Course Title: Investigate issues in the Australian environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2019

Course Code: GEDU6179

Course Title: Investigate issues in the Australian environment

School: 360T Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3403 - Certificate III in EAL (Further Study)

Course Contact: Baia Tsakouridou and Melanie Reynolds

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4488

Course Contact Email:;

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

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 describes the skills and knowledge for learners of English as an additional language to research the key aspects of the physical Australian environment, and to identify and investigate environmental issues.
The unit provides you with an introduction to terminology related to Australian physical features and environmental issues, and the skills and knowledge to research and present information in an oral presentation and a written report.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU22615 Investigate issues in the Australian environment


1. Investigate an environmental issue of significance in Australia

Performance Criteria:


Identify an environmental issue of significance in Australia


Scan and interpret informational texts and note the main aspects of the environmental issue


Analyse the potential impact of the environmental issue


2. Present your research findings to a group

Performance Criteria:


Outline the environmental issue and its potential impact on the community


Describe possible solutions


Use simple cohesive devices to give explanation and express opinion


Use strategies to deliver talk clearly demonstrating awareness of audience


3. Write a report on your research

Performance Criteria:


Plan to write a report on the environmental issue and possible solutions


Select and order information, using appropriate layout


Use appropriate terminology and language


Proofread and correct final draft, with guidance

Learning Outcomes

The outcomes described in this unit relate to:

The ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings) descriptors for Speaking and Listening. They contribute directly to the achievement of Speaking 2+, Listening 2+, Reading 2+/3, Writing 2+/3 and
the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). They contribute directly to the achievement of ACSF indicators of competence in Oral Communication, Reading and Writing at Level 3.

Details of Learning Activities

This unit is part of the Certificate III in EAL (Further Study) which is an integrated program. This means that this unit is studied with LANG5866: Give straightforward oral presentations for study purposes and it is part of Cluster 2. The program consists of Face to Face teaching and Directed Study. The program will have a minimum of 8 hours directed study per week. There will also be some recommended study to be completed, although not compulsory. Attendance is not required during directed study time, however it is  expected that all work given is completed. An outline of the weekly delivery and directed Study is published each week on canvas.

Teaching Schedule




Key Activities


Week 1


 Introduction to course

Teacher to introduce course, topics, assessment tasks and accessing the course via Canvas. Handout Assessment Task 1. Students to read with teacher and choose a topic to research on the Australian environment. 

Class introductions, following template handed out by teacher, in the form of oral presentations. Introduction/body/conclusion. 





Week 2


Presentation skills & Report writing

Read a topic on waste management and take notes to discuss in class and produce a short oral presentation. Students to be guided on presentation skills- sign posting/strategies/language/prepared aids. Use of template to practise giving oral presentations. Students required to write information in three parts with a greeting/summary/body/conclusion.(Taking questions)

Introduce report writing-layout and headings needed to include in final report in assessment tasks. Match headings needed in the report with their meanings. (Canvas quiz) 





Week 3


Presentation skills and Research/note taking

Students to be introduced to the Australian environment and the issues concerning Australia. Class to watch a short program on various issues concerning the Australian environment. Practice to learn the skills to present an environmental topic. Teacher to hand out topics for students to practise giving information. Example of an ideal oral presentation to be given by the teacher. Topics to choose from:

  • handling waste
  • saving water
  • power use
  • pollution
  • recycling (plastics/paper/clothes)

 Skills to do with research, taking notes,  paraphrasing and summarising  for a piece of  writing. In pairs students to write a report incorporating on their chosen topic.






Week 4


Report Writing

Australian Environmental Issue

Skills to do with report reporting- layout and headings, summarising, use of references, to write a successful report  on an Australian environmental issue. Research an Australian environmental issue, (drought/fires), note take and paraphrase the information. Use online plagiarism sites to note authenticity. .

Skills to learn how to summarise successfully and practise summarising. 

Watch ABC documentary "War on Waste" with the students to discuss, take notes, paraphrase and summarise.

Students to work in pairs to deliver an oral presentation on the documentary






Week 5


Assessment Task 1 oral presentation practise

 Report draft

Students to practise oral presentations for Assessment Task 1.  

Peer and self assessment to take place. Review and feedback from the teacher. Draft of reports to be completed for feedback.






Week 6


Report writing and feedback Students to watch a short video on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Take notes - with teacher guidance. Paraphrase the information gathered and summarise the information. Present in report form, using the present tense. Feedback on practice oral presentations. Students to work on improving and changing for submission in week 7.






Week 7


 Submit Assessment Task 1

Oral presentations to begin for Assessment Task 1. Final report due. All students to complete self reflection and feedback on oral presentation and report writing. 






