Stage 2 | Subject Outline | Version control

English Literary Studies Stage 2
Subject outline

Version 4.0 - For teaching in 2024.
Accredited in May 2015 for teaching at Stage 2 from 2017.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Glossary



The group of readers, listeners or viewers that the writer, film-maker, or speaker is addressing. Audience, real and implied, includes an individual, students in the classroom, and the wider community.


The environment in which a text is responded to or created. Context can include the social, historical, and cultural conditions in which a text is responded to and created (the context of culture) or the specific features of its immediate environment (context of situation).


An accepted practice that has developed over time and is generally used and understood, for example, the use of specific structural aspects of texts, such as in report writing with sections for introduction, background, discussion, and recommendations.


The shaping of a text's meaning by the reading of other texts or the interrelationship of texts, such as when an author borrows from or transforms another text or a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. Texts gain meaning through their reference to or evocation of other texts.

Language features

The features of language that support meaning (e.g. sentence structure, vocabulary, punctuation, figurative language, framing, camera angles). These choices vary according to the purpose of a text, subject matter, audience, and communication mode.

Literary text

Literary texts refer to past and present texts across a range of cultural contexts. They are valued for their form and style and are recognised as having enduring or artistic value. All texts in the text list are examples of literary texts. Some texts in the digital media category may also be considered literary texts.


The resources used in the production of texts, including tools and materials (e.g. digital text and the computer, writing and the pen, typewriter).


Specialised language used to refer to technical aspects of the study of English, for example, language used to discuss film or literary study (e.g. mise-en-scène, symbolism, characterisation) or language used to talk about grammatical terms (e.g. ‘sentence’, ‘clause’, ‘conjunction’).


The various processes of communication: listening, speaking, reading/viewing, and writing/creating. Modes are also used to refer to the semiotic (meaning-making) resources associated with these communicative processes (e.g. sound, print, image, gesture).

Multimodal text

Combination of two or more communication modes (e.g. combining print, image, and spoken text in film or computer presentations).


What a reader/viewer brings to a text, or the way in which a reader/viewer is positioned by the author through the text, or how a particular ideology is embedded in a text (e.g. a feminist perspective).

Stylistic features

The ways in which aspects of texts (e.g. words, sentences, images) are arranged and how they affect meaning. Style can distinguish the work of individual authors (e.g. Henry Lawson’s poems) as well as the work of a particular period (e.g. Elizabethan drama), or of a particular text type (e.g. recipes, scientific articles). Examples of stylistic features are narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, juxtaposition, nominalisation, alliteration, metaphor, and lexical choice.

Text types

Examples of text types include: reports, essays, speeches, narratives, recounts, infographics, films, stories, poems, novels, podcasts. These text types can be further classified according to the particular purposes they are designed to achieve (e.g. informational, imaginative, interpretive, analytical, or persuasive).