Examining Identity

Examining Identity

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.


Hello everyone, here is my article for August. I hope that you are all staying well during these unprecedented, historic and incredibly uncertain times. In spite of the pandemic, education must continue, and therefore so must my articles. This one will take a slightly deeper look at the concept of identity, which underpins the entirety of unit 4.

Across areas of study 1 and 2, unit 4 examines various elements of identity.

  • National identity (AOS 1, not this year due to COVID)
  • Cultural identities in Australia (primarily AOS 1)
  • Individual identity (AOS 2)
  • Identity as a member of group (AOS 2)
  • Variation according to age, gender, occupation, interests, aspirations, education, etc (AOS 2) (This is a separate dot point on the study design, although is heavily linked to individual and group identity)

Cultural identities:

The main ways in which cultural identities are reflected in Australia (that are still assessable this year) are Aboriginal English (reflecting the identities of members of the indigenous community) and ethnolects, which reflect the identities that people hold as a result of their cultural background. I have written an article that discusses and analyses Aboriginal English in depth (https://learnmate.com.au/overview-of-aboriginal-english/?fbclid=IwAR03Q8jtmQExr22B521B7PaGL2WNFmVjZmq_2k0Qlz1SHYD_pYX943HDsdo).

Moreover, ethnolects generally reflect a cultural background which is non-English speaking, and there is, ‘a growing trend for Australian-born children to embrace their cultural heritage by using new Australian Ethnocultural dialects,’ (Felicity Cox). The Felicity Cox quote is very effective at demonstrating the significance of ethnolects reflecting their cultural identity.

Individual and group identities:

Many of the features that were discussed in unit 3, both formal and informal, are useful for discussing identity, both individual and group. Group identity is a very similar concept to in-group membership, which was discussed in unit 3, where a person’s belonging to a particular group, influences their language choices. One obvious example of language being used to reflect group identity is teenspeak, as the language features are unique to the group, so are able to promote inclusion among users, and can exclude others, thereby further fostering group identity.

Furthermore, jargon and colloquialisms specific to a certain interest also help to promote a user’s identity as someone in a particular occupation, or with particular interests.

Additionally, a discussion in a recent session that I had with clients about one particular word showed how the way in which people use language reflects identity. The word that we spent around half an hour discussing was the noun, ‘football.’’ Australian Football, Association Football, and Rugby League are the main three sports which are referred to as football around Australia. Australian Football and Rugby League usually reflects a person’s identity in terms of where they are from, as people in New South Wales, Queensland and the A.C.T. tend to call Rugby League football, whereas Australian Football is usually referred to as football around the rest of the country. This shows local identity, identity in terms of interests (it’s no coincidence that Rugby League is more popular than Australian Football in the aforementioned states and the A.C.T., whereas the opposite is true around the rest of the country). Additionally, this also shows regional variation of lexicon in Australia. On a slightly different not, football being used to refer to Association Football tends to be a variation based on interest, thereby showing one’s identity as a fan of the sport. People who do not follow Association Football typically refer to it as soccer, as a means of distinguishing the sport from other codes, although it has also been as a means of expressing a dislike of the sport and as a means of insulting football fans. Consequently, the outward use of the term football enables fans of Association Football to show their identity as fans of the sport.

Anyway, I hope that this article proves useful for you, and I will have another one for you at the start of September.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Examining Identity
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Organisation Tips and Techniques for High School Students

Organisation Tips and Techniques for High School Students

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 often expected that students know how to organise their time to study effectively. However, study skills such as this are usually not taught at school! Students who are perhaps naturally less organised often struggle in comparison to their friends who love planners.

Let’s look at some of the best ways you can organise your study to get the most out of it.

  1. Stick to a routine. Finding a healthy day-to-day routine is a great way to gently incorporate study into your everyday habits, removing some of the difficulty you may have in getting yourself to sit at your desk.
  2. Work out a study timeline. Plan backwards from major assessments or exams, and work out where you want to be in the weeks leading up to these tasks. Then you can plan how much work you’re going to put in over a longer period of time, which will definitely enhance your learning process. Attach specific goals to each study session to give yourself a sense of progression and focus: perhaps in the first week, you would like to learn your definitions well, but by the third week, you would like to be able to apply your knowledge in an essay form.
  3. Study at the time when you have the most energy. You’ll often read or hear advice to study at particular times. But everyone functions differently, so spend some time testing out different study times to see when it is you work best. Once you work this out, try and make it a routine to study at this time most days.
  4. Write everything down and prioritise important tasks. No, this doesn’t mean you need a planner to write in every day (although planners work very well for many people!). You could consider keeping a calendar and a list of tasks to do on a whiteboard over your desk, or keep virtual sticky-notes on your laptop of things which are coming up. Find a method that works well for you, and stick to it!
  5. Keep a clean study space. It’s easy to let extraneous stuff pile up around you at a desk, but a clean study space is conducive to effective study where you are not distracted. A clean desk is quick to achieve (hopefully) and you will notice a difference in the quality of your study.
  6. If you don’t feel like studying, study in small blocks of time with a timer. Anyone can sit down and study for ten minutes at a time. How about twenty? And then thirty minutes? Try setting a timer and negotiate with yourself this way: once I finish thirty minutes of study, I can go and do that thing I wanted to do earlier.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students, How to Motivate Yourself to Study at Home and The Benefits and Importance of Learning About Grammar.

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Organisation Tips and Techniques for High School Students
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How to Reduce Exam Anxiety

How to Reduce Exam Anxiety

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.


Exam anxiety is an issue so many students deal with. People experience this at different levels: some students deal with nervousness before assessments, but are not incapacitated by this, while others experience much higher anxiety and find themselves dealing with extreme fear or panic in exam situations.

