed, recognise the effect of different tones in writing and presenting ideas, and analyse the various persuasive techniques employed. An insight into the impact of the different structure of articles: the effect of headlines and by-lines, graphics, position in the layout of the publication would be beneficial as well. Recognition of these aspects is central to media study in the English domain.

In HPE, students explore strategies for effectively communicating and managing emotions when relating or responding to others classroom activities, for example, role plays, allow students to learn how to apply their reading, writing, viewing, speaking and listening skills to make informed healthy decisions. HPE students can complete extended assignments that require them to research, compare and present their findings about a health or physical education issue based on text/s they may read in English.

The Humanities – Economics

Economics requires students to read and process information from a variety of texts, including books, newspapers, journals, reports, magazines and the Internet, and to use specialised economics language and terminology in both written reports and oral presentations. Economics students are required to use a range of sources to acquire, express, interpret and analyse economic information and to develop an understanding of economics principles and concepts.

Skills learnt in English and Economics, such as those for collecting and analysing information and for critically analysing texts, enable students to form their own opinions and to develop the ability to interpret and analyse social issues. An interconnection between English and Economics is that students recognise the importance of informed opinions.

The Humanities – Geography

Geography involves students in reading, viewing, writing, comparing, researching and talking about environments and issues at a scale from local through to global. Students study English texts, which place actors and events in a variety of environments that form part of the context of the ‘story’. As in English, students read and respond to geographical texts using an inquiry method: What? Where? How? Why? What impact? Students develop a geographic vocabulary to assist in identifying and discussing the geographic aspects of a topic. In presenting their information, they sequence and organise complex ideas using a variety of multimedia styles.

The Humanities – History

In English, students read, view, write, compare, research and talk about texts and learn about the ways language shapes and reflects attitudes in different times and places. In History, they develop understanding of how the world has changed in the past and may change again. They communicate their understanding in a variety of texts, including oral presentations and written essays.

In historical study, students investigate, analyse and evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources. To achieve this they need to read and comprehend effectively, take notes, structure information in a systematic way, interpret data, describe events construct essays, listen to and view material attentively. These skills are integral to the English domain and enable students to carry out the activities required in history.

The English domain encourages students to be perceptive readers and listeners: teaching them to deconstruct material: by recognising main contentions, supporting evidence and persuasive techniques used. It demonstrates the importance of effective communication in written and spoken language, by emphasising the need to be aware of audience, purpose and style. The diverse and rich selection of texts used in the English domain provides interesting reading material to enrich the study of history; with fiction and non fiction set in the periods of time being studied. The English domain interconnects with the History domain in not only developing skills such as reasoning, analysing and interpreting, but in providing a sensitive human perspective through the study of texts.

Information and Communications Technology

The English and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domains are interwoven in the curriculum. Students can create their own texts in English using the range of ICT tools and data types to visualise their thinking, locate, select and process information and data, and communicate their ideas and information to their audience in various ways.

Interpersonal Development

In English, students develop understanding of ways in which different texts are appropriate for different occasions, and an appreciation of the variety of English usage in different times and places. Students learn about, and explore, social values through reading and responding to narrative texts, as texts in English provide copious examples of the way positive social relationships are initiated and maintained. The texts studied in English model behaviour where individuals participate in groups whose members are from diverse backgrounds, encouraging harmonious living in multicultural Australia. Students develop their understandings of local and global values and beliefs through the critical understanding of texts.

Students learn about the ways that language shapes and reflects attitudes. They develop understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts, including everyday communication, group discussion, formal presentations and speeches, storytelling and negotiation. In developing this knowledge about the appropriate written and oral language for particular audiences and occasions, the English and Interpersonal Development domains teach empathy and sensitivity to the needs of others in forming relationships. For example, such skills enable students to interview people from other cultures and generations, listen to presentations, consider experiences different to their own and be receptive to new ideas. 

Language Other Than English (LOTE)

The close study of language is a central concept in the English domain. In English, students develop knowledge about the relationship between texts and the contexts in which they have been created. In LOTE, students learn that there are similarities and differences between languages  Literacy in one language complements literacy in other languages. Bilingual literacy often gives learners an insight into how English reading and writing works that they may not gain from English-only literacy. Teaching languages other than English also supports students who are having difficulty with English literacy because LOTE teachers focus on language and communication in an explicit way.

As students grow in their knowledge of a second language, some achieve high levels of bilingualism, which has been shown in numerous scientific studies to have a direct and beneficial impact on children’s intellectual development. There are two broad pathways to bilingualism in the Australian context. For the majority of the population this would involve adding skill in a language other than English to children’s English. For a large and growing number of children bilingualism involves adding English to home languages. These children are either of immigrant or indigenous origin, but this is also true for those deaf children who are fluent in Australian Sign Language. If schools can support these students to maintain their bilingualism this home skill can become a permanent and very valuable intellectual asset. However, even limited skills in a second language have been shown in many studies to greatly enhance children’s insight into the way language works, and to provide them with ‘meta-linguistic’ skill.

