See Sample Responses: VCAA English Language Exams
According to the assessors, it is important to set up a “framework” to guide the discussion. They suggest including context, register and social purpose in the introduction. It is acknowledged that meaning, and the text’s various social purposes – some more obvious than others – must guide the discussion. So, too, must a broad focus on the “framework” and the concepts.
You will be assessed on how well you contextualise the factors. There is no space for repetition. You must set up your paragraphs smartly in order to write efficiently – minimising repetition and avoiding a dictionary-style listing of techniques.
You must also aim for lexical density. You must curtail your explanations and aim for brevity. Keep your sentences short; analytical in focus and tied to the meaning of the text.
Generally the more you isolate linguistic features and subsystems, the more generic your discussion.
Rule of thumb
- In the following commentaries, my main aim is to analyse the text as precisely as possible, based on contextual factors, discourse features and the various social purposes.
- Be guided by meaning – not subsystems.
- You must prioritise the linguistic features that are critical to the author’s social purpose and the text’s context and discourse .
- I tend to split the text in two parts: and work with two main themes.
Or, if there are two speakers, speaker 1 and speaker 2. This is because the social purpose and therefore politeness conventions and prosodics and stylistic features will differ for each speaker.
- For spoken texts, I tend to do more on prosodics (woven throughout the discussion) and less on syntax. (Much also depends upon the formality. For written texts, style is important – both at a lexical and a syntactic level.
- See a range of commentaries (formal/informal/spoken/written)
- Return to our Welcome Page: Overview of English Works Notes and Resources
- Return to: Essays and contemporary examples 2020 for language variation