English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.
In English, students learn about the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written and visual texts through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. Complexity increases as students progress through their schooling.
Developing proficiency in English enables students to take their place as confident communicators; critical and imaginative thinkers; lifelong learners; and informed, active participants in Australian society. Their understanding of English through knowledge and skills acquisition is essential to their intellectual, social and emotional development.
The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.
In Year 11 and 12, the study of English is mandatory. Courses offered include:
- English Extension 2
- English Extension 1
- English Advanced
- English Standard
- English Studies
- English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
- English Life Skills.
These days, we think about learning English as a way of increasing our students' resources for making meaning in their worlds. Of course we must provide tools for exploring how language works so we do teach grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax. However, language is a system of choices that is very much situated within a context. We are creating a powerful model that we need for today's classrooms, by providing contexts that are meaningful for our students.
What skills and outcomes we focus on depends on:
- what the texts are about in this series of lessons
- what roles the students are taking in this series of lessons
- what modes are being explored or used to create; reading, writing, speaking viewing or representing
Thus we can move our students from everyday understandings, shifting into more academic language and an appreciation of the technical aspects of language being applied and finally into abstractions or metaphor.
Most importantly, we allow our students to learn about themselves and their place in their world.