Which VCE English Subject Should You Choose?

Which VCE English Subject Should You Choose?

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


An important choice for every VCE student is which English subject(s) they pick! I studied English Language for one semester but then ultimately opted for mainstream English and Literature in Year 12. I know that making the choice between the three can be confusing, so let's break down the main differences.

All three subjects are essentially different. No single subject is the best fit for everyone: you need to take into account your own preferences and learning style.

Option 1: Mainstream English

Skills you should have or aim to develop: analysis and comparison of texts on a character/idea-based level, as well as what specifically makes a text persuasive.

Mainstream English is generally assumed to be the choice for everyone, but it definitely isn't suited to all! Although it gets labelled the “easiest" option out of the three, if you hate picking apart themes, it might not be the best fit for you. English is based around essay-writing, and you need to be able to adapt to write a few different styles of essay: creative, responding to and comparing texts, as well as analysing persuasive texts. However, if you are just aiming to score over 25, and have reason to be worried about this, mainstream English is most likely the best option.

Option 2: Literature

Skills you should have or aim to develop: very close analysis of more classic texts based on characters/ideas, as well as analysing socio-historical perspectives surrounding the texts.

Literature is a subject for the bookworm. If looking deeply into complex ideas underpinning texts excites you, then you will love Literature. Although a demanding subject, Literature allows a level of freedom in writing and structure which is not possible in the rigidity of mainstream English. Keep in mind that it is a subject which demands a lot of creativity if you're aiming for a high score, and that competition is much higher than in mainstream English. But that said, an authentic interest in the subject is strongly rewarded in Literature.

Option 3: English Language

Skills you should have or aim to develop: analysis of features of language, taking form, structure and context into account, and looking at how they contribute to the nature of communication.

It is often said that science/maths-inclined students should pick English Language, because it tends to be more analytical and focused upon concepts which are perhaps less abstract. This is true for some, however, you should only choose English Language if you have a genuine interest in its subject matter! You shouldn't pick English Language just because you don't like reading… If you hate anything to do with writing, mainstream English is probably a better choice. Like Literature, the competition in English Language is definitely higher, but don't let it discourage you if you have a real passion for the study of language.

Don't forget that you can undertake more than one English study! Often, skills between them are transferrable. But remember, they are definitely essentially different.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: “I went from below 50% in my practice exam to an A+ in the exam”: Interview with a High-Achieving Student, Parent"s Survival Guide – How to Remain Sane & Supportive! and A Brief Analysis Of Formal Language In A Recent Political Interview.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Which VCE English Subject Should You Choose?
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Why Your Perfectionism is a Problem

Why Your Perfectionism is a Problem

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


It's the cliché (and usually insincere) answer to a job interview question, “So… what's your greatest weakness?"

Perfectionism might seem like more of an advantage than a hindrance, but believe me, it definitely can be a problem. Aiming for perfection inevitably leads to disappointment. So what are some ways that perfectionism is obstructing your success?

You can never be fully satisfied

If you find yourself sitting, staring at a blank computer screen and wondering why you can't even write a single sentence you're satisfied with, you may be suffering from standards that are too high. It's important to remember that whenever any of us do something for the first time, it's probably not going to be amazing. Say, if you're writing an English essay, work on switching off that voice in your head saying, “it's so bad!" Once you have a first draft, no matter how terrible it may or may not be, you have something to work with, edit and refine!

Fear of failure

Negative self-talk often accompanies perfectionism, telling you that if what you do isn't perfect, it's not worth doing at all. It's this kind of mentality that leads some perfectionists to never even attempt something that they don't believe they can achieve. But doing nothing is worse than trying and failing. If you avoid mistakes, how will you ever learn?

Possibility of burnout

Perfectionists throughout history have struggled with the high standards and expectations which they place upon themselves. Famous painter Claude Monet was known to destroy masterpieces when dissatisfied, and was quoted saying, “My life has been nothing but a failure." Know that if you have perfectionistic tendencies, you are in good company! However, learn from the mistakes of those before you: you are not perfect, and this does not make you a failure.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year 12 ,Knowledge And Practical Advice For The Final Year Of School : An Interview With A Third Year Music And Japanese Student At University and  Tips on Studying for Exams – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Why Your Perfectionism is a Problem
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Formal Language: An Analysis of An Article Published By the Australian Foreign Minister

Formal Language: An Analysis of An Article Published By the Australian Foreign Minister

This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.


