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NSW Syllabuses


Rationale for English in Stage 6 Curriculum

Language shapes our understanding of ourselves and our world. It is the primary means by which we relate to others and is central to the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students. In the years of schooling from Kindergarten to Year 12, English is the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms. These encompass spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts of varying complexity through which meaning is shaped, conveyed, interpreted and reflected. 

In acknowledgement of its role as the national language, English is the mandatory subject from Kindergarten to Year 12 in the NSW curriculum. Knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes acquired in English are central to the learning and development of students. 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. It supports the development and expression of a system of personal values, based on students’ understanding of moral and ethical matters, and gives expression to their aspirations and ideals. 

The study of English in Stage 6 develops in students an understanding of literary expression and nurtures an appreciation of aesthetic values. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become innovative, active, independent learners, to collaborate and to reflect on their learning. 

Through responding to and composing texts from Kindergarten to Year 12, students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, knowledge, enjoyment and agency. They engage with and explore texts that include widely acknowledged quality literature of past and contemporary societies and engage with the literature and literary heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. By composing and responding students develop an understanding of themselves and of diverse human experiences and cultures. 

The study of English in this syllabus is founded on the belief that language learning is recursive and develops through ever-widening contexts. Students learn English through explicit teaching of language and literacy, and through their engagement with a diverse range of purposeful and increasingly demanding textual experiences. The English Stage 6 syllabuses enable teachers to draw on various theoretical perspectives and pedagogical models for teaching English to assist their students to achieve the syllabus outcomes at the highest levels. 

In their study of English, students continue to develop their critical and imaginative faculties and broaden their capacity for cultural understanding. They examine various contexts of language usage to understand how making meaning is complex and shaped by a multiplicity of factors. As students' command of English continues to grow, they are provided with opportunities to question, assess, challenge, reformulate information, identify and clarify issues, negotiate and solve problems. They can become creative and confident users of a range of digital technologies and understand and reflect on the ongoing impact of these technologies on society. These skills and understandings allow them to develop their control of language for lifelong learning, in their careers and lives in a global world.

Rationale for English EAL/D

English EAL/D addresses the needs of a specific group of students and shares the overall aim and rationale of English. When presented at the HSC, the English EAL/D course will satisfy NESA requirements for the study of English. 

The English EAL/D course is designed for students to become proficient in English to enhance their personal, educational, social and vocational lives. The course provides students with the opportunity to analyse, study and enjoy a breadth and variety of English texts to become confident and effective communicators. The course offers rich language experiences that are reflected through the integrated modes of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing. 

Students engage with texts that include widely acknowledged quality literature from the past and contemporary texts from Australia and other cultures. They explore language forms, features and structures of texts in a range of academic, personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace contexts. They can become imaginative, critical and confident users of a range of digital technologies and understand and reflect on the ongoing impact of these technologies on society. 

The English EAL/D course focuses on the close study of language and meaning and English language learning. Students are provided with opportunities to develop and refine skills in spoken and written English. The English EAL/D course assists students to develop the collaborative and critical thinking skills needed to navigate their way through the 21st-century world. Explicit and targeted English language instruction throughout the English EAL/D course is delivered in context and at students’ point of need in order to assist them in achieving Years 11 and 12 outcomes across the curriculum. 

EAL/D learners come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of linguistic and cultural experiences to the classroom. The English EAL/D course is designed to embrace and incorporate students’ backgrounds and experiences within flexible teaching and learning programs that address this diversity, while also providing opportunities to enhance students’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Australian society, culture, history and literature, including the nation’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. 

The English EAL/D course assists students to participate more effectively in Australian education and society by providing them with the opportunity to learn Standard Australian English in varied, relevant, authentic and challenging contexts. This development of creative and critical English language skills, knowledge and understanding, and their engagement with literature and other textual forms, will contribute to an increased understanding of the diversity and values of Australian and other cultures.