The English domain involves the development of knowledge of the conventions of Standard Australian English. Students develop a metalanguage to discuss language conventions and use. Language learning activities explore the derivation of words, teach the structure of sentences and paragraphs, explain spelling rules and insist on spelling practice, provide listening and comprehension exercises. Students learn how languages adopt and adapt words from each other, emphasising the cross-cultural nature of the different domains.

Communicating in a language other than English involves the development of knowledge of the connections between language and culture, and how culture is embedded in the communication system. It also involves the development of skills in listening, speaking, reading, viewing, writing, and the use of body language, visual cues and signs. Studies in languages other than English infuse the entire curriculum with both taught and incidental insights into different socio-cultural communities.

Mathematics

The use of logical and analytical thinking in Mathematics, including the use of conjectures and proof, has clear links to the development of structured and coherent argument in speaking and writing. Mathematical structure is strongly related to semantics, syntax and language, and to the use of propositions and quantifiers embedded in principled argument in natural language. 

The development of skills for critical analysis of literary, everyday and media texts in English empowers individuals to participate effectively in society. This is complemented by the fundamental role that Mathematics plays in cultural, social and technological advances and in empowering individuals as critical citizens in contemporary society and for the future.

Number, space and measurement, chance and data, are common aspects of people’s experience in everyday personal, study and work situations, and are naturally embedded in activities related to the English dimensions of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Personal Learning

In English, students explore personal choices and goals and explore ethical situations and dilemmas through working with narrative, everyday and media texts, and through the process of creating their own texts. For example, students learn to manage impulsive behaviour by considering alternative courses of action in response to ideas or problems and to consider possible consequences.  In English, students learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, to form and convey ideas, to inform, to discuss, to persuade, to entertain and to argue.

The English domain assists students in developing an understanding of the language conventions appropriate in different spoken texts, including everyday communication, group discussion, formal presentations and speeches, storytelling and negotiation. This knowledge is vital to the personal and social dimensions of learning, including the development of skills and behaviours for learning effectively with peers. It supports students in understanding new material, developing strategies to manage their learning, and social and personal relationships. Activities such as debating, listening, considering, expressing points of view and writing reflections, support students in being mindful of themselves as learners and thinkers. 

In English, processes such as drafting enhance personal learning by encouraging students to take responsibility for their own development as they become competent writers, speakers and listeners. Constructive and detailed feedback given by teachers and peers assists students to reflect on their learning in systematic ways.

Science

A major goal of science education is to develop citizens who are capable of engaging in informed community debate about science and its applications. The Reading, Writing, Speaking and listening dimensions of the English domain are of critical importance in achieving this goal, as capability in the Science domain includes reasoning, critical thinking and clear expression of ideas.

Science is dynamic and progressive. Our society is being continually confronted, challenged and redirected by ideas born from people’s curiosity, imagination and dreams about what is possible. The skills taught in the English domain enable students to consider and debate these ideas in a systematic and sensitive manner. For example, it teaches active listening strategies, it involves the development of effective reading skills and it teaches strategies for writing and the conventions of Standard Australian English – all necessary in the development of citizens who are capable of informed debate about science and its applications. Students would be able to debate such contentious issues confronting them as global warming or the ethics of human cloning, given the combination of skills encouraged in the Science and English domains.

Thinking Processes

English is central to students progressing from concrete and discrete thinking skills, through to more abstract concepts and processes. The English domain is centred on the conscious and deliberate study of language in a wide variety of spoken, written and visual texts. Students learn about the ways in which language shapes and reflects attitudes in different times and places. Students are introduced to critical approaches to the ideas and thinking in texts. They develop critical understanding about the ways writers and speakers control language to influence listeners, readers and viewers. Strategies for developing and framing thinking processes which may be used in English include the framing of logical argument in for instance debating, and interpreting texts using for instance ‘Plus Minus Interesting (PMI)’, ‘Thinking Hats’, or any of the mind-mapping frameworks.

Language and thinking processes are closely related. Spoken and written language is a representation of thought, offering a medium for developing increasingly complex processes of thought in a variety of forums. Vocabulary, and the flexible use of it, is an expression of a student’s expanding ability to think in increasingly complex ways. Speaking and listening provides the opportunity for sharing thoughts, questions and answer, presentation and response, creativity and possibility.

Students use critical thinking to analyse and evaluate information, and to develop opinions based on informed judgments in each dimension of the English domain. They develop the capacity to reflect on and refine their existing ideas and beliefs.

Students develop metacognitive skills in planning, monitoring and evaluating their own thinking processes as they engage in the process of creating their own texts in English.


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