NESA HSC English Syllabus 2018


How is the new HSC English syllabus different?

  • Multimodal assessment
  • Analysing textual form
  • Writing in different text types
  • Self-reflection and editing
  • Intertextuality and context shaping interpretation
  1. Representation
  2. Imagination
  3. Critical response
  4. Textuality
  5. Literacy

New Syllabus Structure

Year 11 English Advanced: 2018

Common Module: Reading to Write

  • Reading and writing in a range of text types

Module A: Narratives that Shape our World

  • Studying texts in their historical context

Module B: Critical Study

  • Studying interpretations of a canonical text

No prescribed texts: prose fiction, drama, poetry, nonfiction, film or digital media.

Year 12 English Advanced: 2018 – 2019

Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences

  • Area of Study

Module A: Textual Conversations

  • Text pairs are more closely related than they were in the old syllabus

Module B: Critical Study

Module C: The Craft of Writing

  • New module that develops the skills taught in ‘Reading to Write’

How many texts in Year 12?

Students are required to closely study four prescribed texts, one drawn from each of the following categories:

  • Shakespearean drama
  • Prose fiction
  • Poetry OR drama

The remaining text may be film, media or nonfiction text or may be selected from one of the categories above. Students require a related text for the Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences.

The new HSC English Exam in 2019

Paper One – Human Experiences

  • 10 minutes reading, 90 minutes writing
  • Section I (20 marks)
    • Stimulus booklet
    • 4 – 5 short answer questions
  • Section II (20 marks)
    • Essay question

May be based on prescribed text

Sample Paper 1 Section II Questions

  • How has your understanding of the challenges of the human experience been shaped by the director’s use of mise-en-scène in your prescribed text? Example A is specific to the form of the prescribed texts, in this case film.
  • Analyse how the representation of the natural environment shapes your understanding of family in Past the Shallows. Example B is specific to the prescribed text
  • Through the telling and receiving of stories, we become more aware of ourselves and our shared human experiences. Explore this statement with close reference to your prescribed text. Example C uses a statement as a stimulus. It is generic for all prescribed texts.

Paper Two – Modules

  • 5 minutes reading, 120 minutes writing
  • Section I (20 marks): Module A
  • Section II (20 marks): Module B
  • Section III (20 marks): Module C
    • Stimulus writing linked to prescribed text
    • Task related to a prescribed text

The Craft of Writing

“Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dealer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is the hour of your thoughts.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Use this warning as a piece of persuasive, discursive or imaginative writing that expresses your perspective about a significant concern or idea that you have engaged with in ONE of your prescribed texts from Module A, B or C.

Imaginative personal response, AND a critical engagement with the stimulus

Using the prescribed texts as a stimulus (analytical)

Choice of text type

(a) Choose a character, person or speaker from ONE prescribed text that you have studied in Module C. Express the thought processes of this character, persona or speaker by exploring a moment of tension in the text from an alternative point of view.

Connection to form

This type of question provides the opportunity to write about a specific aspect within the text or go beyond the text to develop or continue the idea.

(b) Justify the creative decisions that you have made in your writing in part (a) – Self-reflection requires analysis and an understanding of how meaning is shaped by form.

What makes a Band 6 HSC English response?

  • Demonstrates extensive, detailed knowledge, insightful understanding and sophisticated evaluation of the ways meanings are shaped and changed by context, medium of production and the influences that produce different responses to texts.
  • Displays a highly developed ability to describe and analyse a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contexts.
  • Presents a critical, refined personal response showing highly developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of texts and textual detail.
  • Composes imaginatively, interpretively and critically with sustained precision, flair, originality and sophistication for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and values
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