WHAT IS ENGLISH ABOUT?
English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language, its literacy's, and its literature in the three modes, oral, visual, and written. Learning English encompasses learning the language, learning through the language, and learning about the language.
By studying English, students learn to engage with and enjoy the English language for different purposes and in a variety of text forms. Understanding and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging in text-based learning activities, students become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.
WHY STUDY ENGLISH?
Success in English is fundamental to success across the curriculum. All learning areas (with the possible exception of languages) require students to receive, process, and present ideas or information using the English language as a medium.
Success in English gives students access to the knowledge and skills they need in order to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the wider world. To do this, they need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think deeply and critically. Students who understand how the language works are equipped to make appropriate and systematic language choices in a range of contexts.
By studying English, students gain an appreciation of the great heritage of English literature and of world literature available in translation. In this way, English contributes to each student's developing sense of identity and of their place in the world.
HOW IS THE LEARNING AREA STRUCTURED?
English is structured around two strands, each encompassing the oral, written, and visual forms of the language. The strands differentiate between the modes in which users are primarily:
making meaning of ideas or information they receive (listening, reading, and viewing), and
creating meaning for themselves or others (speaking, writing, and presenting).
The achievement objectives within each strand suggest the progression of knowledge, skills and understandings that most students move through as they become more effective oral, written, and visual communicators. The objectives focus particularly on:
processes and strategies;
language purposes and audiences;
ideas within language contexts;
language features that enhance texts;
the structure and organisation of texts.
Students need to practice the same sets of skills for making meaning and creating meaning at each level of the curriculum. This is reflected in the way that the achievement objectives are structured. As they progress, the students use their skills to engage with tasks and texts that are increasingly sophisticated and challenging, and they do this in increasing depth.