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Intro to Year 12 English Language

Intro to Year 12 English Language

Summary: This article is aimed at incoming English Language students, giving them an overview of the course and where to source their crucial examples. 

This article will be one that I write most years (I don’t self-plagiarise, but the theme for my December article is usually similar each year), being something of a, “welcome to 3/4 English Language.” This article will give you a broad overview of the course, as well as some advice on a few particularly good sources of examples that will arise next year. 

Why source examples?

I just mentioned sourcing examples, so I should probably start with why you bother sourcing examples in the first place. Put simply, examples are important. Your essay success largely depends on your ability to source, use, and analyse contemporary Australian examples to illustrate your points, and to show your understanding. 

Finding examples can also help you develop your ability to identify and analyse the features you need to identify and analyse for sections A and B (short answers and analytical commentaries), so there is an added element of skill development. 

Every assessment report, every teacher, and every tutor will stress to you the importance of examples. If anything, they underplay how important these examples are, as they are absolutely crucial to your essays. They take your essay from being boring, dull, and generic, to one that shows a deep understanding of the course, an observance of language, and the ability to apply your learning to the real world.

Where to find examples?

So, these examples are clearly important, which probably means you want to know where to find them. The short answer is everywhere, all the language around you is useable for evidence that you may use. Text chains with friends, conversations you have, my articles, advertisements, the media, all of these can give you different examples worthy of analysis in this course. 

However, one of the best places to get examples from is politics. In 2022, there are elections for both the Federal and Victorian governments. This means a lot of language in the public domain that is ripe for analysis, and the language of our politicians is some of the richest language available to you for examples. This is especially true when they are campaigning, so make sure you pay attention to their language as the elections draw nearer (also be aware of where to find transcripts). 

(Very) Brief course outline

Ok, having discussed the importance of examples, and where to find them, I will quickly give you a brief overview of the course (by brief, I mean in a couple of sentences). 

The course is ordered the way it is for a reason. Unit 3 looks at the features of both informal (AOS 1) and formal (AOS 2) language, and the purposes which they serve (consult the study design for some of the specific social purposes which you analyse): https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/vce/englishlanguage/2016EnglishLanguageSD.pdf). 

Further, in formal language, you also look at coherence and cohesion, which will likely improve your own writing. 

In terms of Unit 4, you look at the role language plays in constructing identity for individuals and groups, as well as its role in building and demonstrating national (and cultural) identity. Language tells us so much about who we are, and what we value, and unit 4 gives a real opportunity to explore that in great detail. 

Holidays

Finally, enjoy your holidays and take a break. You have had a couple of challenging years (putting things mildly) and have more than earned some time off. Having said that, make sure you have a look at the study design, do whatever holiday work you have been assigned, and perhaps get some tedious tasks out of the way (like having a look at metalanguage). 

Take a break, but set yourself up for success. 

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