English as an Additional Language Units 3 and 4


Year 12 English (EAL) is divided into three main areas of study.

In Unit 3 Reading and creating texts, expressing your ideas through formal and creative writing based on the short story collection, Like a House on Fire. In Analysing argument, you will examine and analyse how the Australian media influence us.In Listening to texts, you will develop and refine your listening skills through a variety of listening activities.

In Unit 4 Reading and comparing texts, you will explore the meaningful connections between ‘Ransom’ and ‘The Queen’. In Presenting argument, you will build on your understanding of both the analysis and construction of texts that attempt to influence audiences and practise performing your own persuasive presentations.

Students who have completed Year 12 English (EAL) will have improved their ability to think clearly, to express themselves orally and in writing and to be perceptive about the influence of today’s media.

Who is it for?

EAL Units 3 and 4 is a Year 12 English course for students who are eligible to complete EAL as an alternative to the mainstream English course. Student eligibility is determined on application to the school. A student may be eligible for EAL status if they meet both of the following criteria.

For Criterion 1, the student must fit one of the following:

  • On the first day of the academic year, the student must not have been a resident in Australia or New Zealand or other predominantly English-speaking country for more than seven years. The period of seven years is to be calculated cumulatively over the student’s whole life. The calculation of time spent in Australia is made from the date of last arrival plus any previous periods of time spent in Australia or any predominantly English-speaking country. This calculation of time should not include time spent out of Australia during school vacations.


  • The student is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student whose first language is not English.


For Criterion 2, the student must fit the following:

  • English has been the student’s major language of instruction for a total period of not more than seven years over the period of their education. Schools must sight the student’s overseas school reports to confirm that the language of instruction was not English during this period.

What do you do?

Activities you will do include:

  • writing both short and long responses to texts of many kinds
  • exploring your own ideas in writing about a range of ideas and issues
  • reading and responding critically to Australian media issues
  • listening to a variety of texts and responding to them.
  • writing forum posts, discussing your ideas with other students.
  • attend online lessons and tutorials.

What skills do you need?

Students should be able to read texts and respond in writing at a Year 12 EAL level.
Adult students returning to education or those with interrupted study experiences may gain the necessary skills with intensive practice and support, and should discuss their best study option with a VSV VCE advisor.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • reading and analysing literary texts
  • writing in a range of styles: creative, journalism, communication and analytical
  • analysing ideas and themes in texts and ways other people write
  • listening to different types of texts and responding to questions on those texts.
  • building your vocabulary and developing your essay writing skills.



Students seeking to enrol in EAL at VSV will need to complete and submit an EAL Pre-Enrolment Form with their enrolment application.

You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

David Malouf, Ransom, (Vintage Books), 2010
Stephen Frears, The Queen, (Film) 2006
Cate Kennedy, Like a House on Fire, (Scribe), 2012

Things to think about

Look at the other English courses available at VSV and consider whether you are best suited to English or EAL. English Literature and English Language are also available in Year 12.

VCE EAL is suitable for students who will typically have English language proficiency at a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 4 level or its equivalent.

If you believe you may need more support in developing your English skills, consider completing Foundation English or Year 11 English first.

Things you can do now

Students can get off to a great start over the summer by purchasing and reading or viewing the set texts for Units 3 and 4, EAL. These texts and their details are available in your VSV booklist.

To support your understanding of persuasive language, a useful activity is to read and collect newspaper and magazine articles. A good place to start is to read the newspapers such as The Age, The Australian and The Guardian Australian version. Start with the topics that you enjoy and then progress to the front pages, opinion columns and current news.

You can also make a point of watching Australian current affairs programs on the ABC such as Four Corners, the 7.30 Report and Insiders. Listening to local ABC radio and Radio National programs and podcasts are excellent resources too.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.




Things to have a look at

VCAA Study Design

EAL VCAA Study Design