Course Title: Investigate current issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: HUSO5153

Course Title: Investigate current issues

School: 360T Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4245 - Certificate IV in ESL (Further Study)

Course Contact : Baia Tsakouridou

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4488

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Jane Collins 94.3.16 email:

Melanie Kyle 94.3.16 email:

Caroline McEnroe 94.3.22 email:

Marcelle Damicoucas 94.3.16 email:

Nominal Hours: 50

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 current issues.  The unit also provides the learner with the skills and knowledge necessary to access and use computers for language learning.

This unit is part of a full time integrated academic preparation program. It aims to provide you with the cultural understanding, advanced English language and study skills to participate in further study contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU560 Investigate current issues


1 Explore a current issue of significance in Australia

Performance Criteria:

1.1Identify the issue and why it significant
1.2 State the main facts of the issue
1.3Give an opinion on the issue


2 Explore a current issue of international significance

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify the issue and why is significant
2.2 State the main facts of the issue
2.3 Give an opinion on the issue

Learning Outcomes

There are no specific Learning Outcomes for this course. 

Details of Learning Activities

This unit is part of Certificate IV in ESL (Further Study) which is an integrated program. This means that you will study this unit with several other units on the same day. Your program consists of Face to Face teaching and Directed Study. Your program will have a minimum of 8 hours Directed Study per week. You are not required to attend to complete Directed Study, however you are expected to complete all work given and will at times be required to show evidence that the work has been completed in this unit. This is a very important part of your program and we ask that you do 4-5 hours on your non attendance day and at least 1 hour each evening to cover all the units in the program. An outline of your Directed Study is published each week in the Weekly Program Delivery Plan.

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
• write academic essays 
• 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

Program Dates: Mon 25 June – Fri 30 November 2012

Term Break: Mon 24 September – Sun 7 October 2012

Public holidays: Tue 6 November (Melbourne Cup Day)

Teaching Schedule: This course will be delivered weekly. The times will be outlined in the program delivery plans which are updated each week.

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)
• RMIT Online Systems Information Session

Library Orientation & an RMIT Online Systems Information 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,
  • essays, 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 charter (  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 which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc 

Assessment Tasks

Summative assessments:

  • Argumentative Essay
  • Exposition Essay
  • Employability Skills Project
  • Group oral presentation
  • Current Issues Journal

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

Please note:
Assessments tasks will include other courses (Units of competency) from the program.

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