Area of Study for Preliminary English
Year 11 usually covers three modules
Year 11 usually covers three modules: one Area of Study, one Comparative Study, and one Critical Study. Area of Study means you spend some time focusing on a certain theme, like “Change” or “Journeys”. The Comparative Study is usually between a film and a book which have similar content or ideas, such as they may both focus on migrant experiences, or be of the science fiction genre. The Critical Study is usually a Shakespeare play, with Macbeth and Othello being the most popular choices for Year 11.
The reason your teachers give you this practice run with slightly different content is because they are not allowed to give you EXACTLY the same studies for Year 11 as for Year 12, so they find creative ways to make the courses similar. If you know what is set for your Year 12 studies, you will get more out of the dress-rehearsal and will find it easier to pick up the skills and familiarity with the modules that your teachers are trying to foster.
An Area of Study requires you to focus on one key theme and to look for it in various forms throughout a variety of texts. You have to show how the techniques of the text create the theme, and comment about the message the text has for its audience.
You will be given one key word or phrase such as “power”. You may be given a definition of power, or be asked to come up with your own definition of the word. There will also be other associated ideas that go with your area of study; for example, “power” might also include a consideration of “corruption” “manipulation” and “politics”.
You will look at one major text which has your Area of Study as a theme. You will analyse the techniques in that text which convey your Area of Study theme, and will have to write analytical essays on the text.
A complete Area of Study usually asks you to write an essay, a creative writing story, and to do some comprehension on short texts which are based on your Area of Study. If these assessments don’t come up during the term, be aware they will probably feature in your exam.
In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structures, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.
Board of Studies HSC Area of Study: Discovery
Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.
An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far-reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.
By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.
In their responses and compositions, students examine, question, and reflect and speculate on:
• their own experiences of discovery
• the experience of discovery in and through their engagement with texts
• assumptions underlying various representations of the concept of discovery
• how the concept of discovery is conveyed through the representations of people, relationships, societies, places, events and ideas that they encounter in the prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing
• how the composer’s choice of language modes, forms, features and structure shapes representations of discovery and discovering
• the ways in which exploring the concept of discovery may broaden and deepen their understanding of themselves and their world.