Author: Robert Beardwood
Publisher: Insight Publications (2016), 234 pages
This is the latest text book from Insight publications for the new course commencing in 2017 for Year 12. It follows their textbook, English Year 11, mirroring the same layout and Assessment Sheets. This text can be purchased as a print and digital bundle ($57.95), print only ($47.95) or digital only ($33.95) making it very flexible as both a teacher resource and as a book-listed student resource. This year our school book listed English Year 11 and found it extremely useful.
Arriving just in time for exam revision for the current Year 12 cohort, I used some sections from AOS 1 and 2, Analytical Text Responses and Analysing Argument.
The text book features both strategies and guidelines for writing text responses in the analytical, creative and comparative styles. It follows all aspects of the task from breaking down the topic for understanding, planning a response, and writing the essay. The section on the comparative text response is detailed and supportive. It covers the two main structures and outlines some variations as options. Importantly, it highlights to students the importance of writing on both the similarities and the differences. There are annotated example introductions, body paragraphs and complete SAC responses. The section on creative responses allows students more flexibility with a table outlining ten different styles of approach to the task with the common uses and features explained. Again, there are sample responses and written explanations with helpful annotations. While the chapter on themes, ideas and values is fairly general (given it includes the vast list of texts on the VCAA prescribed list), the word bank proved a hit in my class as did the activities on identifying values presented in a text, some had found this the more difficult aspect of the study of our texts this year.
Insight has provided assessment sheets for all tasks with sample criteria based directly on the VCAA performance descriptors. There are clear and easy-to-follow guidelines for presenting orally and writing the Statement of Intention.
Overall, I found parts of this text quite useful and handy for class. I would recommend this as either a teacher resource or a student purchased text book. There are a number of class suitable activities as well as tasks suitable for individual homework tasks. Featured throughout the text are a number of annotated sample responses as well as paragraphs. The text book is presented in an engaging colourful manner with many useful activities and word banks.
For further information sample pages can be viewed at:
Reviewed by Tracey Schmidt, Mildura Senior College