The Language Study within an Area of Study builds on and extends the development of skills in responding and composing undertaken in the Preliminary course. Students’ language skills, knowledge and understanding are reinforced and extended as they respond to and compose longer, more sustained and more complex texts at and beyond the literal level and further develop their understanding of the ways in which meaning is shaped in and through texts.

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.

AREA OF STUDY: Belonging

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of belonging is considered and expressed in and through texts. Through close language study, and by experimenting with different language choices, students will examine how perceptions of belonging, or not belonging, vary.

Perceptions of belonging are shaped within personal, cultural, historical and social contexts. A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places, groups, communities and the larger world. Within this Area of Study, students may consider aspects of belonging in terms of experiences and notions of identity, relationships, acceptance and understanding.

Texts explore many aspects of belonging, including the potential of the individual to enrich or challenge a community or group. They may reflect the way attitudes to belonging are modified over time. Texts may also reflect choices not to belong, or barriers which prevent belonging.

Perceptions and ideas of belonging in texts can be constructed through a variety of language modes, forms, features and structures. In engaging with the text, a responder may experience and understand the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to, or exclusion from, the text and the world it represents. This engagement may be influenced by the different ways perspectives are given voice in or are absent from a text.

In their responses and compositions students examine, question, reflect and speculate on the concept of belonging. They explore:

         how the concept of belonging is conveyed through the representations of people, relationships, ideas, places, events, and societies that they encounter in their prescribed texts and texts of their own choosing

         the underlying assumptions which shape those representations

         how the composer’s choice of language modes, forms, features and structures shapes, and is shaped by, a sense of belonging or of not belonging

         the ways in which they perceive the world through texts

         the ways in which this study may broaden and deepen their understanding of  themselves and the world

         the connections between and among texts in their representations of the concept of belonging.


Students choose two prescribed texts from the following list. Each of these prescribed texts must be a different type of text. Students also explore additional texts of their own choosing from a variety of sources, in a range of genres and media.

Prose Fiction

         Baillie, Alan, The China Coin, Puffin,1992, ISBN-13: 9780140347531

         Jhabvala, Ruth Prawer, Heat and Dust, John Murray/Hachette, 2003, ISBN-13: 9780719561771

         Winch, Tara June, Swallow the Air, University of Queensland Press, 2006, ISBN-13: 9780702235214



         Russell, Willy, Educating Rita, Longman/Pearson Education, 1991, ISBN-13: 9780582060135

         Harrison, Jane, ‘Rainbow’s End’ from Cleven,Vivienne et al (eds), Contemporary Indigenous Plays, Currency Press, 2007, ISBN-13: 9780868197951



         Skrzynecki, Peter, Immigrant Chronicle, University of Queensland Press, 2002, ISBN-13: 9780702233876

‘Immigrants at Central Station, 1951’, ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’, ‘St Patrick’s College’, ‘Ancestors’, ‘10 Mary Street’, ‘Postcard’, ‘In the Folk Museum’

         Dickinson, Emily, Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson, (James Reeves ed) Heinemann Education, 1959, ISBN-97804351502

66 ‘This is my letter to the world’, 67 ‘I died for beauty but was scarce’, 82 ‘I had been hungry all the years’, 83 ‘I gave myself to him’, 127 ‘A narrow fellow in the grass’, 154 ‘A word dropped careless on the page’, 161 ‘What mystery pervades a well!’, 181 ‘Saddest noise, the sweetest noise’



·         Pung, Alice, Unpolished Gem, Black Inc, 2006, ISBN-13: 9781863951586


Film (f) or Multimedia (mm)

         Noyce, Phillip, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Magna Pacific, 2002 (f)

         Daldry, Stephen, Billy Elliot, Universal Studios, 2000 (f)

         Multicultural Programs Unit, NSW Dept of Education and Training, Making Multicultural Australia, (mm)








In the year before the commencement of the HSC course, final details of the site section will be given. This information will be published in the July edition of the Board Bulletin.


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