Year 11 English Advanced Study Guide

In this guide, we'll give you a solid overview of the Year 11 English Modules so you can address their criteria in your responses. Read this overview and then check out the articles on the Year 11 English Modules.

All about the Year 11 English Advanced Study Guide

You need to be able to address the key concerns of the Modules to get Band 6 results! In Year 11, you need to familiarise yourself with the Year 11 English Modules so you can craft responses to specific questions rather than relying on memorisation.

In this Year 11 English Advanced Study Guide, we will break down the Year 11 Modules and give you an overview of what they mean for you!


Do I really need to know the Modules?

Yes, to succeed in year 11, you need to know the English Modules. In this Part of our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English, we will give an outline of the Year 11 English Modules.

We discuss :

  • An outline of the Year 11 English Modules;
  • What the Year 11 English Advanced Modules are;
  • What the Year 11 English Advanced Modules require of you;
  • Common Module: Reading to Write;
  • Module A: Narratives That Shape Our World;
  • Module B: Critical Study of Texts;
  • Why you should know the Module you’re studying;
  • The Assessments you’ll face in Year 11.


The Year 11 English Modules

What are the Modules in the different English courses?

The Year 11 English Modules vary for the different levels of English. The table below lists all of the various modules for all levels of Year 11 English.

    Table: Comparison of English Courses
English AdvancedEnglish StandardEnglish StudiesEAL/D
Common ModuleReading to WriteReading to WriteReading to WriteOptional teacher-developed module
Module ANarratives that Shape Our WorldContemporary PossibilitiesChosen From a List of 14 ElectivesLanguage and Texts in Context
Module BCritical Study of LiteratureClose Study of LiteratureChosen From a List of 14 ElectivesClose Study of Text
Module CNo Module CNo Module CNo Module CTexts and Society

In this guide, we will only focus on the Year 11 English Advanced Modules. However, the practical skills we cover (researching, essay writing, creative writing, etc.) are applicable for all levels of Year 11 English.


What are the components of the Year 11 English Advanced Modules?

There are three Modules for Year 11 English Advanced students. These Modules act as Primers for the Year 12 Modules by engaging with similar ideas. Success in Year 11 will set you up for Acing HSC English!

Let’s have a look at what the different Year 11 English Advanced Modules need you to do:


Common Module: Reading to Write

This course aims to introduce students to the processes of critical study. So what does this mean, exactly?

In this module:

  • Students “close read” texts. When we talk of close reading, we mean students analyse their texts closely for themes and techniques. These texts will be drawn from a wide variety of media including – film, poetry, novels, articles, and drama.
  • Students need to understand and discuss how and why texts represent complex ideas, relationships, endeavours, and scenarios to relate human experiences to audiences.
  • Students will be expected to develop their own writing and reflect on it and improve through drafting processes. This will help them develop their analytical and communication skills.
  • Students read texts to understand how they reflect the world around them. This will help them understand themselves and others.
  • Reading the works of others allows students to develop their own writing and analytical skills.
  • Students will learn the effect of features like structure, tone, syntax, and imagery. They will also discuss texts using appropriate literary terminology and meta-language. This will teach students the right language and terminology for the HSC English Advanced and Extension courses.

If you would like more information on this Module, please read our detailed Guide on the Year 11 Common Module: Reading to Write.


Module A: Narratives that Shape Our World

This course is a contextual study. This means students will examine a text and see how it connects to its context.

In this module:

  • Students will look at texts that were composed during periods when the world was undergoing political or social change. This will allow students to examine the values, attitudes, and ideas from that period.
  • Students will consider these narratives as part of a human tradition of storytelling that connects people, relates events, and shares various cultures.
  • Students will consider texts drawn from a wide range of mediums including – film, poetry, novels, articles, drama, and multi-modal digital texts.
  • Students deepen their understanding of how narrative shapes meaning in a range of modes, media and forms, and how it influences the way that individuals and communities understand and represent themselves.
  • Students will consider how old narratives are re-imagined, appropriated, or reworked for new audiences. They will learn how this changes meaning, critiques older texts and their values, or makes texts relevant for new and contemporary audiences.
  • They may investigate how narratives can be appropriated, reimagined or reconceptualised for new audiences.
  • By using narrative in their own compositions, students increase their confidence and enjoyment to express personal and public worlds in creative ways.
  • Students learn to discuss structural features to address specific audiences and elicit specific responses.
  • Students learn about narrative structure, setting, characterisation, imagery, and perspective to understand how composers convey their ideas in texts.
  • Students will also read and study persuasive non-fiction texts to learn about rhetoric.

