English Units 3 and 4


English is made up of the following Areas of Study:

In Unit 3 (Semester 1) Reading and creating texts, you’ll read two texts. For one of these texts you’ll write a creative response; for the other, you’ll write an analytical response.

In Analysing argument, you’ll study how the Australian media – from newspapers to internet blogs – influence their audience through words and images. You will learn to analyse media articles in essays.

In Unit 4 (Semester 2) Reading and comparing texts, you will read a novel and view a film. You will respond to these texts through comparative and analytical examination.

In Presenting Argument, you’ll need to research a contemporary issue reported on by the Australian media and present your opinion in a short speech. You may choose to take on a persona for the occasion.

Who is it for?

VCE English Units 3 and 4 is one of the three English subjects you can undertake in order to qualify for a VCE certificate. English is the subject most students enrol in to complete their VCE. You must complete a sequence of English (or Literature or English Language) Units 3 and 4 in order to be eligible for a VCE certificate.

What do you do?

Activities you will engage in include:

  • reading three texts and viewing a film
  • drafting practice pieces and submitting them to teachers for feedback
  • researching contemporary issues reported on by the Australian media
  • analysing other people’s arguments and opinions
  • learning how to present a persuasive speech
  • writing statements of intention for pieces of work you complete.

What skills do you need?

Students need to have and continue to develop analytical skills and reading comprehension skills.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • further analytical skills for both literature and the media
  • persuasive language skills and understanding of the features and conventions for a speech.




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

The course and many supplementary activities are online. Work is completed and submitted online.

You will need to buy four texts for the year, and these are:

  • Like a house on fire, Cate Kennedy
  • I for Isobel, Amy Witting
  • Tracks, Robyn Davidson
  • Into the Wild, Sean Penn

Things to think about

Look at the other English courses available at DECV and consider whether you are best suited to English, Literature or English Language. If you are not sure, speak to a VCE advisor at DECV.

You need to complete at least one of the three English subjects outlined above in order to be eligible for a VCE certificate.

Things you can do now

Purchase and read and view the prescribed texts. In addition to this you should annotate and keep additional notes on each text for your reference.

Having a basic understanding of each text before the start of the school year is vital. If you have not read each of the texts before the start of the year at least once, you will struggle to keep up with the course work and you may not perform as well in the major assessments.

In addition to this, you are advised to conduct additional research on each of the texts, including the historical setting, the author and the key ideas or themes explored by the author.

Keep up to date with current issues in the Australian media, which will keep you informed and should make the Analysing argument and Presenting argument Outcomes more accessible. It is highly recommended that you view news and current affairs from more than one source.

Finally, you should organise the notes and work you have completed for English Units 1 and 2 (Year 11) as these may be useful to you in Units 3 and 4 (Year 12).

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





Things to have a look at

Into the Wild

English Study Design

VCAA Study Design