Podcast Collab: Unit 1 English: Writing your personal response

Being a child of migrants, I was very lucky to be exposed to two different cultures growing up in Australia. This year in Unit 1 we studied ‘Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home’, an anthology about the different experiences that people went through as they migrated to Australia. I love being Croatian, but I’m also proud to be Australian. My own background has allowed me to bring in my personal experiences into my teaching of the personal response this year as we experiment with the new outcomes of the new study design for VCE English.

It is almost time to be writing your first outcome for Unit 1 of the new study design for the Reading and Exploring area of study. I have loved teaching this unit so far this year because it has allowed me to see some great writing from my students but also challenged me as I’ve also modeled different ways to approach this outcome.

It has allowed students to use their own authentic voices to express themselves and make personal connections to the ideas within the text that they studied.

As you start your preparation for this outcome you need to remember a couple of things

  • Always unpack and address the ideas in the prompt
  • Refer to the mentor text that you have been studying
  • When making references to the mentor text, avoid summarising and instead discuss how it explores the ideas connected to the prompt
  • Connect to your personal views by linking to the prompt and text but also using examples that come from your own individual experience, local, national, or global examples.
  • Use your voice. If you like structure, use the structure suggested, if you want to experiment, go for your life BUT, make sure you are still adhering to the key criteria of the task.
  • Plan your response, even though you have a bit of freedom, it still needs to make sense

In another exciting collaboration with the podcast ‘Reading Beyond the Lines,’ I have worked alongside teachers Sonia Murr and Kirsten Maruff to discuss the best ways to approach this task for our students at Kilvington. Remember that your teachers may be offering you slightly different advice and direction so follow their instructions, but this is how we are approaching the assessment in response to the anthology ‘Joyful Strain: Making Australia Home’

Feel free to share amongst your peers and colleagues for those teachers that are on board.

Remember, feel free to comment with feedback and suggestions or contact me via email at ivaroncevic78@gmail.com



VCE Literature – A focus on Ellen van Neerven's poem Paper ships, from their collection Throat Reading Beyond the Lines

In this episode, we are joined by VCE Literature students from Kilvington Grammar, to discuss van Neerven's poem Paper ships. Among other things we discuss form – the shape of the poem, the unconventional spelling, the use (or  otherwise) of capital letters and repetition. The students also had very interesting things to say about the title of the poem and the way that this poem (among others in the collection)  may have found inspiration in the 'poet warrior' Audre Lorde and her seminal essay collection Sister Outsider.
  1. VCE Literature – A focus on Ellen van Neerven's poem Paper ships, from their collection Throat
  2. Euripides' The Women of Troy – in conversation
  3. VCE Literature – A focus on the poem 'Chermy' from Ellen van Neerven's poetry collection Throat.
  4. VCE Literature: Ellen van Neerven visits our Literature class to discuss 'Throat'
  5. VCE Literature: 'Treaty', by Ellen van Neerven, from their poetry collection Throat

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