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 memoir 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 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 arguments and opinions put forward by others and examining the language used to do so
  • learning how to present a persuasive speech
  • writing statements of intention for pieces of work you complete.

What skills do you need?

  • reading texts independently and making notes based on your observations about them
  • analysing texts in a variety of forms, including spoken texts
  • writing fluently and clearly.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • reading and evaluating texts and forming your own interpretations of them
  • supporting your analysis with textual evidence
  • identifying contention, arguments, tone and language devices within persuasive texts
  • comparing themes, issues and ideas between texts which explore related subject matter
  • presenting your own point of view to an audience in an engaging manner.




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:

  1. Like a House on Fire, Cate Kennedy
  2. Nine Days, Toni Jordan
  3. Tracks, Robyn Davidson
  4. Charlie’s Country, Rolf de Heer (film)

Things to think about

Look at the other English courses available at VSV and consider whether you are best suited to English or Literature. If you are not sure, speak to a year level coordinator at VSV.

You need to complete at least one of the 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.

You will be able to access a copy of the film “Charlie’s Country” in the course once you have access to it, but you may wish to obtain your own copy and view it prior to this.

Charlie’s Country, (film, 2013), director Rolf de Heer

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

Trailer for Charlie’s Country

Preparing for Units 3 and 4 English at VSV

English Study Design

VCAA Study Design