If you would like to know more about Narratives that Shape Our World, please read our detailed Guide on this Module.


Module B: Critical Study of Texts

This Module requires students to do a close reading of a text and evaluate its literary and cultural value.

In this module:

  • Students will closely read a text and research it to evaluate its literary or cultural value.
  • Students need to develop an understanding of their text and discuss what makes it distinctive. They need to consider whether the text has textual integrity. You can learn more about how textual integrity is central to Module B, here.
  • Students learn how to explore how authors express their ideas through a text’s construction, language, and ideas.
  • Students must develop their own interpretation of a text. After this, they should research the perspectives and interpretations of others. This will help them refine and develop their own ideas.
  • Students need to research the reception of a text over time. Reception is indicative of values. Changing reception indicates a shift in values and attitudes. This may inform a students interpretation and personal perspective on the text.
  • Students will discuss specific language and structural features of a text and comment on the text’s specific language features and form and whether they embody textual integrity.
  • Students will need to express their complex ideas clearly and concisely in a formal register with appropriate terminology. They will need to draft and refine their writing to ensure their audience can grasp their complex ideas.
  • Module B allows students to be literary critics and to argue for their own reading of a text. This gives them the opportunity to compare and contrast their views of a text against those of others when discussing its meaning and value.

If you would like to know more about Critical Study of Literature, please read our detailed Guide on this Module.


Why is it important to know your Modules?

Each Module is asking you to demonstrate specific knowledge and skills.

Knowing the Modules will allow you to these criteria and produce higher scoring results.

These are the main reasons you must take the time to learn the details of your module:

  • The Modules give you a specific set of instructions about how to approach your texts.
    Familiarising yourself closely with the Modules will enable you to focus your analysis of the set texts to its specific concerns.
  • The Module descriptions outline the different modes of assessment you may have to undertake.
  • NESA uses specific terminology to explain the Modules approach to the text. Students should study these definitions and use the terms that NESA has employed so they share a common set of terms with their markers.
  • The complete Module descriptions of the Stage 6 Modules can be found at the following links on the NESA website:


Year 11 assessments for the English Modules

In Year 11, there are a specific number of assessment tasks you can be given.

In Year 11, students will only have 3 official assessment tasks of which only 1 can be an essay assessment.

With that in mind, here is what you need to know:

  • Students will be producing fewer essays but will face an increased focus on critical thinking and analysis.
  • You will still need to write critical essays, but you will also have to focus on an array of different assessment tasks.
  • You will be assessed on multimodal tasks that combine some, or all, of the following skills: speaking, writing, reading, viewing, presenting, representing.
  • There is no NESA requirement for a formal examination for English at the end of Year 11. This will be left up to individual schools.
  • Some schools may choose to have a final end of year written examination on two or three modules.
  • The likely assessment structure for most schools will be an essay task, a multi-modal oral task, and a creative piece or a creative reinterpretation of a text with a rationale.


Will I know what assessment I will have for which Module?

Not specifically, no. While the Year 11 Modules don’t have a specific assessment type assigned to them, the Module rubrics place a certain emphasis on one assessment type over another.

Reading to Write favours imaginative recreations, Module A is concerned with narrative, and Module B has traditionally focused on critical writing.

Any module may be the subject of a multimodal presentation task as the assessment. We take an in-depth look at the different Stage 6 assessments in Part 4 of our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English. (You should note, that this information reflects the 2018/ 2019 changes to Stage 6 assessment. If you would like to understand more about these changes, you should read our blog post: The New Year 11 and Year 12 English Assessments.)

Does this sound challenging? It will be.

The Stage 6 syllabus is designed to reward critical thinking over memorisation and rote learning. But don’t worry, Matrix has got your back. Our Year 11 English Advanced Course has been designed to reflect the nature of Stage 6 assessment so our students can continue to score Band 6.


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