Foundation English Units 1 and 2



Foundation English Units 1 and 2 are made up of the following Areas of Study:

  • reading and viewing texts
  • creating texts
  • listening to and presenting persuasive texts.

Throughout the course, you will be given instruction in the correct use of English grammar and syntax, and will get to use these in interesting and varied contexts.

In Unit 1 (Semester 1), you will read a graphic novel, Persepolis, and watch the film adaptation. You will then write a review arguing which is the better version and use evidence to support your opinion. You will also use your study of Persepolis as inspiration for creating your own short visual narrative. You will learn about the world of work, and build your skills in presenting yourself in the workplace. Finally, you will learn how persuasive speeches are constructed, and will be required to develop a convincing speech of your own based upon a fun topic.

Unit 2 (Semester 2) builds upon the skills you developed in first semester. You will begin Unit 2 by exploring the issue of street art, examining the history of graffiti in Australia and the way it is used today, to develop an argumentative piece in which you argue whether it should be called ‘art’ or ‘vandalism’. You will also read and view a range of texts by and about indigenous Australians, and will develop a creative response. Finally, you will examine the way videogames are constructed, and will complete a number of analytical and creative tasks, including developing a plan for a game of your own.

Who is it for?

Foundation English Unit 1 and 2 is one of the English subjects you can undertake in order to qualify for a VCE certificate. You must complete three English units, which can include Foundation English (VCE English, Literature or English Language) in order to be eligible for a VCE certificate. You must have at least one sequence of a Units 3 and 4 English subject.

This subject will appeal to you if you enjoy reading, watching, or playing books, films/TV and games, and wish to expand your skills in reading critically, thinking about social issues and expressing yourself clearly and creatively.

Foundation English has been developed in order to support students who are beginning at, above, or below the expected level for Year 11. While some students see Foundation English as a valid pathway to study at TAFE, the subject has been designed to allow students to enter mainstream VCE English in Units 3 and 4.

What do you do?

Activities you will engage in include:

  • reading, analysing and reviewing written and visual text
  • creating written and spoken texts for a range of audiences
  • developing skills in analysing and presenting an argument
  • preparing for the world of work.

What skills do you need?

You need to be able to read texts independently, write clearly and fluently and be able to participate in class discussions. If you are returning to education or have interrupted study experiences, you will be able to gain the necessary skills with practice and support.

What skills do you develop?

In this subject you will develop the ability to:

  • read and evaluate texts and form your own interpretations of them
  • support your analysis with textual evidence
  • identify contention, arguments, tone and language devices within persuasive texts
  • compare themes, issues and ideas between texts which explore related subject matter
  • present your own point of view to an audience in an engaging manner
  • write creatively for different mediums, audiences, and purposes.



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

Semester 1:
Persepolis: A Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi, Pantheon Books (United States). You will need to purchase this text. The film version are provided within the course materials.

Semester 2:
You will study poetry and a film relating to indigenous Australians. These are provided within the course materials.

Things to think about

To experience success with Foundation English, it is important to read every day – as much and as widely as possible – and not only what is required within the course. This will help you to strengthen all aspects of your language skills and let you see how other people express themselves when writing.

High-level writing does not end with the written page. Try to become aware of the way your favourite films, TV shows, games and comic books are written, by looking at what is said and what is not said; at how characters are made believable and relatable; and at how the writer works within the medium to fulfil your expectations and to surprise you. It is also important to take notice of current affairs and discuss your ideas with others.

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

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

Things you can do now

You can purchase Persepolis now, and may read it for enjoyment before beginning Unit 1.

We highly recommend that you read and view all texts prior to the school year commencing. You will be able to access a copy of Persepolis and The Final Quarter in the course once you have access to it, but you may wish to obtain your own copy and view it prior to this.

Persepolis (film, 2017), directors Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi

The Final Quarter (documentary film, 2019), director Ian Darling

Read a variety of newspapers (i.e. The Age, The Australian and Herald Sun) to see how the same issue can be approached in different ways

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


Things to have a look at

Understanding Graphic Novels

Learn about the history of graphic novels

Visit the Visual Language Lab to see how we use visual language everyday

Learn how we use visual language everyday

Master the basics of communication

Learn some of the basics of communication