Hey guys, I figure you guys have all been looking at the budget enough recently, so I won’t write about that again and instead I’ll take a look at a joint media release from Julie Bishop (the Australian foreign minister), Malcolm Turnbull (the Australian Prime Minister) and Christian Potter (the Australian Attorney-General) in relation to the shooting down of flight MH-17. Flight MH-17 was shot down on the 17th of July 2014 and all of the 298 people on board were killed, including 38 Australians. An investigation has recently found that the missile used was supplied by Russia.

A link to the media release can be found here: https://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/Pages/2018/jb_mr_180525c.aspx

Features that I have not really discussed much in these articles are cohesion and coherence. However, they are very important discourse features of formal language (as you would all hopefully know by now). The first three paragraphs all use the word, “findings,” and the repetition of this particular content word enables the first three paragraphs to remain relevant to the recent investigation in relation to the accident and the findings that came from them. In terms of coherence, the article is ordered logically. The article first discusses the fact that the Joint Investigation Team, before discussing the conclusion drawn from them and finally outlines the course of action that Australia and other states such as the Netherlands will be taking. As the paragraphs all build off each other and the information is easy to follow, the order would be considered logical.

Another feature I would like to discuss is the use of modals. The modal, “can,” is used in paragraph 3 and is used to state that only one conclusion is able to be drawn from the findings. Moreover, the modal, “must,” is used in paragraph 5 and this is used to show that the international community is obliged to try and hold Russia to account for the downing of the plane.

Given that this document has a function of informing the Australian people about the findings and what the Australian government intends to do with them, it uses exclusively declarative sentences.

Additionally, the use of jargon helps to keep this release specific. The use of terms such as, “BUK missile system,” help to convey very specific information to the reader, which in turn helps to promote the ministers’ knowledge of the issue and seeks to try and establish their expertise in relation to the issue. However, this is a minor point as the Australian politics students among you will know (or maybe not as you will not have done foreign policy yet), politicians very rarely use foreign policy for political purposes.

Anyway guys, that’s it from me and I hope you have found this article useful.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Scott Morrison’s address to a budget breakfast in MelbourneInterview with experienced LOTE teacher and examiner!When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Formal Language: An Analysis of An Article Published By the Australian Foreign Minister
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Scott Morrison’s address to a budget breakfast in Melbourne

Hey guys, the federal budget was last week, and it is an absolute gold mine for formal language. So, I thought I would make the most of this and discuss some of the language surrounding it. For the purposes of this article, I am using Scott Morrison’s address to a budget breakfast in Melbourne on May 11 this year. Given that this was delivered after the budget, Morrison is seeking to promote the measures in the budget to the Australian people, as opposed to setting them out and explaining them.

Here is a link to Mr Morrison’s speech: http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/speech/011-2018/

The first feature that I will be discussing is jargon. I could go all day on this, as the treasurer uses it extensively through this address, but I will not. The main type of jargon used by the treasurer in this is economic jargon (this would be expected given that he is the treasurer). Examples of this jargon include, “forward estimates,” (the next four financial years), “expenditure,” “taxes,” “net debt,” and, “surpluses.” Morrison largely uses this jargon to promote his expertise in relation to money and economic management, as well as reinforcing his authority in the area. Jargon can also be seen through the use of initialisms such as GST (Goods and Services Tax), GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and GFC (Global Financial Crisis), further enable Morrison to demonstrate his knowledge on economics, particularly the Australian system.

Another feature that I would like to draw your attention to as the use of, “Unbelieva-Bill.” This is an example of both a blend and a pun. The purpose of this is to try and attack the credibility and desirability of the opposition leader Bill Shorten, after he delivered his budget reply speech. By attacking the credibility of the leader of the opposition, Morrison is also seeking to promote to the audience that his party (or coalition of parties if you want to get technical) is the better and more dependable option to govern, particularly when it comes to economic management.

