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BULLSEYE!

Bullseye

$295 including GST

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The focus of this conference is on developing the skills and knowledge in the four English studies that will help teachers plan and teach courses that best suit their context.

Participants will have opportunities to discuss their practice and the challenges and opportunities they face in implementation. Sessions include: EAL and English text selection 2018, Literary perspectives, Australian identity and language, as well as practical workshops on moderating samples of student work in all subjects.

August 30th is a perfect time to take stock and think ahead to the coming year.

Conference Program

Session 1:  9.45am – 10.55am

1.1. Bombshells and The Penelopiad.

This session will compare Bombshells by Joanna Murray-Smith and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. In analysing this literature, a special focus will be to consider the similarities and differences. We will discuss ideas, issues and themes from the perspective of each text and how they can be seen to connect with each other. The historical and cultural context of the texts will be discussed and compared, as will the literary techniques used by each author. There will be a detailed consideration of some of the key characters in both texts and a look at how their worlds and views, which are seemingly far apart, in fact have quite a lot in common.
 
David Pargetter (BA (Hons.),MA, Dip.Ed.) is Head of English at Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School. He has taught senior English and Literature in Victorian secondary schools since 2007. He has been a VCAA Literature Assessor and Examiner, and an English assessor. David has written Literature Perspectives for the Victorian Association for Teachers of English as well as the NEAP Smartstudy Guide on Pair 6 (Bombshells and The Penelopiad)

1.2. Differentiating for Gifted and Talented Students in the English Classroom.

Michael ManceThis session will provide a discussion of giftedness profiles. The aim is to inform and dispel some myths about how gifted and talented students will present in your classroom. This session will include perspectives on

  • Organising your classroom to maximise potential for all
  • Implementing he Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model and an overview of some structural approaches to learning
  • Actual stuff you can use – practical activities and units of work.
  • Planting the seeds, compressing curriculum, self-direction and project based learning.

Michael Mance is an English, Literature and History Teacher who has taught in the State, Independent and Catholic School systems.  Throughout his career, he has devoted a significant amount of time and energy advocating for students who, through no fault of their own, have the disadvantage of being Gifted and Talented or Highly Able or Twice Exceptional or Precocious Learners in mainstream schools that, in many cases, don't quite know what to make of them and in some cases are openly hostile to them. Over time he realised that catering to these learners was as much about social justice as anything else. During his career Michael has had the good fortune to work with some of the most amazing students that one could ever hope to meet.

1.3. Analysing Argument for the EAL student.

lszechenyiThis session will be a workshop suitable for all senior secondary EAL teachers. We will unpack the key elements of analysing any argument, including discussing the key knowledge and skills and the assessment tasks, with an emphasis on engaging the lower to middle band EAL student. I will also share some tips and approaches to teaching this area of study as well as present useful and engaging classroom activities, writing strategies and scaffolds, appropriate for any EAL class.

Lucinda Szechenyi is the EAL coordinator at Point Cook Senior Secondary College. She has been teaching EAL, English and Business Management at a VCE level since 2010. Her passion for teaching began when she decided to embark on a working holiday in Japan teaching English to people of all ages. Once back in Australia, she decided to make teaching her career and has not looked back since. In her EAL coordination role, Lucinda has introduced a school wide focus on EAL specific strategies to aid EAL students in their mainstream classes.

1.4. Putting Literature Perspectives into perspective.

This session aims to explore a range of approaches to Literature Unit 4, AOS 1, as well as Section A of the Literature exam.  Through exploration, discussion and sharing, it is hoped that some of the fear and anxiety that the new exam has created will be eased.  Ideas for approaching exam revision will a part of this session. There will also be time for sharing, so teachers are encouraged to bring along sample activities and student work.

Louise Bourke has been teaching for over 20 years - the past 14 years as Head of Department. She has held positions of leadership in the Catholic, Independent and Government sectors. In addition, she has been a VCE English, Literature and GAT assessor and a member of English and Literature Text Advisory panels and English Exam setting panel. Louise has published English text guides for Cambridge University Press and is author of teaching guides for Text Publishing.  She is currently Head of English at the John Monash Science School where she teaches VCE English, Literature and English Language.

