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Stage 1 | Subject Outline | Versions control

Essential English Stage 1
Subject outline

Version 4.0 - For teaching in 2024.
Accredited in May 2015 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2015.

Stage 1 | Subject outline | Glossary



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


The environment in which a text is responded to or created. Context can include the general 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, sections for introduction, background, discussion, and recommendations.

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, its subject matter, audience, and communication mode.

Literary text

Literary texts refer to past and contemporary texts across a range of cultural contexts. They are valued for their form and style and are recognised as having enduring or artistic value.


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).


The way 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. Jennings’s stories, 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, play-by-play commentary). 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).