Week 8

Group Oral Presentations

How to work together in a group. What is collaboration? Students to work together to assign roles within the group. Students to identify roles, define the roles and assign the roles. Groups to then discuss in class, the effectiveness of their collaboration. One on one with teacher for feedback may be completed this week. 






Week 9


Presentation and Group work

Practice oral presentation within the group. Students given a topic on an Australian environment issue, to research and present in class. Each student to research and present different parts, using the stages of presenting, body language, sign posting, introducing members of the group and concluding with questions from the audience. Self assessment and peer review in the form of discussion to follow. 





Week 10




Note taking Paraphrasing

Summarising for group oral presentation





Easter Break

18/04 until 26/04

Group work practice. Students to watch an environmental video on an Australian environmental issue to listen, take notes, confer with one another and paraphrase. Compare notes to discuss. Think of possible solutions to the issue.






Week 11



Prepare for assessment task

Students to work on Assessment Task 2, ensuring they have collaborated with the teacher and each other on the topic and roles each member of the group will take. Using information online, in newspapers, on the RMIT database, students will take notes and paraphrase the information gathered. Drafts of written work to be handed in for feedback. Practice summarising and rewriting the information to use in the presentation and report. Feedback on practice oral presentations to be given. Students to adjust and improve presentations.





Week 12


Research an Australian Environmental issue /How to reference

Assessment Task due

Students to continue researching and note taking. Some time in class will involve the Harvard reference style for websites and images. Students to ensure the use of visual aides is appropriately referenced. Research and working assessment task 2 will continue. Students to present draft pieces of their reports for feedback. Students to continue practising to present their research in groups. Note, speech, pronunciation, use of body language, visual aides, sign posting, eye contact and taking questions. Students to present.






Week 13


Research and group work


Collaborations to continue, students to be given time to work together in their groups. All groups to meet with the teacher to discuss progress and/or issues.   By this stage all groups will have worked out the order of presentations and material with appropriate references included in the report. The use and type of visual aides to be checked by the teacher. All groups to begin group presentations. 





Week 14

 Report writing

Presentations to continue if not completed. All other groups to be given feedback and reviews on performance. Upload the report onto Canvas. Evaluation and reflection to be completed by all students in their groups and of each other. 






Week 15ReviewAny groups or students who need to submit other/more information OR resubmit any work will be given this time to complete.  





Week 16Wrap upOne on one feedback and review by teacher on second assessment task.

**The teaching schedule maybe subject to change. Students will be advised via CANVAS and in class should changes occur.

The course will be delivered weekly. The times will be outlined in the weekly 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:

  • Induction Booklet and presentation
  • Explore RMIT activity
  • Orientation to RMIT Libraries

Course Dates: Monday 11 February - Friday 7 June 

Easter Break: Thursday 18 April until Friday  26 April     

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 with microphone (use your own or they can be purchased from the Carlton Library very cheaply)
  • USB (Memory stick)
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) - Laptop (if you have one) 

The teacher will provide handouts and resources during class time. You can locate these resources on Canvas..

Overview of Assessment

This course is delivered as part of a full time intergrated 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 research projects, reports, oral presentation, observation, portfolio of evidence and verbal and written questioning.

Individual research project on an Australian environmental issue.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, 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 manager or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

The Student Charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT University student as well as the responsibilities of the university.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which can be found on the RMIT University website at:;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1

Assessment Tasks

Assessment will take place throughout the course. Your work is assessed on a Competent (C) / Not Yet Competent (NYC) basis – it is not graded. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. There will be individual and group projects completed both in and out of class.

Assessment is ongoing and its purpose is to develop your research, note taking and writing skills. Assistance will be given in redrafting and editing written assessment tasks because developing your ability to identify and correct your own mistakes is an important part of the learning process. It is important that you read the specific elements each assessment task addresses on the cover sheet for each task. At the time of setting assessments you will be given clear guidelines about which course, elements and performance criteria you will need to meet in order to successfully complete the task. Submission dates & deadlines will also be clearly explained.

This program consists of two tasks:

 Task 1:  Individual Research Project- Australian Environment (Week 7)

This task will involve preparing and planning an oral presentation on a researched topic on an Australian Environmental issue. In addition, this task requires a written report on the research gathered. The report will need to be written and submitted along with the assessment task.

Task 2: Group Research Project - Australian Environment (Week 10)

This task will involve preparing and producing a a group oral presentation on a researched topic on an Australian Environmental issue. In addition, this task requires a written report on the research gathered. Each student will need to prepare information that varies to others within the group. The report will be written and submitted individually.

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. To successfully complete this unit you will need to demonstrate that you are competent in each element of the unit/subject on at least two occasions.

You are encouraged to discuss any problems or concerns with your teacher or student co-ordinator. An assessment matrix will be available on myRMIT and Canvas.

Other Information


Your course involves participating in face to face classes. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to successfully complete this course.

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. 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