One more feature that I would like to draw your attention to is the treasurer’s use of pronouns such as, “we,” and, “you.” You is used to help make Mr Morrison’s speech more direct, and he uses this particularly when discussing the budget measures that are more likely seen as being desirable to the audience, such as lower taxes and a stronger economy. Moreover, “we,” is used to refer to both the Australian people and the Liberal National Coalition, and this further seeks to personalise his speech and to promote how it is his party that has made positive economic changes

Finally, I have a little public service announcement for you. If you turn 18 prior to the state election (November 24 this year), you are obliged to enrol to vote and you are obliged to attend a polling place.

Rolls close at 8:00pm on November 6 and a link to enrol is here: https://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/

 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as:  Analysing The Melbourne Storm Membership Terms And Conditions For The 2018 NRL Season, A Brief Analysis Of Formal Language In A Recent Political Interview and 4 Tips For Texting In The Workplace.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Scott Morrison’s address to a budget breakfast in Melbourne
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Interview with experienced LOTE teacher and examiner!

Interview with experienced LOTE teacher and examiner!

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


Tom is a LOTE teacher with decades of experience. He has also been an examiner. Read on for an interview with him to find out a bit more about what he's learnt from his experience, and for his tips for students!

What are some of the most common mistakes students make in LOTE?

One common mistake is to avoid mistakes! Not being afraid of making mistakes is an important characteristic of a good language learner. Of course, it would be helpful to then make the most of understanding where you have made errors, but at first it is vital to try out a language. Another issue is the using of Google Translate or machine translators – this is occasionally okay, but most often, it is a lazy way to translate which gives lots of errors itself. It would be far better to try to use the strategies you develop in class to think about how language works and how to translate or how to say something in the LOTE. Another related issue is maybe writing something in English and then trying to put it into the LOTE. It might be better to just start writing in the LOTE.

Can you get low grades in Year 11 and still do well in Year 12?

Learning a language takes time. I would say it is hard to do well in a language in Year 12 if you get low grades in Year 11. The demands of a language include copious vocabulary, usually learnt within topics and units, and receptive skills such as listening and reading, plus productive skills such as speaking and writing. So, rather than working on improving in Year 12, far better to put in the effort in Year 11! That said, if you can figure out why you are not doing well and focus on areas which need improvement, it is possible to improve significantly. Also, at university, units are covered far more quickly and with less time to practise. So, it is possible to make some big changes and do a good job in Year 12.

What makes a student stand out in the oral exam (in a good way)?

Students who have approached a topic differently to other people would stand out in the oral examination. So, if you have a topic which many students are doing, try to think about it from a different angle. What is something that would not be expected, but would be an opportunity to show the breadth of your language learning? What vocabulary, grammar and clauses could you use which may not be often used by students in the exam? Ask your teacher to help you to develop these ideas. I would be impressed in the oral exam if the student listens well to questions and clarifies when they are not sure about what they have been asked. Also, if the student elaborates, adding to an answer, rather than stopping at the first opportunity, I think this helps the student to stand out.

Can you do well in LOTE if you aren't a native speaker?

Of course! The expectation of examiners is that each student has studied the LOTE for six years at high school, and so they expect the student to have the skills of someone who has learnt the language in that context. Actually, native speakers sometimes have issues when they do Year 12 oral examinations because they do not understand the criteria for assessment very well. You can definitely learn strategies to keep communication open and to ask if you do not understand vocabulary or a question. Also, many examiners are teachers themselves and will have a good idea of what level the students will be. The oral examination is only 15 minutes so you have to perform for a length of time, and you would be surprised how quickly this time can go, as long as you have done the preparation.

Why did you decide to become a LOTE (language other than English) teacher?

I decided to become a LOTE teacher because I love crossing cultures and the best way to cross a culture is to learn a language. Rather than expecting other people to speak your language, learning theirs helps to break down barriers and to open up new worlds. My love of different cultures probably comes from living overseas as a child, traveling around the world and later living overseas as an adult! So sharing what I have learnt about another language is also a way of keeping alive in me the language skills I have learnt.

 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year 12 ,Knowledge And Practical Advice For The Final Year Of School : An Interview With A Third Year Music And Japanese Student At University and  Tips on Studying for Exams – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Interview with experienced LOTE teacher and examiner!
read more