Weeks 1&2 work: Language Analysis preparation (focus on reading) and The Secret River (focus on writing)

  1. Language Analysis preparation: read Chapter 2: Formulating and developing arguments and complete the following activities:2.1-2.5; 2.11-12; 2.14-17; 2.20-22c  Our next lesson on Language Analysis will consist of you presenting your issue orally (your main contention; major arguments; specific evidence) for peer assessment; 2.26 is the final exercise.                                                                                        This textbook and its activities are available in an online format so use the information on the inside front cover of your text to access the material.lang analyis code
  2. The Secret River Writing Task #1: Write a version of the encounter in ‘Strangers’ from the perspective of the aboriginal: 300 words                                                               The Secret River Writing Task #2: Write a version of a trial scene related to another of the convicted felons in the story. You should re-read the scene from the novel p.61-66 and read also Charles Dicken’s courtroom scene from Great Expectations  here for another example of a courtroom scene. 300 words

Get Ready For Term 2

We will be completing the following next term:
1. Analysis of Argument – analysis of persuasive text/s
2. Presentation of Argument – writing a persuasive text (letter to ed; editorial; speech; opinion article)
3. Creative response to The Secret River.

The skills for the first two pieces (which go hand in hand) are supported by your red text book. We will be working with that closely next term. The holiday work needs to be done properly – gather the text samples and then analyse how they are written and writing a style guide for each type. This is foundation work for the course. It will feel like hard work because it will exercise the higher order thinking processes. The good news is, when you think it yourself you own the new neural pathways. It opens up new possibilities when it comes to your future reading and writing. Independent learning is the stuff that keeps us all going.

The creative response to The Secret River relies on you understanding the plot, themes, character development of the text as a starting point to appreciating the way language is used to capture a lived experience and dramatise that for an audience. You will be writing creatively on a prompt drawn from the text.

You should go to the MHS English Faculty website (google it) for further details if necessary.

Most importantly you need to engage in an ongoing dialogue with me about what it is you need to be doing to improve your work. A great starting point is your Logicomix essay. You have written feedback about that but you may wish for further clarification. TALK TO ME. SHOW ME THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT TO FOCUS ON TO IMPROVE.

Here’s an idea: re-write a section of your essay, taking into account your feedback. Can you actually add value? Show it to me. We can chat about what you can do to make it even better. You need to focus on what skills are important; what kind of material will be presented over the term; and be asking me what things you could be doing to master those skills. Make no mistake, the analytical and writing skills you develop now will serve you for the rest of your life.

A note about essay structures and formulas often promoted by tutors and the like. Know this: a formula for a type of essay might be a handy thing to learn and rehearse but it is but an empty vessel. The most important thing is the quality of the thinking which will be on display. The ideas need to be yours. They need to be accurately expressed. They need to be supported with careful selection of textual evidence and rigorous analysis. This is the essence of scholarship. You may have a great mind but have you the discipline to develop it? Does your work have intellectual integrity? Is it the best you can do?

I hope this makes sense. Get on with the holiday homework and develop your appreciation for how writers work to present arguments and what language they use to position their readers to accept their argument. I want – scratch, that; YOU SHOULD WANT – true deep thought instead of short-cuts, formulas and box-ticking.

Contrary to popular belief: IN YEAR 11, EVERYTHING COUNTS. 

Oh, and in between times and only once you have finished ‘The Secret River’ you need to read The Crucible and The Handmaid’s Tale. All the work we will be doing on these texts is in the Red or Dead blog (link on the right sidebar). Why should you read them now when we are studying them in Semester 2? Know yourselves – you will be under the pump by then due to VCE 3&4 demands so get cracking on it now. Apart from the fact that ‘it’s on the test’ you should read these texts because:
1. both are rip-roaring tales that draw their dramatic inspiration from real world events.
2. They are often referenced in popular culture to try to help explain the way individuals and societies work. Don’t be a dummy when it comes to the Handmaid and Crucible references.
3. Because the this year there will be a new film of The Handmaid’s Tale and it is  going to be AWESOME