Year 11, 2013
Area of Study : Change
Set Text: Looking for Alibrandi by Melena Marchetta
Area of Study and Texts for the Common Content of Standard and Advanced Courses
The Area of Study must be considered in the context of the Area of Study description in the syllabus, course objectives, content and outcomes. (Reread English Stage 6 Syllabus, p 32 and pp 35–38; p 50 and pp 53–56).
Introduction to the Area of Study
In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structures, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.
What is the Area of Study?
The Area of Study provides a structure through which students explore how texts, context and experience shape the understanding of a concept. An assumption underlying the Area of Study is that students come to understand ideas through their own experience and through the texts they compose and to which they respond. This understanding, in turn, affects perceptions of self and the world providing students with the contexts from which they explore and come to conclusions about the process of meaning.
Activities in the Area of Study emphasise the synthesising of knowledge about texts and contexts. Engaging in these activities encourages students to ‘understand the complexity of meaning’ (English Stage 6 Syllabus, p 6).
‘Meaning’ is a gerund. It functions as a noun and a verb, and so refers to * the processes by which we shape meaning, and * the range of meanings that emerge from these various processes.
In their study of English, students explore * what the text means, and * how that meaning is made in responding to and composing texts, ie the processes of meaning.
Texts in the Area of Study
The core text
The core text provides a link to the focus through which the students explore the Area of Study. Students will engage in close textual study to consider how their experience of that text shapes the concept prescribed in the Area of Study.
Other Related Texts
These texts provide students with the opportunity to explore how the concept of change is shaped in, and through, texts beyond the stimulus and prescribed texts. This will extend and amplify students’ understanding of how meaning of the concept is shaped. While some of these texts may be suggested by teachers and explored in class, it is important for students to choose and study texts individually to develop skills of independent analysis and investigation.
The texts students choose should reflect a range of types of texts and contexts. This enables students to concentrate on different ways in which meaning is made.
Key Terms in the Study of English
This syllabus uses some terms in specific ways to describe complex processes and concepts. A detailed glossary appears in Section 16 for reference purposes. Key terms used to describe the study of English in the syllabus are outlined below.
Responding is the activity that occurs when students read, listen to, or view texts. It encompasses the personal and intellectual connections a student makes with texts. It also recognises that students and the texts to which they respond reflect social contexts. Responding typically involves:
* reading, listening and viewing that depend on, but go beyond, the decoding of texts * identifying, comprehending, selecting, articulating, imagining, critically analysing and evaluating.
Composing is the activity that occurs when students