While mainstream English students will study Shakespeare and Australian novels, the Essential English students can watch YouTube videos and vlogs.
While mainstream English students will study Shakespeare and Australian novels, the Essential English students can watch YouTube videos and vlogs.

New spin on English too cool for school

ENGLISH students will study DJ playlists and street art in a new senior high school syllabus branded "edu-tainment".

Online games, as well as websites set up by tattoo artists, are listed as "texts'' in the new Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority guidelines, starting next year.

Year 11 and 12 students will not even have to read any books in Essential English - a basic course for students who plan to work straight after high school.

While mainstream English students will study Shakespeare and Australian novels, the Essential English students can watch YouTube videos and vlogs, analyse SMS text messages or interpret Twitter or Facebook posts instead.

The curriculum defines designers, digital storytellers and vlog creators as "writers'', along with novelists, poets and playwrights.

The "texts'' students can study include "non-verbal or visual communication'', including street art and apps.

The “texts’’ students can study include “non-verbal or visual communication’’, including street art and apps.
The “texts’’ students can study include “non-verbal or visual communication’’, including street art and apps.

One assignment task is "an explanation of a DJ's playlist that has been designed for a function or event''. Another is "selling or explicating a website designed to enhance the public image of a popular text producer''.

"Text producers can include, but are not limited to: tattoo artists, authors, film and theatre directors, photographers, musicians, hair and make-up artists, and graphic designers,'' the document states.

Students will also be taught how to write job applications and resumes, and study workplace signage and work-related legislation.

QCAA chief executive Chris Rider said the syllabus "suggests study topics about aspects of popular culture that students will find engaging and relate to''.

State Education Minister Grace Grace said the new syllabus had been designed by experts for the needs of vocational students.

Education academic and former teacher Kevin Donnelly yesterday criticised the new Queensland syllabus as "edu-tainment''.



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