English

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Rationale

The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them.

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Aims

The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose.

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Key ideas

Texts

Texts provide the means for communication. They can be written, spoken, visual, multimodal, and in print or digital/online forms. Multimodal texts combine language with other means of communication such as visual images, soundtrack or spoken words, as in film or computer presentation media.

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Structure

Strands, sub-strands and threads
The Australian Curriculum: English Foundation to Year 10 is organised into three interrelated strands that support students' growing understanding and use of Standard Australian English (English). Each strand interacts with and enriches the other strands in creative and flexible ways, the fabric of the curriculum being strengthened by the threads within each sub-strand.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: English are available as PDF documents. 
English: Sequence of content
English: Sequence of achievement 

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Glossary

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Year 8

Year 8 Level Description

The English curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of language, literature and literacy. Teaching and learning programs should balance and integrate all three strands. Together, the strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Learning in English builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.

In Years 7 and 8, students interact with peers, teachers, individuals, groups and community members in a range of face-to-face and online/virtual environments. They experience learning in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts that relate to the school curriculum, local community, regional and global contexts.

Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment. They listen to, read, view, interpret, evaluate and perform a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts in which the primary purpose is aesthetic, as well as texts designed to inform and persuade. These include various types of media texts including newspapers, magazines and digital texts, early adolescent novels, non-fiction, poetry and dramatic performances. Students develop their understanding of how texts, including media texts, are influenced by context, purpose and audience.

The range of literary texts for Foundation to Year 10 comprises Australian literature, including the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, as well as the contemporary literature of these two cultural groups, and classic and contemporary world literature, including texts from and about Asia.

Literary texts that support and extend students in Years 7 and 8 as independent readers are drawn from a range of realistic, fantasy, speculative fiction and historical genres and involve some challenging and unpredictable plot sequences and a range of non-stereotypical characters. These texts explore themes of interpersonal relationships and ethical dilemmas within real-world and fictional settings and represent a variety of perspectives. Informative texts present technical and content information from various sources about specialised topics. Text structures are more complex including chapters, headings and subheadings, tables of contents, indexes and glossaries. Language features include successive complex sentences with embedded clauses, unfamiliar technical vocabulary, figurative and rhetorical language, and information supported by various types of graphics.

Students create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive types of texts, for example narratives, procedures, performances, reports and discussions, and continue to create literary analyses and transformations of texts.


Year 8 Content Descriptions

Language variation and change

Understand the influence and impact that the English language has had on other languages or dialects and how English has been influenced in return (ACELA1540 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • exploring examples of Singlish (Singapore English) from a Singlish dictionary
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • investigating borrowings from a range of languages into English, for example from French and Italian

Language for interaction

Understand how conventions of speech adopted by communities influence the identities of people in those communities (ACELA1541 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • understanding that our use of language helps to create different identities, for example teenage groups and sportspeople have adopted particular words or ways of speaking
Understand how rhetorical devices are used to persuade and how different layers of meaning are developed through the use of metaphor, irony and parody (ACELA1542 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • identifying and evaluating examples of how rhetorical devices reveal the dark or serious aspects of a topic in ways that cause laughter or amusement, for example by making a statement but implying/meaning the opposite (irony); exaggerating or overstating something (hyperbole); imitating or sending up something (parody), and making something appear less serious than it really is (understatement)

Text structure and organisation

Analyse how the text structures and language features of persuasive texts, including media texts, vary according to the medium and mode of communication (ACELA1543 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • discussing how particular perspectives of the same event are portrayed through the combination of images and words in various media texts
Understand how cohesion in texts is improved by strengthening the internal structure of paragraphs through the use of examples, quotations and substantiation of claims (ACELA1766 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • writing paragraphs of extended length that explain and substantiate a particular personal viewpoint
Understand how coherence is created in complex texts through devices like lexical cohesion, ellipsis, grammatical theme and text connectives (ACELA1809 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • interpreting complex sentence structures through reading aloud literary texts such as sonnets or plays
  • using cohesive devices when writing complex texts
Understand the use of punctuation conventions, including colons, semicolons, dashes and brackets in formal and informal texts (ACELA1544 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • creating dialogue in drama showing interruptions, asides and pauses for effect