Of course, it might be impossible to totally eliminate anxiety, but learning to effectively manage it is a great way to improve exam performance and quality of life. Let’s look at a few ways we can combat the different types of exam anxiety.

  1. Consult a professional psychologist, especially if you are experiencing high levels of anxiety. It’s so important to notice when you are struggling and to then reach out for help. Know that you don’t have to deal with this on your own.
  2. Use relaxation strategies. The moments immediately before exams can be extremely stressful for many people. If you can, remove yourself from others – especially those who can’t stop talking about how nervous they are to everyone – and try out some different relaxation strategies; these are readily available online. Listen to a meditation online, or use some breathing techniques.
  3. Discuss with your school the possibility of special examination arrangements. It is possible that in exams you could be granted permission to have rest breaks, to take medication and/or to sit your exam in a separate room from others if needed.
  4. Use practice exams and prepare as well as you can. Anxiety exists for a reason: to help you respond to threats. Stress about exams might propel you to prepare yourself well; by preparing to the best of your ability, you might be able to alleviate some of that stress. It is when anxiety persists beyond this that it can have a very negative effect on performance and your mental health as a whole.
  5. Challenge your negative self-talk. It is easy to fall into a cycle of negative self-talk, focusing on all of your perceived flaws. This is much easier said than done, but try to practise noticing when you are being unkind to yourself, and challenge these thoughts. Try writing down a list of your strengths, or things which you are proud of. Leave this list somewhere visible to remind yourself of it frequently.
  6. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. This includes sleeping well (if you can), eating well, and allocating yourself enough time for exercise and time off study and work.
  7. On the day of the exam, get to the location early. This is a simple thing you can do – you never want to put more stress upon yourself by having to rush out of the door.
  8. Don’t pay attention to others. It can be stressful to notice your neighbour has finished writing in their entire booklet before you even reached page three. Examinations are a good time to apply tunnel vision: there is no point focusing on what anyone else is doing.

If you would like to read more about some specific coping methods, check out this document which compiles a variety of tips.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students, How to Motivate Yourself to Study at Home and The Benefits and Importance of Learning About Grammar.

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Reduce Exam Anxiety
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Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students

Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students

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.


Studying well is not something that comes naturally to most people. Read on for a combination of tips and tricks which will truly enhance the way that you study!

  1. Keep balance in your life. Successful students agree that spending all of their time pouring over notebooks or on their laptops is not the path to success. In fact, we need to give ourselves time off study in order to reap its benefits. You don’t need to sacrifice the balance in your life in order to do well at school.
  2. Find your motivators. Motivation comes differently to everyone. Learn what your intrinsic motivators are. Intrinsic motivators are things which you find personally rewarding – perhaps you really want to know more about a subject which is linked to a future career option, or maybe you enjoy having a strong purpose. On the other hand, extrinsic motivators can still work (though are less effective). These might include rewarding yourself for meeting a goal or the promise of attaining a certain achievement.
  3. Set clear goals. Goal setting can help set your studies on track. Try setting smaller goals and bigger goals and hold yourself accountable by writing them down somewhere visible.
  4. Get on top of your time management. Time gets away from the best of us. Consider keeping a daily planner if you often find yourself running out of time, and prioritise the most important tasks.
  5. Pay attention to stress. High school can be a stressful time. Many students try to ignore stress, but it is in fact worth paying attention to your stressors. If you are struggling, do seek out help for mental health.
  6. All things in moderation. Don’t believe people who say that in late high school, you can only pick two between study, socialising and sleep. This is untrue! If you maintain a balanced lifestyle, you can still keep doing everything you enjoy doing. Make sure to take time off social media if that is too much of a distraction to your studies. At the same time, you still need breaks from study.
  7. Don’t cram. Instead of packing all of your learning into long study sessions in the days before your exam, revise consistently and for smaller chunks of time. Not only is cramming less reliable when it comes to memory, but it also means you are unlikely to retain the information for long beyond your exam. That knowledge could come in handy down the track!
  8. Don’t do it alone. Make sure to use the resources which you have at hand: consult your teachers, study with your friends, get help from your family members or tutors. Studying is so much more fun when it is shared. Try teaching someone else a concept you’re trying to master.
  9. Make sure your learning isn’t in vain because of the forgetting curve. Psychology students will know all about the forgetting curve: essentially, memory retention declines over time. In the timespan of a month, a learner is likely to have forgotten approximately 90% of what they studied. This means that you need to continually reinforce new information. Practise going over your new notes each night, or revisiting concepts at the end of each week. You will save yourself a lot of effort over time.
  10. Sleep. It has been demonstrated frequently that getting a regular good night of sleep can greatly improve your performance. If you struggle with getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, consider switching off your phone early, or set yourself an early bedtime.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Strategies to Build Self-Confidence in Students,  Top Tips for Scholarship Exam Preparation and Benefits of Meditation for Students.

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students
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LEARNMATE: Keeping You Safe While You Learn

LEARNMATE: Keeping You Safe While You Learn


As much of Australia is learning to live with the presence of COVID-19, many Melbourne suburbs will return to Stage 3 lockdown restrictions due to the rising number of cases infiltrating the State.

Fortunately for those LearnMate students and tutors who do live in areas affected by the lockdowns, we have processes in place to allow for lessons to continue seamlessly. If you need to transition to online lessons, click here if you would like to find online tutors. The same process is available to anyone looking for a tutor but is also residing in a restricted Melbourne suburb.

For all our other students and tutors who live outside of these areas, you have the option of in-person or online tutoring. The choice is yours. If you do prefer to have an in-person session, you can rest assured that all of our tutors will work safely with you to help keep you both fit and healthy.

For more information about how LearnMate is working to keep you educated and safe click on the link.

LEARNMATE: Keeping You Safe While You Learn
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