Course Title: Examine current issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: HUSO5211

Course Title: Examine current issues

School: 360T Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3311 - Certificate III in EAL (Access)

Course Contact : Baia Tsakouridou

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4488

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


Jennifer Chamberlain 94.3.23 email:

Nominal Hours: 55

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit develops skills of learners to investigate a range of local and international  current issues. 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21464 Examine current issues


1 Discuss a current issue of local or international significance

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Select a current issue of local or international significance
1.2 Outline the main facts of the selected issue
1.3 Give and respond to opinions on the issue
1.4 Use conversation strategies to participate effective


2 Locate information on a current issue in texts

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Scan sources of text information on a current issue
2.2 Outline the main facts of the issue
2.3 Outline supporting information or examples.


3 Write simple text on investigation of a current issue

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Confirm audience and purpose for simple text
3.2 Locate, select and sequence relevant information
3.3 Outline issue and main supporting information in a series of short sentences
3.4 Use appropriate vocabulary and grammar to convey meaning
3.5 Proofread and correct final draft

Learning Outcomes

This unit applies to learners wishing to develop their language the skills and knowledge to explore and engage with current issues.

The outcomes described in this unit relate to the Performance Criteria from the four Elements the ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings)  They contribute directly to the achievement of ISLPR Listening 2, Speaking 2, Reading 2 and Writing 2.

They contribute directly to the achievement of ACSF (Australian Core Skills Framework)  Indicators at Level 2.


Details of Learning Activities

This unit is part of Certificate III  EAL (Access) which is an integrated program.

This unit in part covers the all of the macro skills addressed in the certificate.

Examples of how you will practice and study the units:

You will:
• listen to a range of audio and film and documentary texts
• listen to oral presentations & conversations

• listen and take notes from guest speaker presentations

You will:
• work in pairs and in small groups
• give a formal oral presentation
• take part in formal and informal discussions

You are encouraged to read a wide range of texts relevant to the study context. You will:
• read, analyse and review complex texts for research purposes
• read current issues texts
• study items in the news every week and compare television and newspaper news

In a variety of writing activities, you will improve your sentence structure and learn how to use different writing styles. This will include formal letters, course applications, essays, and short reports. You will:
• do a research project
• take notes from a range of complex texts
• learn to locate and record references used
• reflect on issues and your own learning
• learn about research and report writing
• learn to plan, draft and proofread your work.
• construct formatted texts for study purposes
• become familiar with academic discourse
The revision of important grammatical structures will be incorporated into each activity.

Teaching Schedule

This program is of 18 weeks duration. The week one is induction week.

 Program Dates: 10 - 14 February: Induction Week
17 February - 20 June, 2014
Public Holiday
Labour Day 10 March,2014
Good Friday 18 April, 2014
ANZAC Day 25 April, 2014

Mid Semester Break
18 April - 25 April, 2014

 Teaching Schedule: This unit of competency is taught within an integrated program.

Week               VU21464  Investigate current issues
1Explore RMIT: campus orientation exercise
Diagnostic guide to skillls

Newspaper media literacy: What is an issue?
Comparing different sources of news, The Age, Herald Sun & The Australian.Look at a newspaper article to examine the structure of features and reading to locate informationParagraph writing skills: topic sentences & structure


Reading a news article to locate information. Summarizing main facts and important information

Looking at skimming and scanning techniques for reading

4Modelling summarizing information for presenting to class and talking about discourse structures appropriate for giving an opinion, agreeing and disagreeing.

In  groups –  explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.

Writing Skills
 Preparation for
• Paraphrasing


Discussing a specific Topic, selecting vocabulary and giving background and details on topic. Group discussions and evaluation of issue. Appropriate idiomatic language and social relevance.


Comparing information sources on the same issue to look at modifications of meaning and intended audience.


 Assessment Tasks: Evaluating a information text on a current issue

9Model of presentation on a current issue, appropriate feedback and discussion strategies as lead in for assessment over weeks 11-14

Assessment task: Analysing an information text through presentation in class.

 In groups producing an individual review of a news article as a discussion topic in class

11Continue with individual reviews of news articles and group discussions

Continue with individual reviews as evidence for assessment


Continue with individual reviews as evidence for assessment

14ASSESSMENT TASK: Writing a review of the issue researched for the class presentations
15Listening to a presentation on a current issue to look at language used, appropriate question forms and discourse strategies to present different opinion.
16Using appropriate language to discuss for and against to give opinions on a current issue
17Using approriate writing strategies to write paragraphs for and against on current issues to express opinion

**The teaching schedule maybe subject to change. Students will be advised via Blackboard and in class should changes occur.Your program is made up of:

• Orientation
• Learning activities
• Mid semester review
• Guest speakers
• Excursions
• Exit review

All students will be inducted. The induction includes:
• Program Guide & Student Diary
• Student Rights and Responsibilities
• Explore RMIT ( an orientation to the university and its services)
• Orientation to RMIT Libraries (library tour & on line catalogue introduction)

Library Orientation  Session will be scheduled during the first two weeks of your program. Information about student services, rights and responsibilities is contained in your student diary.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


There are no set texts in this course, but it is recommended that you bring:

• English-English dictionary (we ask that you do not use a translation dictionary)
• Thesaurus
• Display folder with plastic sleeves
• Highlighter pens
• Notebook or loose leaf paper
• Headphones (use your own or they can be purchased from the Carlton Library very cheaply)
• USB (Memory stick)

Overview of Assessment

You must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of the competencies in order to be deemed competent. Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks.
 You may be assessed by:

  •  participation in group discussion,
  • summaries and note taking, research reports
  • oral presentations.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester, in both oral and written form, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment policy summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your courses assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures see

Assessment Tasks

Summative assessments:

Assessment Task 8: Current Issues Week 8

  • This is a task which focuses on reading about a current issue in the Australian media of either Australian or international significance to show an understanding of the main facts and  evidence supporting these facts. 

Assessment Task  13: Week 14

  • This task involves researching a current issue and presenting and discussing the information in class. This assessment will be carried out in small groups over weeks 10 to 14 and will also involve a written summary of the issue due in week 14.


Formative assessments: ongoing observations, summaries and review of student work

All Assessment tasks should be submitted by the deadline. If an extension is required you must ask your teacher for one before the due date.

Assessment Matrix

Each assessment cover sheet clearly outlines the competencies being addressed in the task in relation to performance criteria. The sum of assessment tasks will cover all units and their elements over a range of occasions. You will be given opportunities to demonstrate competency in a variety of ways throughout the program. You are encouraged to discuss any problems or concerns with your teacher or student co-ordinator. An assessment matrix will be available on myRMIT

Course Overview: Access Course Overview