Core concepts

Introducing the core concepts of the NSW English K-10 Syllabus.


Select the concept you want to learn more about. Each concept includes a short video which:

Argument is using persuasion to produce a position or resolution supported by evidence. Argument doesn’t need to be combative, and can build collaboration to solve complex problems.


Argument video (3 minutes 17 seconds)

The composer and responder create the authority over a text. There is always negotiation between the two.


Authority video (2 minutes 39 seconds)

The basic elements of speech, writing and visual language convey meaning when they combine in commonly understood arrangements or patterns. Code and convention help us find meaning in and through texts.

Code and convention

Code and convention video (2 minutes 42 seconds)

To understand context we look beyond the text to consider the world in which it was produced and the worlds of its reception. Different contexts can have an effect on the meanings and values of similar content.


Context video (5 minutes 24 seconds)

Words and images can extend beyond their literal meaning.

Connotation, imagery and symbol

Connotation, imagery and symbol video (6 minutes 8 seconds)

Transcript of Connotation, imagery and symbol

Note – Aboriginal Flag’ by Harold Thomas, 1971. Approved for use by WAM Clothing.

Two-week learning sequences

A two week unit of work on connotation, imagery and symbol that builds student skills for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3.

A construct of verbal and visual statement about a fictional identity. Analysis of characters contribute to our own personal judgements about self, morals and values.


Character video (2 minutes 31 seconds)

Two-week learning sequences

A two week unit of work on character that builds student skills for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3.

Genre is groups of texts that have similarities in form and function. They are not prescribed categories but have developed as the most effective way to achieve a purpose.


The relationships among texts that shape a text’s meaning. Intertextuality is the echoes of other texts that add layers of meaning.


Intertextuality video (3 minutes 29 seconds)

Certain texts that have been designated as highly valued, as they have been declared by experts to have universal and timeless appeal. This does not include the values expressed in a text, but refers specifically to how one can attribute worth to a text in terms of its value.

Literary value

Literary value video (3 minutes 57 seconds)

The communication of a sequence of related events into a story. A narrative is usually structured in such a way as to invite responder involvement. Narrative helps us make sense of our lives.


Narrative video (3 minutes 51 seconds)

Two-week learning sequences

A two week unit of work on narrative that builds student skills for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3.

A lens through which we learn to see the world. Perspective provides a dynamic basis for the relationship between composer, text and responder.


Perspective video (3 minutes 37 seconds)

The position from which the subject matter of a text is designed to be perceived. The writer, speaker or director of the text controls what we see, and how we relate to the situation, character and ideas.

Point of view

Point of view video (4 minutes 2 seconds)

The depiction of a thing, person or idea in texts. All representations carry personal and cultural meanings and have personal and social effects.


Representation video (2 minutes 46 seconds)

Style refers to the characteristic ways the composer choses to express ideas in a variety of modes. Awareness of stylistic devices can support the development of strategies for reading.


Style video (2 minutes 5 seconds)

Theme is a statement about life, arising from the interplay of key elements of the text, that work together in a coherent way to achieve the text’s purpose. Theme differs from the topic or idea addressed by a text, in that theme conveys an attitude or value.


Theme video (2 minutes 52 seconds)

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