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 help students to become independent learners and develop an ever-widening language repertoire for personal and public use in contemporary society.

Drawing on a range of material and teaching strategies, the program 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 student vocabulary, spelling and punctuation skills through their interaction with language.

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

  • The 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
  • Using meta-language in an 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.


Course Structure

Year Level Subjects
Year 7 English Core and Accelerated, EAL, EAL Elective, Literacy
Year 8 English Core and Accelerated, EAL, EAL Elective/ Literacy
Year 9 English Core and Accelerated, EAL, EAL Elective/Literacy
Year 10 English Core and Accelerated, EAL (core)
Year 11 English Core and Accelerated, EAL, Literature
Year 12 English Core and Accelerated, 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. Recital Reading is a collaborative reading approach used to enhance critical skills and comprehension strategies. Students are also taught comprehension approaches based on their reading needs. There is an 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.

Enrichment Activities & Competitions

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

  • Debating – Students in Year 7 to 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, scriptwriting 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 storytellers share the secrets of their craft and can then further improve their skills in Writing Workshops.

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. This subject is offered at Year 11 and Year 12.

It 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 and structure of this subject, please use the following link:


English as an Additional Language (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.