Course Title: Investigate current issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

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 Email:baia.tsakouridou@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

 Melanie Kyle 94.3.16 email: melanie.kyle@rmit.edu.au

Tim Morris 94.3.16 email: tim.morris@rmit.edu.au

Melanie Reynolds 94.3.16 email: melanie.reynolds@rmit.edu.au
 

Caroline McEnroe 94.3.22 email: caroline.mcenroe@rmit.edu.au

Betty Koklanis 94.3.16 email: betty.koklanis@rmit.edu.au

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

none

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

Element:

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

Element:

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:

LISTENING
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

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

READING
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

WRITING
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 22 July – Fri 6 December, 2013

Term Break: Mon 23 September – Sun 6 October 2012

Public holidays: Tue 5 November (Melbourne Cup Day)
 

Teaching Schedule: This unit of competency is taught within an integrated program.This unit is clustered with  VPAU530 Complex Spoken Discourse. The assessment tasks have been put in bold to match the unit of competency. The assessment tasks will also cover other units within the course..

Week               VPAU560 Investigate current issues
1Explore RMIT: campus orientation exercise
Visit Info Corner & collect program brochures
 
2Newspaper media literacy: What is an issue?
Position of newspapers: compare The Age, Herald Sun & The Australian. Current Issues Journal assessment task – model task using newspaper articles from The Age
3Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.
 
4Modelling and further practise for Current Issues Journal assessment task
 
5Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.
 
6Individually selected topic/article & group discussion of current issues
7Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.
8Individually selected topic/article & group discussion of current issues 
9Mid semester interview 
10Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.
11Individually selected topic/article & group discussion of current issues
12Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.
13Current Issues debate preparation
14

Participate in Current Issues Journal assessment task in groups – students bring record sheet & explain a recent news story, including main ideas & key vocabulary.  Current Issues debate preparation

15Current Issues debate Assessment task
16Current Issues
17Self & peer evaluation of range of current issues addressed &
18Workshops



**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)
• 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


References


Other Resources

TEXTS AND EQUIPMENT

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 (http://mams.rmit.edu.au/kh6a3ly2wi2h1.pdf)  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: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=ln1kd66y87rc 


Assessment Tasks

Summative assessments:

Assessment Task 2: Current Issues Journal Due Fortnightly: Weeks 3,5,7,10,12 and 14

  • This is a task which focuses on reading current issues in the Australian media of both Australian and international significance. It is a fortnightly task which involves reading, note taking, summarising, vocabulary and grammar development. The task also involves regular participation in small group and class discussions on the issues presented.


Assessment Task 3: Exposition Essay Due: Week 5

  • This task involves researching using academic texts, note-taking, summarising, synthesising paraphrasing, planning and preparing references using the Harvard system. It requires writing an exposition essay on the topic of the Stolen Generations of 300-500 word range.

 

Assessment Task 7: Argumentative Essay Due: Week 11

  • This task involves researching using academic texts, note-taking, summarising, synthesising paraphrasing, planning and preparing references using the Harvard system. It requires writing an argumentative essay on the topic of compulsory voting of 300-500 word range.


Assessment Task 10 Group Research and Write and Individual Report investigating current issues Due: Week 16

  • This task takes place over several weeks and involves an in depth investigation of a current issue affecting Australia. It involves group research using academic texts and writing an individual report identifying the issue, the key facts and discussing the research. The group research involves group meetings and minute taking and academic research using a variety of text types and summarising.

Assessment Task 11 Research Report – Group Oral Presentation Due: Week 16 and 17

  • This task utilises the research from the report and involves planning and presenting a formal group oral presentation using PowerPoint of 15-20 minutes. The task also provides opportunities for peer assessment and self evaluation.

 

  • 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