English and EAL

Overview

The English and EAL program aims to extend students’ competencies in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening: skills that are required for every subject. Not only is this achieved through varied teaching methods in the classroom, but students are also offered numerous enrichment opportunities to further develop their abilities. Appreciation and enjoyment of language and literature helps students to become independent learners and develop an ever-widening language repertoire for personal and public use in contemporary society.

Following AusVELS guidelines, the Year 7 to 10 course follows the three strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. It is designed with language use in each of the following modes: listening, speaking, writing, reading and responding to texts. Drawing on a range of material and teaching strategies, the study strives to build on students’ critical and imaginative skills. Ultimately, our goal is to create competent users of the language for a range of purposes and audiences, developing a student’s vocabulary, spelling and punctuation skills through their interaction with language.

Students participate in a range of learning activities which include the following:

  • Formal study of literature;
  • Writing appropriately and correctly for a wide variety of purposes and audiences;
  • Preparing and presenting spoken and written language exercises;
  • Responding to classroom discussions and questions;
  • Drafting and editing written pieces for different purposes;
  • Critically assessing literature, using a variety of techniques;
  • Analysing an issue, language structures and features drawing on appropriate modes of presentation;
  • Acquiring meta-language for use in the analysis of text, literature and images;
  • Understanding and creating multimodal texts using ICT;
  • Learning about word patterns and origins exploring texts from and about Aboriginal and Asian cultures
  • Co-operating with other students in a set language task including group work, role plays and debating.

These units develop skills in all language modes. For more information about the Content structure, please use the following link:

http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/English/Overview/Content-structure

Course Structure

Year Level Subjects
Year 7 English (core), EAL, EAL Elective, Literacy
Year 8 English (core), EAL, EAL Elective/ Literacy
Year 9 English (core), EAL, EAL Elective/Literacy
Year 10 English (core), EAL (core)
Year 11 English (core), EAL, Literature
Year 12 English (core), EAL, Literature

Wider Reading Program

Wider reading is encouraged at all levels. A Reading Room/Literacy Centre is the focal point of a structured Reading Program for Year 7 and 8 students. Students are also encouraged to enter the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Reading records are kept and students produce creative collages, written and oral presentations based on their reading. There is opportunity for reading a range of texts, catering for varying interests and reading levels. There is also the South Oakleigh House Point Challenge where reading is encouraged as a way for everyone to earn points for their Houses.

School Newsletter & Magazine

Outstanding student work is published in the school newsletter on a regular basis, as well as the College magazine.

Enrichment Activities & Competitions

Students are offered various opportunities to extend and enrich their skills in English and EAL.

  • Debating – Students in Year 7-10 learn formal debating skills and participate in competitions within and between classes. Public speaking skills are also developed. A senior debating competition is held as a lunchtime Extension activity, enabling VCE students to earn House Points. High achieving students participate in Enhancement classes including Writing Workshops, script writing and film making.
  • ICAS UNSW Competitions – To further challenge students, participation in the prestigious annual University of NSW Writing and English Competitions is strongly encouraged for students from Year 7 to 12.
    *Students are also encouraged to enter national and local writing and poetry competitions.
  • Visiting Speakers – Guest speakers and Writers in Residence are used to stimulate creativity and enhance student learning. Students have the opportunity to hear authors and story tellers share the secrets of their craft and can then further improve their skills in Writing Workshops. To maximise the understanding and preparation of VCE students, experts including university lecturers and The Chief VCE English examiner address Year 12 English and EAL students on topics including the analysis of language and exam preparation.

Literature

The study of Literature focuses on the enjoyment and appreciation of reading that arises from discussion, debate and the challenge of exploring the meanings of literary texts. Assessment for this subject includes both analytical and creative tasks. Students present their interpretations of texts and employ the techniques of other writers in their own work. It is offered at Year 11 and Year 12.

The study is based on the premise that meaning comes from the relationship between the text, the context in which it was produced and the experience of life and literature the reader brings to the texts. The study of literature encourages independent and critical thinking in students’ responses to texts, which will assist students in the workforce and in future academic study.

For more information about the Content structure, please use the following link:

http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/vce/literature/literaturestd.pdf

EAL

Students are defined as being EAL students if they come from a language background other than English, and require additional support in learning English as an additional language. Multicultural aides work in classrooms to assist newly arrived students from non-English speaking backgrounds. They support the students by explaining and scaffolding the tasks and instructions.