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The New English Syllabus Explained – Standard Modules

Post Series: The New English Syllabus Explained

Module A: Language, Identity and Culture

What is this module?

HSC English Module A is an exploration of how the language of texts represents specific cultures and identities, such as gender, class and race. You will write an essay on a single prescribed text in Paper 2 which will be worth 20 marks. You will also explore shorter texts in class related to the ideas surrounding culture; however you will not need to discuss them in the HSC.

How has it changed?

This module is quite different to the previous Module A. In this module, you will be exploring how texts demonstrate and comment on both personal identities, and the identities of specific cultural groups. This involves an exploration of stereotypes, assumptions and tropes in texts surrounding certain cultural groups. The module will require you to recognise and evaluate how these are manipulated in your text.

Nuances in the Module

You will need to have knowledge of the text from two different perspectives: not only how language in the text reflects the specific cultural group, but how it also changes such an identity. You will also need to become familiar with what values (things that are important) are demonstrated in your text, and how this shapes the behaviours and attitudes of the characters. Like the Common Module, you will distinguish between ideas of individual and collective identities in order to explain its complex nature. At Master Coaching, we will support you in developing a comprehensive understanding of the values and attitudes present in your text and how these relate to its representation of culture. We will aid you providing a personal response that reveals a deep engagement with the ideas of the module.

Module B: Close Study of Literature

What is this module?

This module requires you to become closely familiar with the language, content and structure of a substantial text. There will be one essay question on it in Paper 2 worth 20 marks. The question may be general or it may be specific to your text.

How has it changed?

This module has not changed in its focus; however there are more contemporary texts available for study. This means that any general past questions on the module are still useful study tools right now, even if you cannot source many text-specific questions.

Nuances in the Module

This module is entirely about the text itself, rather than the Common Module or Module A which focus on a concept. Whilst this gives you the freedom to focus on what stands out to you from the text, it may also seem a bit daunting to cover all the possible ideas the text explores. At Master Coaching, we will break down your substantial text to teach you how to evaluate it as a whole and make effective judgments on the construction of the text. We review major themes of the text in order to help you developed a personalised argument. We will also work on making your analysis versatile and sophisticated, so you will be prepared for any exam question.

Module C: The Craft of Writing

What is this module?

This is a brand new module for Standard and Advanced English. It is focused on developing the technical and aesthetic skills involved with writing a variety of text types. There are no prescribed texts in this module, but you will explore a series of short texts that you may be asked to draw on in the exam. This module is worth 20 marks in Paper 2, may be in one or two parts, and may involve a stimulus.

How has this module changed?

Largely speaking, this is the first module to emphasise why being a writer is important, rather than the focus on reception as in other modules. This module has also changed in that it will probably request an imaginative (creative) response in Paper 2, and never an analytical essay. There is a range of text types that you may be specified or given the option to write in: imaginative, discursive, informative or persuasive. Finally, this section of the exam may contain up to two parts, the most likely being a shorter creative piece worth 12 marks and an 8 mark reflection on the creative.

Nuances in the Module

This module is all about what makes good writing and less so on the critical aspects of texts. Although this module is still interested in the techniques and themes of your prescribed text, it does not require analysis per se of your texts. Rather, this module wants you to reflect on its construction and stylistic features to explain how you have been inspired in your own writing.  This means that a personal voice is paramount in this module. However, this also indicates that you have the opportunity to be less formal in your writing, using first person and a less decisive register. At Master Coaching we will take a pragmatic response to creative writing to make sure you have a practical method to approach the stimulus. We will also focus closely on how to structure a reflection to purposely justify creative decisions.  We will explore the full range of Mod C text types – including the dreaded discursive – and help to foster your confidence in your writing.

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