Course Title: Examine current issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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 9925 9476 51.2.002  email:

Angela Borrelli 9925 4016  51.2.002

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 effectively


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 17 weeks duration. The week one is induction week.

Program Dates: 9 February - 5 June, 2015
Public Holiday
Labour Day 9 March,2015
Good Friday 18 April, 2015


Mid Semester Break
2 April - 10 April, 2015
  Teaching Schedule: This unit of competency is clustered with  VU21465 Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions(LANG5816).

Week               VU21464  Investigate current issues Element elements
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

 1 2,3

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

Looking at skimming and scanning techniques for reading

 2 2,3
4Modelling summarizing information for presenting to class and talking about discourse structures appropriate for giving an opinion, agreeing and disagreeing. 1,2 1

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

Writing Skills
 Preparation for
• Paraphrasing

 1,2 1,3

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.

 1,2 1,3

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

 1,2 2


 Mid semester Interviews 


Locate information and write on a current issue


 1  2,3
10Analysing and information text and individually presenting in class as a discussion 1,2 1,3

Assessment Task 9: Current Issues - Lucky Miles

Continue with individual reviews as evidence for portfolio. Summarize information in groups

 1,2 1,2,3

Continue with individual reviews as evidence for portfolio, looking at relevant vocabulary and writing summaries of issues

 2 2,3
14Assessment Task 11 Examine Current Issues in Newspapers 1,2 1,2,3
15Assessment task 13 Current Issues journal
 1 1,2,3

Reviewing writing skills to present opinions


 1 1,2,3
17 Language review of vocabulary and relevant grammar to express ideas 1 3

Note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availabiltiy of speakers and resources.


• 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 9: Current Issues - Lucky Miles Due Week 11

  • Watch an Australian film and answer questions about the information, language and issues in the film.

Assessment Task 11 Examine Current Issues in Newspapers: Due Week14

  • Locate, read and discuss current issues. Write a response to the issues.

Assessment task 13 Current Issues journal: Due Week 15

  • Collate a portfolio response to current issues examined throughout course and discussed in class.


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.

Cover Sheets
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of work submitted in hardcopy. The signed cover sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications

 All assessment tasks including electronically recorded student work will be kept by the University for student feedback and to meet government requirements.

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

Other Information

Cover sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of work submitted in hardcopy. The signed cover sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required leaning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain competency.

Student Progress

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.

Student program policy

You will be asked to attend mid-semester and end of semester interviews with relevant teachers and Program Co-ordinator. The interviews are an important part of giving you feedback and supporting you through your program by monitoring your academic progress

Special consideration policy (Late submissions)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

Special consideration is an assessment adjustment for unexpected circumstances that are outside your control, which:
• have a significant adverse impact on your performance in assessment or
• prevent you from attempting or submitting the assessment. Special Consideration

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the Academic Integrity and Plagiarism policy

Course Overview: Access Course Overview