Expressing and developing ideas

Analyse and examine how effective authors control and use a variety of clause structures, including clauses embedded within the structure of a noun group/phrase or clause (ACELA1545 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • evaluating how speechmakers influence audiences though specific language features such as the use of embedded clauses to add information
Understand the effect of nominalisation in the writing of informative and persuasive texts (ACELA1546 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • analysing formal and persuasive texts to identify and explain language choices such as nominalisation
Investigate how visual and multimodal texts allude to or draw on other texts or images to enhance and layer meaning (ACELA1548 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • comprehending a series of static images and combinations of language and images in a picture book, for example title, setting, characters, actions, as well as technical elements including position, size, colour, angle, framing, point of view
  • analysing the relationship between visual elements and text in non-fiction texts such as documentaries, television news, online newspapers and digital magazines
Recognise that vocabulary choices contribute to the specificity, abstraction and style of texts (ACELA1547 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • experimenting with vocabulary choices in a range of written and spoken texts and assessing the different effects these choices generate
Understand how to apply learned knowledge consistently in order to spell accurately and to learn new words including nominalisations (ACELA1549 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • understanding the different ways complex words are constructed and, when spelling these words, drawing on morphemic knowledge and knowledge of unusual letter combinations

Literature and context

Explore the ways that ideas and viewpoints in literary texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts may reflect or challenge the values of individuals and groups (ACELT1626 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • investigating texts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history from different sources and explaining differing viewpoints
  • comparing attitudes and ideas in texts drawn from contexts that are different to students’ own
Explore the interconnectedness of Country/Place, People, Identity and Culture in texts including those by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors (ACELT1806 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • identifying and describing the ways films suggest Country/Place and Identity through language features such as image, soundtrack and narrative control
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • selecting aspects of a text related to Country/Place, People, Identity and Culture and adapt it for a new context, noting if changes in one aspect will result in changes in another
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • explaining how individual interpretations of these aspects are influenced by students’ own knowledge, values and cultural assumptions

Responding to literature

Share, reflect on, clarify and evaluate opinions and arguments about aspects of literary texts (ACELT1627 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • discussing the relative merits of literary texts and comparing and evaluating personal viewpoints on texts
Understand and explain how combinations of words and images in texts are used to represent particular groups in society, and how texts position readers in relation to those groups (ACELT1628 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • recognising the similarities and differences between types of texts (for example a complex picture book and a feature film) in order to understand how different combinations of words and images lead readers to interpret visual texts in particular ways, according to audience, purpose and context
Recognise and explain differing viewpoints about the world, cultures, individual people and concerns represented in texts (ACELT1807 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • analysing arguments for and against a particular issue in current community debates and justifying a personal stance

Examining literature

Recognise, explain and analyse the ways literary texts draw on readers’ knowledge of other texts and enable new understanding and appreciation of aesthetic qualities (ACELT1629 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • exploring how some writers use terse and relatively simple language choices while others use more elaborate and complex syntax
  • examining the language patterns, including sentence patterns, in a range of short texts and discussing the effect on readers’ interpretation of these choices
  • writing or speaking about a literary text and outlining the impact of the text on a listener, viewer or reader, for example in a journal in which students reflect on their personal responses and on how language and structural features in the text contribute to its impact
  • discussing, debating and assessing remakes of literary texts and their effectiveness and purpose
  • discussing, debating and assessing book or film series, sequels, prequels, fan fiction sites, tie-in publications or merchandise
Identify and evaluate devices that create tone, for example humour, wordplay, innuendo and parody in poetry, humorous prose, drama or visual texts (ACELT1630 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • understanding that tone (serious, bitter, sincere, amused) indicates attitude to the subject and to readers/listeners, who can identify or judge tone through past experience and language clues in the text
Interpret and analyse language choices, including sentence patterns, dialogue, imagery and other language features, in short stories, literary essays and plays (ACELT1767 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • select an aspect of a text such as a sentence pattern or an image or word and adapt it for a new context explaining how the change will affect meaning

Creating literature

Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • creating literary interpretations of short stories based on understanding and analysis of their context, narrative structure (including the twist at the end), layers of meaning, themes, point of view and style
  • combining visual and digital elements to create layers of meaning for serious and humorous purposes
Experiment with particular language features drawn from different types of texts, including combinations of language and visual choices to create new texts (ACELT1768 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • creating and performing scripts for short plays that make use of the affordances of visual, verbal and additional modes (for example music) to create atmosphere, to deepen interpretation of verbal meaning and to enhance the drama of a performance