1.5. Language variation, identity, and telly: using Gogglebox as a lens to approaching Unit 4.

Josh ClothierWhat can we learn about language variation and identity by watching TV? This session models a sociolinguistic approach to the analysis of language used on the popular TV show, Gogglebox. We will explore individual and group identities that different speakers on the show navigate, and closely examine the linguistic markers of these identities. There will be a particular focus on the phonetic correlates of the dynamics of social class, ethnicity, and age, and we will also attend to the ways in which speakers rely on other subsystems, such as morphology, lexicology, and discourse, to deploy different identities.

Josh Clothier is a PhD researcher at the University of Melbourne where he also teaches across the undergraduate programme in Linguistics & Applied Linguistics. He researches sociophonetic variability in the Australian English accents and identities of speakers with Lebanese heritage. Josh also collaborates on projects investigating speech perception and production in Australian Englishes, Aboriginal Englishes, and Indian Englishes. Having come to Linguistics through studying English Language in VCE, he maintains a keen interest in the subject.

Session 2:  11.05am – 12.15 pm

2.1.  Stasiland and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Gabbi YoungThis session will investigate what a comparison of the ideas, issues and themes in Stasiland and Nineteen Eighty-Four will mean for students, and how a high-level response might be put together.  Consideration will be given to the sort of knowledge and vocabulary students will need in order to explore the fictional nightmare of Orwell’s Oceania with the frightening reality described to us by Funder in the German Democratic Republic.
 
Gabriella Young (BA (Hons); Dip. Ed.; Grad. Cert. Teaching Shakespeare) is co-ordinating Year 12 English at Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School.  She has taught senior English and middle school French in independent schools for many years, as well as briefly in England.  She has a particular interest in Shakespeare – both in the classroom and treading the boards.

2.2.     New Texts 2018 EAL and English.

Gretta CarusoOut with the old and in with the new! It’s an annual refrain. Join us in this session to discuss the choices on the English/EAL list for 2018. We will look at what is appealing, what is not so thrilling, and share our collective expertise to make informed decisions for next year.

Grant Exon

Greta Caruso teaches English, Literature and English as an Additional Language at Templestowe College. She has worked in a variety of schools and has an interest in innovation in education. She has a range of publications to her name including Lingophat and Lingofile, published by BooBook Education. Greta has worked for several universities in teacher training and has consulted on literacy education P-12.

2.3. Assessing Literature: Designing the Close Analysis and Literary Perspectives Tasks.

Maree McMahonWhat are the implications of the new study design for creating assessment tasks in Literature?
How might I go about writing effective prompts for the Literary Perspectives essay?
What factors should be considered when selecting passage combinations for Close Analysis?
How might I best approach setting trial exam tasks for my class?

This session will run as a structured workshop on designing effective and stimulating assessment tasks for VCE Literature, specifically, the Close Analysis and Literary Perspectives essays. We will discuss in detail the challenging process of planning and writing assessment that stimulates and engages students’ knowledge and skills as fully as possible.  We will refer to a number of texts on the current VCAA Literature Text List as we apply strategies to create a series of passage combinations and write effective Literary Perspectives topics.  In creating these tasks, we will cross-reference our work with the expected skills and knowledge of the VCE Literature Study Design Unit 4: Interpreting Texts, the relevant Advice for Teachers and the Criteria and Qualities published for the end of year exam.  You will go away from this workshop with increased confidence, practical strategies, a number of useful passage and essay question combinations and plenty of shared wisdom to apply in your classroom.

Maree McMahon has been teaching VCE Literature since 2011 and tutoring the subject since 2012, alongside her ongoing work in VCE and Middle Years English.   As an external assessor for Literature and English, Maree has worked with a variety of secondary schools across Melbourne and regional Victoria as well as examining English for the VCAA and publishing student and teacher resources.  Her postgraduate research in 2012-13 reflects her ongoing interdisciplinary interest in the intersection of literature, history and philosophy. BA (Philosophy) (Hons. Literature)/ BSc (Physics) (Monash); Grad. Dip. Ed. (Monash).

