Teachers will use an array of material in class. Texts include literary texts, fiction and non-fiction, media texts, everyday texts, and workplace texts, from increasingly complex and unfamiliar settings, ranging from the everyday language of personal experience to more abstract, specialised and technical language drawn from a range of contexts.

Texts provide important opportunities for learning about aspects of human experience and about aesthetic appeal. Texts can be written, spoken, multimodal, and in print or digital/online.

Texts are structured for particular purposes, for example, to retell, to instruct, to entertain, to explain and to argue. Teachers may select whole texts and/or parts of texts depending on units of study, cohorts and level of difficulty.

‘Literary texts’ refer to past and present texts across a range of cultural contexts that are valued for their form and style and are recognised as having enduring or artistic value. While the nature of what constitutes ‘literary texts’ is dynamic and evolving, they are seen as having personal, social, cultural and aesthetic value and potential for enriching students’ scope of experience. Literary texts include a broad range of forms such as novels, poetry, short stories, plays, fiction, multimodal texts such as film, and non-fiction.

Sample text list

The following texts are examples of literary texts suitable for the study of Essential English and are intended to stimulate thinking about teaching resources in relation to the content of the curriculum. The following examples are not meant to be prescriptive.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (novel)
Manhattan Dreaming by Anita Heiss (novel)
3 Plays by Asian Australians edited by Don Batchelor
Tyger Tyger by Michael Hyde (novel)
The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C Burke (novel)
The Black Balloon directed by Elissa Down (film)
Requiem for a Beast by Matt Ottley (multimodal)
The Sacrifice by Bruce Mutard (graphic novel)
The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan (picture book)
The Sapphires directed by Wayne Blair (film)
The Motorcycle Diaries directed by Walter Salles (film)
Red Dog directed by Kriv Stenders (film)
Billy Collins (animated poetry)
Wilfred Owen
Australian Poetry Library: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
60 Classic Australian Poems edited by Geoff Page
Windchimes: Asia in Australian poetry edited by Rowe and Smith
From Kinglake to Kabul by Neil Grant and David Williams (creative non-fiction)
One Crowded Hour: Neil Davis by Tim Bowden (biography)
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (memoir; film directed by Robert Markowitz)
Dust Echoes: http://www.abc.net.au/dustechoes/
When We Were Kings directed by Leon Gast (documentary)
Making Multicultural Australia: http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au
Riding the Black Cockatoo by John Danalis (creative non-fiction)
Paul Kelly – Stories of Me directed by Ian Darling (documentary)