Year 11 Standard English Module B has changed to ‘Close Study of Literature’.
The HSC English Syllabus is being overhauled and Year 11 English is no exception!
Year 11 students from 2018 onwards will be learning a brand new English syllabus, and we want to guide you through the changes and help you get a Band 6 in Year 11 Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature.
NESA is replacing the old ‘Close Study of Text’ module with the new Module B: ‘Close Study of Literature’ – not a huge change in name, but this article will take you through everything you need to know.
The syllabus containing the new Year 11 Standard English modules are located here.
So, grab your syllabus and we’ll walk you through all the changes to Year 11 Standard English Module B!
What are the changes to Year 11 Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature?
Change #1: Substantial Literary Print Text
The name of the module is very similar, but there are some distinct differences from the old ‘Close Study of Texts’ module to the new ‘Close Study of Literature’ Module B.
First of all, the obvious change from ‘Texts’ to ‘Literature’.
In the new Module B, you won’t simply be closely studying just any text, but it is specified that you will be studying a “substantial literary print text’.
Previously, your teacher could pick any text from the prescribed text list, but now it must be a “substantial literary print text” and there are NO prescribed texts any more. Meaning, your teacher can pick any text they like, providing it’s substantial, literary and a print text.
Change #2: Critical and Creative Responses
In the old Module B, students were required to respond to texts imaginatively, effectively and creatively.
In the new Year 11 Module B: Close Study of Texts, students need to response critically and creatively, and by doing so, analyse and assess the way meaning is shaped and conveyed in the text.
Change #3: Changes to the Number and Value of Assessment Tasks
NESA has set firmer rules about how schools can assess you in HSC English:
- There will be THREE assessment tasks set in Year 11
- Each task can only weigh between 20-40%
- Schools can only set ONE formal exam during the year
This is good news, because it means the number and type of assessments that students across NSW are given are relatively similar. In other words, this means there will be less variation in assessments between schools.
While there are some substantial changes to the structure of the new Module B, the skills you need to cultivate in this Module are very similar to the old Module B.
As such, you’re likely to be assessed in a similar manner to the old Module B, in an essay form. However, this is up to your teacher, so pay attention when they’re teaching you skills in responding to texts!
Change #4: Personal Connections to the Text
The biggest change to the Year 11 Standard English Module B is that students are now expected to develop a personal connection to the text through study of this Module.
By reading, analysing and responding critically and creatively to your text, you should develop an appreciation and personal relationship to the text and its themes and ideas.
Further to this, students should be able to express their personal interpretation of the meaning of the text in an appropriate, clear and cohesive manner.
No matter what manner you’re responding to the text in, you should always be doing this with proper register, structure and modality and pay close attention to details like spelling and grammar.
So, how do I get a Band 6 in Year 11 Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature?
Develop your Textual Knowledge
Having a solid grasp of the terms used often in English will assist you in how you handle the text, and ensure your composition on the text demonstrates an understanding that goes further than a surface reading.
Step 1: Familiarise yourself with literary elements
“Through their close study of and personal responses to the text in its entirety, students develop an understanding of the ways that language features, text structures and stylistic choices can be used in literary texts.”
It will be a great help to know more than the basics of techniques and language features.
Print out a list of techniques and other language features and study them, find an awesome list, here!
Step 2: Start practising writing analyses of your texts
“[Students] identify, analyse and respond to the ideas in the text and the ways in which meaning is shaped.”
As this is a close study, it will help to annotate, analyse, and otherwise develop your understanding as you read. This could take the form of writing analytical chapter summaries or discussing ideas with friends and your teacher.
Step 3: Learn about the form.
“Students examine the conventions that are particular to their chosen literary form, and the ways that authors use, manipulate and/or challenge those conventions”
As well as the linguistic features of the text, it will be useful to familiarise yourself with the conventions of the form you are set.
While by the senior years you will be familiar with the conventions of the novel, if you are set something like a suite of poetry or a play, familiarise yourself early with the conventions of those media.
Conduct a Close Study of Your Selected Text
There’s no way around the fact that if you want to do well in this course, you need to have a deep understanding of your text. However, this isn’t as simple as memorising a few quotes and writing them down.
Step 1: Ask your teachers what text you’ll be doing a close study of and read it!
Ideally, you will have found and read your text before you need to have read it. It will also help you to read it more than once: at senior level, you should be rereading your texts anyway, but it’s particularly important for the close study of texts.
Remember, there are no prescribed texts for Year 11 Standard English, and it’s up to your teacher to decide what text you study in class. So. ask them what it is!
Also, make sure that you’re annotating your text in some way while you’re reading.
Step 2: Research context
Your understanding of the context your text was produced in will improve your mark.
This goes beyond knowing things like important events and location, but how people thought at the time, and how this aligns with or is challenged by your text. It also means knowing what writing traditions your text belongs to.
Step 3: Get started on your TEE Tables
Now that you’re reading the text and understand the context, it’s time to apply that knowledge with some TEE Tables.
What’s useful about TEE tables is that they by creating them, you’re making yourself think analytically about the text at the same time you’re creating a pool of notes for you to later draw evidence for your arguments from.
This could be done in a number of ways: for instance, you could group them by themes.
If you need some help getting started on your TEE Table for Module B, we’ve got an awesome article to help you out – click here!
Show your understanding of your text in writing!
Of course, in order for any of this learning to be useful, you need to learn to be able to write well in order to complete your compositions to satisfaction.
This means you need to develop the ability to write clearly, with specificity, and with a strong understanding of structure.
Step 1: Get a handle on structure.
“[Students] express their ideas clearly and cohesively using appropriate register, structure and modality.“
There are many ways you can structure your essay and its paragraph, but they are not made equal. While your analysis may be strong, it means nothing if it can’t be read in a clear and cohesive structure.
We recommend the STEEL structure for English essays: Statement, Technique, Example, Effect, and Link.
For more advice on STEEL and writing in general, click here!
Step 2: Practise!
“They plan, draft and refine their own written and spoken texts, applying the conventions of syntax, spelling and grammar appropriately for their audience, context and purpose.”
While there isn’t any practise questions from previous years at time of writing, this doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with them yourself, or, if you have a classic or otherwise all-known text, source them from the Internet.
For instance, if your test was ‘Jasper Jones,’ typing in ‘Jasper Jones essay questions’ comes up with a variety of sources you can use. You will also want to time yourself writing and write in pen, if you have an upcoming examination in the module. Learning to write at length to a variety of stimuli is a skill that will make your senior years much easier.
Step 3: Have your work read by others.
Once you’ve got some writing at length done, and checked over it yourself, have your teachers or peers read over it critically.
Having other people read it is important, as when we read our own work, we tend to overlook our own mistakes and fail to notice our bad writing habits. However, you can also try reading your work aloud to yourself, which is another way to make sure you’re making sense.
Are you looking for a tutor to help you ace Standard English Module B: Close Study of Literature?
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Isabella Hanley is the Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the Year 12 in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.
If you’re worried about finding resources for the new HSC English Syllabus, we’ve got you covered!