Texts in context

Analyse and explain how language has evolved over time and how technology and the media have influenced language use and forms of communication (ACELY1729 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • identifying and explaining how mobile technologies are influencing language uses and structures
  • analysing the ways that identity may be created in digital contexts
  • identifying how meanings or words change or shift depending on context, for example the word ‘cool’ is used to describe temperature or to express approval when used in informal contexts

Interacting with others

Interpret the stated and implied meanings in spoken texts, and use evidence to support or challenge different perspectives (ACELY1730 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • listen to a conversation or speech and identify the point being made and explain the tone and manner of presentation. Change the focus of the conversation or speech and identify how meaning has changed
  • change the tone in which the speech or conversation is presented and discuss how interpretations can also change.
Use interaction skills for identified purposes, using voice and language conventions to suit different situations, selecting vocabulary, modulating voice and using elements such as music, images and sound for specific effects (ACELY1808 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • participating in pair, group, class, school and community speaking and listening situations, including informal conversations, discussions, debates and presentations
  • using effective strategies for dialogue and discussion in range of formal and informal contexts, including speaking clearly and coherently and at appropriate length, asking questions about stated and implied ideas, and restating and summarising main ideas
  • choosing vocabulary and spoken text and sentence structures for particular purposes and audiences, such as debating a topic with a team from another school, creating a voiceover for a media presentation, and adapting language choices such as use of similes, metaphors and personification, to meet perceived audience needs
  • selecting voice effects, such as tone, volume, pitch and pace, with particular attention to the effects these may have on audience reaction and acceptance of the ideas presented
Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints (ACELY1731 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • creating texts that express views and values other than students’ own
  • researching subject matter on social issues and/or relationships and presenting ideas in particular ways to appeal to different audiences

Interpreting, analysing, evaluating

Analyse and evaluate the ways that text structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to a text (ACELY1732 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • evaluating an author's use of particular textual structures and language features in achieving the representation of a point of view
  • making assertions about the sufficiency and adequacy of information or evidence and the credibility of sources
  • exploring texts that attempt to solve moral problems in a particular way, for example by consideration of consequences or rights/duties, and by identifying strengths as well as problems that arise from this approach
Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • identifying the meaning of a wide range of words, including technical and literary language in various contexts
  • using print and digital/online thesauruses and dictionaries of synonyms, antonyms and homonyms and subject-specific dictionaries
Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • reflecting on content by connecting and comparing information found in a text to knowledge sourced elsewhere
  • determining and applying criteria for evaluating the credibility of a website
  • explaining whether the author conveys meaning adequately, particularly in distinguishing fact from opinion
Explore and explain the ways authors combine different modes and media in creating texts, and the impact of these choices on the viewer/listener (ACELY1735 - Scootle )
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • comparing representations of different social groups in texts drawn from different modes and media, for example comparing contemporary representations of homeless people with romantic representations of the swagman and the impact of these representations on the audience

Creating texts

Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736 - Scootle )
  • Speaking
  • integrating multimodal approaches within a spoken presentation to purposefully develop meaning for a given audience
  • selecting vocabulary to influence meaning and to position and persuade the audience, for example adjusting language to show or acknowledge power
Experiment with text structures and language features to refine and clarify ideas to improve the effectiveness of students’ own texts (ACELY1810 - Scootle )
  • Writing
  • experimenting with text structures and language features, for example paragraph order and content, language choices or mode of delivery, to refine and clarify ideas and to improve text effectiveness
  • combining verbal, visual and sound elements in imaginative multimodal texts
  • ordering paragraphs to best support and sustain an argument and to organise and convey information clearly
Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to create, edit and publish texts imaginatively (ACELY1738 - Scootle )
  • Writing

Year 8 Achievement Standards

Receptive modes (listening, reading and viewing)

By the end of Year 8, students understand how the selection of text structures is influenced by the selection of language mode and how this varies for different purposes and audiences. Students explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to represent different ideas and issues in texts.

Students interpret texts, questioning the reliability of sources of ideas and information. They select evidence from the text to show how events, situations and people can be represented from different viewpoints. They listen for and identify different emphases in texts, using that understanding to elaborate on discussions.

Productive modes (speaking, writing and creating)

Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. They explain the effectiveness of language choices they make to influence the audience. Through combining ideas, images and language features from other texts, students show how ideas can be expressed in new ways.

Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language patterns for effect. When creating and editing texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect and use accurate spelling and punctuation.


Year 8 Work Sample Portfolios