Essential English A
Students must complete a course (minor, major or more) from the English course area to be eligible for the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.
Minor: 2 to 3 units
Major: 3.5 or 4 units
Essential English focuses on consolidating and refining the skills and knowledge needed by students to become competent, confident and engaged users of English in many contemporary contexts including every day, community, social, further education, training and workplace contexts. Essential English is designed to provide students with the skills that will empower them to succeed in a wide range of post-secondary pathways. The subject develops students’ language, literacy and literary skills to enable students to communicate successfully both orally and in writing and to enjoy and value using language for both imaginative and practical purposes.
Unit 1: Comprehending and Responding
Students are taught strategies to assist comprehension. They read, view and listen to texts to connect, interpret, and visualise ideas. They learn to respond personally and logically to texts, by questioning, using inferential reasoning and determining the importance of content and structure. The unit considers how organisational features of texts help the audience to understand the text. It emphasises the relationships between context, purpose and audience in different language modes and types of texts, and their impact on meaning. Students learn to interact with others in everyday and other contexts. Emphasis is placed on the communication of ideas and information both accurately and imaginatively through a range of modes.
Unit 2: Making Connections
By analysing text structures and language features students make inferences about the purposes and the intended audiences of texts. Students examine the connections between purpose and structure and how a text’s meaning is influenced by the context in which it is created and received. Students integrate information and ideas from texts to develop their own interpretations. They learn to interact appropriately and persuasively with others in a range of contexts. Analytical and creative skills are developed by focusing on how language selection, imagery, type of text and mode can achieve specific effects.
Unit 3: Understanding Perspectives
Students analyse attitudes, text structures and language features to understand a text’s meaning and purpose. They consider how perspectives and values are represented in texts to influence specific audiences. When responding to texts, students reflect on a range of interpretations as they develop their own interpretations. Students learn to articulate reasoned and persuasive arguments and to develop an understanding of purpose and context. When interacting with others, the emphasis is on identifying and understanding differing perspectives.
Unit 4: Local and Global
Students develop independent points of view by synthesising information from a range of sources, and analysing how ideas, attitudes and values are represented. The way in which authors use evidence, persuasive techniques and language choices to influence and position audiences is analysed. This unit provides the opportunity for students to discuss and listen to differing perspectives, draw conclusions, negotiate, problem‐solve, persuade, as well as engage audiences for a range of purposes and in different contexts. Emphasis is placed on articulating and constructing coherent, logical and sustained arguments and demonstrating an understanding of purpose, audience and context. When creating their own texts, students are encouraged to consider their purpose, their representation of ideas and issues, and audience response.
Contemporary English A
Students are assessed for entry to this course. This is a literacy course enabling students to participate more fully in the other areas of the curriculum. It is a subject offered to students who need literacy support.