Stage 2 | Subject Outline | Versions control

Essential English 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 | External assessment | Assessment Type 3: Language Study

Assessment Type 3: Language Study (30%) 

For this assessment type, students complete an independent language study. The focus of study is an understanding of the use of spoken, non-verbal, visual, and/or written language by people in a chosen context beyond the classroom.

Although this is an independent study, teachers may advise and support students in choosing a focus for study as well as to provide a structure for the completion of the study. Teachers may select the context for the class and prepare students with formative activities, or students may choose their own contexts. Students must undertake this study as an individual and not as a shared exercise. Students, in consultation with their teacher, select one of the following contexts for study:

  • workplace, training, or volunteering
  • virtual social networking
  • a recreational or personal interest (e.g. sport, reading)
  • educational/academic (e.g. school)
  • cultural (e.g. language group, festival)
  • the local community
  • a community of interest.

Students focus their study through devising a question or hypothesis about the use of language in the chosen context. They select appropriate language resources to analyse and use as evidence in their study. Students use at least two different language resources. These resources should be selected and evaluated for the ways in which they develop the student’s understanding of the use of language in the selected context.

Context Example focus question Examples of appropriate resources
Workplace, training or volunteering  How is language used for the purpose of persuading people to donate to charity?  Commentaries on recordings, transcripts, or examples of interactions and/or interviews, which may include the student’s voice.

Reflections on specific workplace documents.
Virtual social networking  To what extent does a particular social media site facilitate effective interpersonal communication?  Screen shots from a social networking site including analysis.
Recreational or personal interest (e.g. sport or reading) How do coaches use language to instruct or motivate in a sporting context?

How does a specific author use dialogue to develop the characters in a novel?
Analysis of motivational and instructional speeches and discussions.

Annotated extracts from radio and/or television programs.

Quotes and extracts from the novel to support the hypothesis.

Extracts from interviews with author (e.g. podcast).
Educational/academic (e.g. school) How does the audience expectation influence the language in school publications? Annotated school notices, newsletters, magazines, and websites.
Cultural (e.g. language group, festival)  How can the challenges of learning English for people from linguistically diverse backgrounds be overcome?

How is written, visual, or oral language used at a cultural festival?
Annotations of or commentaries on spoken, written, and/or multimodal texts such as interviews or notes from observations.

Recording and analysis of the student’s own language use.
Reflections on oral storytelling or histories. 
The local community  Are public and commercial signs, posters, and or billboards universally understood or do they rely on specific cultural understandings? Annotated photographs of street signs and posters. 
A community of interest  To what extent is group or individual identity formed or maintained through the language of online multiplayer games?  Screen shots and quotes from a multiplayer online games site. 

The language study requires for students to analyse how the language in the resources used has contributed to answering the question, or proved or disproved the hypothesis.

The study should include:

  • an introduction, describing the context, question, or hypothesis and the selected language resources
  • an analysis of the language in the selected resources and the extent to which that supports or answers the question or hypothesis
  • evidence from the selected resources that supports the analysis
  • a conclusion about the use of language in the chosen context.

The language study should be a maximum of 1500 words if written or 9 minutes if presented in oral form. If presented in multimodal form, the length should be equivalent.

The following specific features of the assessment design criteria for this subject are assessed in the language study:

  • communication — C1 and C2
  • comprehension — Cp2
  • analysis — An1 and An2
  • application — Ap1.