2.4. Writing about speaking: The language of phonetics and phonology.

Rosey BillingtonIdentifying and confidently discussing the phonetic and phonological characteristics of a language sample can be challenging, especially when working with written material. This session will explore strategies for improving students’ understanding of the phonetic and phonological characteristics of Australian English, and suggest ways that the metalanguage relating to these subsystems can be used more precisely, and more effectively, when providing an analysis. Key features to look out for, and techniques for discussing them, will be illustrated with reference to a comparison of formal and informal spoken language, as well as a range of other language samples.

Rosey Billington is a linguist at the University of Melbourne and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Her main areas of research are phonetics and phonology, especially relating to English varieties in Australia, Nilotic languages of East Africa, and Oceanic languages of Vanuatu. She has also been involved in establishing the Linguistics Roadshow, a high school workshop program, and can often be heard on the radio chatting about speech and language topics.

Session 3:  1.00pm – 2.10pm

3.1. The Crucible and Year of Wonders.

We will explore key concepts in The Crucible and Year of Wonders, focusing on the similarities and differences in the two texts.  We will consider the way textual features, including character and setting, are employed by Arthur Miller and Geraldine Brooks to convey a range of ideas, issues and themes, and compare the two.  We will examine how the texts negotiate similar or related ideas, issues and themes and the impact of the alternative perspectives employed, investigating the meaningful connections that can be made by comparing the two texts.

Rachel Kafka has been teaching VCE English for almost twenty years.  She has written a number of study guides, including Neap’s Reading and comparing: The Crucible / Year of Wonders.  Rachel currently teaches at Leibler Yavneh College, where she is the VCE Coordinator.

3.2. Not just another practice exam: Building better VCE English writers.

This session will explore some practical tools and strategies designed to equip students to improve their own writing skills, connected to each outcome addressed in the Year 12 English examination. Using the VCAA Assessment Criteria for the 2017 English examination, we will consider a range of accessible yet challenging approaches to help learners become more confident, autonomous and skilled writers.

Nicole  Marie is a VCE English and Literature teacher with a keen interest in writing. She has been teaching at Point Cook Senior Secondary College for eight years and has recently completed her Master of Education thesis, focussing on critical literacy in senior secondary classrooms. She is Literacy Co-ordinator at her school and has been a VCAA Assessor, VATE presenter and has worked on English language learning projects in Timor-Leste.
 
Elise Garro is the Head of English at Point Cook Senior Secondary College. She is a VCE English and Advanced English teacher and an avid reader. Currently completing her Master of Education at Victoria University, she often circles around her classroom muttering to herself, “so it goes.”

3.3. EAL Listening task.

Gretta CarusoThe Listening Task is the first specific task and outcome that is designed for speakers of English as an additional language. In this session the focus will be on some practicalities such as course planning. We will also discuss

  • how to set up and teach listening skills
  • when to do listening tasks in prepare the SAC, the exam and to improve language skills more generally
  • what type of content might be useful
  • where to source audio that is appropriate
  • how to engage students and enjoy the task

Greta Caruso teaches English, Literature and English as an Additional Language at Templestowe College. She has worked in a variety of schools and has an interest in innovation in education. She has a range of publications to her name including Lingophat and Lingofile, published by BooBook Education. Greta has worked for several universities in teacher training and has consulted on literacy education P-12.

3.4. Exploring text with computers - an introduction to basic tools.

Simon Musgrave 2017This session will show that tools developed in the field of corpus linguistics can be of great value to anyone who works with texts. This will include demonstration of how to use a concordancer to exhaustively list examples, the value of even basic numerical analyses, and how clusters and collocations can be studied easily and what they tell us. All of these points will be exemplified using the works of Jane Austen. (For those who are interested, the tool to be used can be obtained from http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/, and the Austen texts are available at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/31100.)

Simon Musgrave is a lecturer in linguistics at Monash University who locates much of his work in recent years in the field of Digital Humanities. This continues a longstanding interest in the use of computational tools for linguistic research.  Simon is a member of the management committee of the Australian National Corpus and is keen to encourage wider use of the tools and resources developed in the area of corpus linguistics.

3.5. Moderating student work in English Language.

Maria Kanelopoulos photoThis session will be focused on a discussion around student writing. A range of short-answer, analytical commentary and essay responses will be covered. Samples of student work in addition to the criteria which were used to assess them will be brought in as a basis for dialogue around the marking process and to ensure a concrete understanding of how and why marks are awarded. The tasks are closely modelled on the exams in order to provide an understanding of what examiners are looking for as well as the exam marking process. Further to this, the process of ranking student work for VCE purposes will be covered.

