Year 11 English Standard Study Guide

In this guide, we'll give you a solid overview of the Year 11 English Standard Modules so you can address their criteria in your responses. We'll explore each Module in detail in the following parts of this Guide.
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All about the Year 11 English Standard 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 Standard Study Guide, we will break down the Year 11 Modules and give you an overview of what they mean for you!

In this series, we break down the:

Do I really need to know the year 11 English Standard Modules?

Yes, to succeed in year 11, you need to know the English Modules. In this Guide, we’ll break them down for you so you have the best chance for success in Year 11.

We will discuss :

  • An outline of the Year 11 English Standard Modules
  • What the Year 11 English Standard Modules are
  • What the Year 11 English Standard Modules require of you
  • Common Module: Reading to Write
  • Module A: Contemporary Possibilities
  • Module B: Close Study of Literature
  • 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 Standard 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 Standard Modules?

There are three Modules for Year 11 English Standard students. These Modules prepare students for the Year 12 English Standard Modules by engaging with similar ideas. Success in Year 11 will set you up for doing well in your HSC.

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


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:

  • You will “close read” texts. When we talk of close reading, we mean you analyse the set texts closely for themes and techniques. These texts will be drawn from a wide variety of media including – film, poetry, novels, articles, and drama.
  • You’ll need to understand and discuss how and why texts represent complex ideas, relationships, endeavours, and scenarios to relate human experiences to audiences.
  • In your responses, you’ll be expected to develop your own writing and reflect on it and improve through drafting processes. This will help you develop better analytical and communication skills.
  • A key aspect of Common Module Reading to Write is the process of reading texts to understand how they reflect the world around us. This helps us understand ourselves and others.
  • Reading the works of others allows you to develop their own writing and analytical skills. Think about how composers or your peers construct their writing and incorporate those ideas into your own work.
  • You’ll learn the effect of features like structure, tone, syntax, and imagery. You’ll also practise discussing texts using appropriate literary terminology and meta-language. This will teach you the right language and terminology for the HSC English Standard course.

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


Module A: Contemporary Possibilities

This course is a study of form and structure. You’ll be exploring texts that aren’t novels but are instead forms like films, apps, games, or websites.

In this module:

  • You’ll get to grips with how texts produced in a variety of different ways can create or develop meaning. In particular, you’ll be exploring texts that use mutliple modes (ie, like a film which usees audio and image to convey information) to create meaning
  • There is a particular focus on contemporary communication technologies. NESA is ensuring that students gain literacy in contemporary media, especially digital literacy.
  • You’ll explore one main text and several supplementary texts. Your main text might be a film, media, or interactive text (perhaps a game or show like Netflix’s Black Mirror – Bandersnatch)
  • The expectation is that you’ll consider how the specific contemporary medium you explore has unique means of generating meaning for audiences.
  • You also need to weigh up the ethical implications of contemporary forms of communication. NESA is challenging you to understand the positive and negative aspects of digital mediums.
  • You are asked to consider the reach and influence that new communication technologies have as well as the different ways they are used to communicate with audiences.
  • As different text types use a wide array of devices that are visual, aural or language, you’ll need to identify and analyse how these techniques develop meaning that is unique or specific to the form.
  • Your assessment will require you to produce your own multimodal or digital text. in the process, you’ll learn about creating a responsible digital footprint.
  • Students learn about narrative structure, setting, characterisation, imagery, and perspective to understand how composers convey their ideas in texts.
  • You’ll work both collaboratively and independently.

If you would like to know more about Contemporary Possibilities, please read our detailed Guide on this Module (COMING SOON).


Module B: Close Study of Literature

This Module requires students to do a close reading of a print text – drama, poetry, or novel – and evaluate its literary and cultural value.

In this module:

  • You will closely read a text and evaluate how it uses structure and technique to convey meaning.
  • Through this, you’ll learn how authors express their ideas through a text’s construction, language, and ideas.
  • You must develop their own interpretation of a text. You’ll identify the conventions of literary texts and genres and consider how the composers use these to create meaning.
  • The main idea is that you develop your own understanding of what the text means or is about and how the composer has conveyed this.
  • NESA wants you to focus on how elements of style, tone, and mood are used to create meaning and present it to audiences.
  • 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 Close 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 Standard 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 multimodal or digital texts, and Module B has focuses 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.


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