Course Title: Read and write complex texts for research purposes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: LANG5628

Course Title: Read and write complex texts for research purposes

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

Melanie Kyle 94.3.16 email:

Tim Morris 94.3.16 email:

Melanie Reynolds 94.3.16 email:

Caroline McEnroe 94.3.22 email:

Betty Koklanis 94.3.16 email:

Nominal Hours: 80

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 of competency describes reading and writing performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required by adult learners with language background other than English for further study purposes. The focus of this unit is on reading, notetaking and research writing skills in English and producing a wide range of complex research based texts relevant to study needs and the field of study. This unit is delivered as part of an integrated academic preparation program.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU531 Read and write complex texts for research purposes


1. Analyse a range of complex texts for research purposes

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Select and evaluate complex tests in relation to research purpose
1.2 Use a variety of reading strategies according to purpose for reading academic texts
1.3 Identify main contentions or positions in texts
1.4 Outline evidence provided to support position
1.5 Identify language and other devices used to convey writer’s stance
1.6 Evaluate the positions presented and express an opinion on the topic(s) raised


2. Read and take notes from a range of complex written texts for a study tasks

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Confirm purpose of note-taking
2.2 Use text layout to locate relevant information in complex texts
2.3 Identify discourse markers, structures and expressions used in text organisation
2.4 Use a range of reading strategies to interpret text
2.5 Outline main ideas and supporting details and evaluate points of view presented
2.6 Use a range of strategies to record and synthesise information suited to purpose


3. Produce an extended written text based on research

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Confirm requirements and purpose of an extended written text
3.2 Locate and synthesise complex information and ideas from a range of sources
3.3 Design an outline plan for the text using researched material
3.4 Support point of view with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples
3.5 Develop cohesive text according to plan using connected paragraphs with language appropriate to register


4. Reference resources used in research based on text- use referencing conventions

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify the purposes and conventions of referencing in formal study contexts and in own specific study field
4.2 Locate and record references used
4.3 Organise and insert references according to specified referencing conventions for the specific field of study
4.4 Word process reference list using appropriate formatting


5. Undertake a review of written texts

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Use proofreading and editing processes to review text
5.2 Review text for clarity of content, expression, structure and sequence of ideas
5.3 Check the text meets the requirements of the task

5.4 Seek feedback on the text from a support persons
5.5 Review feedback and edit text accordingly
5.6 Submit final draft as required

Learning Outcomes

The outcomes described in this unit relate to: 

  • The ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings) descriptors for Reading and Writing. They contribute directly to the achievement of ISLPR Reading 3/3+ and Writing 3/3+ 


  • the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) They contribute directly to the achievement of ACSF indicators of Reading and Writing competence at Level 4

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 reading and writing macro skills addressed in the certificate.

Examples of how you will practice and study the units:

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
• read opinion texts

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 2013

Public holidays: Tue 5 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. 

This unit is part of Certificate IV in ESL (Further Study) which is an integrated program.This unit is clustered with VPAU533 Use critical reading and writing skills.


WeekVPAU531 Read and write complex texts for research purposes


22 July

Orientation/admin Welcome Lunch
Diagnostic tasks 

Start Employability Skills Project


29 July

Vocabulary building & practice

Paragraph writing skills: topic sentences & structure



5 August

Preparation for essay assessment: topic sentences, transition signals, exposition essay structure, essay model


12 August

Employability Skills Project


19 August

Preparation for essay writing assessment:
• Paraphrasing
• ‘issues’ language practice


26 August

Exposition essay assessment


2 September



9 September

Texts for research & critical reading and writing skills
Critical & efficient reading skills
Practice critical reading using For & Against text


16 September

Mid semester interviews


23 September

Text types, structure and features
Compare news stories from about current issues topic


10 October

Argumentative Essay assessment task


17 October


Texts for research & critical reading and writing skills


24 October

Reporting verbs & nouns


7 November



14 November

Research Report assessment task


21 November

Research Report in Microsoft Word document


28 November

Group oral presentations (assessment task):


6 December


**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


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

This course is part of a full-time integrated program. 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 notetaking, summaries,essays and research reports.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class both oral and written, 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:

 Assessment Task 1:  Employability Skills Project Due: Weeks 3&4

  • This task involves focusing on employability skills and involves researching future career prospects with online guides such as TAFE or university websites or the Job Guide. It involves preparing and planning an individual oral presentation of 5 minutes outlining why an individual should be selected. The task will also encourage reflection with opportunities for peer and self-evaluation after the presentation.

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 8: Analyse the features of a documentary Due: Weeks 13

  • This task involves students watching a documentary film and independently identifying purpose, audience, structure and tone.

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