Maria Kanelopoulus has been teaching VCE English Language since 2007 and has been an assessor for the VCAA since 2009. She began teaching English Language whilst at St Monica’s College in Epping, and developed an appreciation for both its precision and logic, as well as its relevance in contemporary society. Through this Maria saw the subject’s ability to empower students as they develop an understanding of not only how language works in various contexts but also how they can use it to their advantage. Since then she has moved to Emmaus College in Vermont South where she plays a vital role in implementing the English Language course, engaging students and training staff in the subject area.

Session 4:  2.20pm – 3.30pm

4.1. Moderating student work in English.

This session will be focused on a discussion around student writing. Samples of student work in addition to the criteria which were used to assess them will be the basis for dialogue around the marking process. The tasks will include SACs from the various Areas of study. Further to this, the process of ranking student work for VCE purposes will be covered. This will be a highly interactive and collaborative session.

Karen Graham is recently retired Head of English at St Kevin’s College, Toorak. She has worked in VCE English and Literature classrooms with great success for 37 years. Karen has been an assessor of VCE English for over 25 years, and has been a long-standing member of the VCE English Executive Panel that oversees the assessment of the English examination.

4.2. Moderating student work in English as an Additional Language.

This session will focus on a discussion around student writing. Samples of student work, as well as the criteria that were used to assess them, will be the basis for dialogue around the marking process. The tasks will include SACs from the various Areas of study. Further to this, the process of ranking student work for VCE purposes will be covered. This will be a highly interactive and collaborative session.

Our presenter has extensive teaching experience in EAL: at Tintern Schools, from 2000-2005; and at St Catherine’s School, for the past decade. In 2014, she Ied the nomination of a senior student, who received an International School Student Award for Academic Excellence, from the Department of Education and Training. In 2015, her top student attained a study score of 48/50 in VCE EAL; and a perfect Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 99.95. In 2016, her final year VCE EAL students achieved an average study score of 40.

4.3. Moderating student work in Literature.

Maree McMahonWhat are the implications of the new Study Design for assessing my students in Literature?
How can I best prepare my students for their Literary Perspectives essay?
How can I improve my own processes for grading their SACs and practice essays?
How can I improve my feedback?

This session will run as a workshop on assessing VCE Literature, specifically, the Close Analysis and Literary Perspectives essays.   We will consider a variety of student responses together and discuss in practical terms what makes for successful writing in this subject and how this translates to the new assessment rubrics.  We will review the grading and ranking processes and explore ways to give feedback that will be of maximum benefit to students.  This is a highly interactive and collaborative workshop where you will have ample opportunity to share your assessment experiences with your colleagues while using the workshopped essays as a foundation to reflect on the writing of your own students.

Maree McMahon has been teaching VCE Literature since 2011 and tutoring the subject since 2012, alongside her ongoing work in VCE and Middle Years English.  As an external assessor for Literature and English, Maree has worked with a variety of secondary schools across Melbourne and regional Victoria as well as examining English for the VCAA and publishing student and teacher resources.  Her postgraduate research in 2012-13 reflects her ongoing interdisciplinary interest in the intersection of literature, history and philosophy. BA (Philosophy) (Hons. Literature)/ BSc (Physics) (Monash); Grad. Dip. Ed. (Monash).

4.4. Language variation and identity in Australian English.

This session explores contemporary understandings of identity and related ideas such as indexicality and language ideologies. It provides examples for explaining to students why we speak of language as constructing identity. It further explains and exemplifies the history and contemporary place of Australian English, drawing on examples of both use and comment on use. The overall aim is to shed light on some of the theory behind Unit 4 and how to teach this to your students.

Cara Penry Williams is a lecturer in linguistics at La Trobe University. She was trained and taught ESL in Victoria before completing a master’s degree in applied linguistics and a PhD in linguistics. She has a broad range of interests within and around linguistics, encompassing a primary research focus on sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. Variation in Australian English and the relationship between language and identity are the focus of much of her current research and teaching.

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