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Listed under:  Language  >  Text types  >  Persuasive texts  >  Discussions (Texts)

Evolving English: the role of social media

How many times have you heard teenagers berated for using the term 'like'? Yet this term has existed at least since 1586 when the term, 'Yon man is like out of his mind' was written into history. The truth is, our language is constantly evolving, with new words added, others dying off and some resurfacing again. In this ...

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Portraying the Exxon Valdez oil spill, 19 years on

Ever heard the phrase 'there are two sides to every story'? While some texts might seem to present both sides of the story, close analysis can often reveal otherwise. This clip from Foreign Correspondent explores some arguments about the after-effects of one of the world's worst oil-spills. The spill occurred in 1989 when ...

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The climate change debate

Climate change is a hot topic. Watch this clip to see examples of how some well-known Australians use language and persuasive techniques in a very public Q&A panel discussion on the issue.

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Books as a source of debate

Imagine a world destroyed by cataclysm, where you were left to wander through an ash-coated landscape populated by thieves, murderers and even cannibals. That's the vision offered by Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel 'The road'. Dystopian fiction can often be bleak and pessimistic in terms of the view of humanity it offers readers. ...

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Coral bleaching: solving the scientific puzzle

Scientist Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg describes his work as one of solving mysteries and puzzles. In the early 1980s, samples of bleached corals came from around the world, causing Dr Hoegh-Guldberg to question the cause of the problem. Follow his investigation as he puts pieces of the puzzle together. Find out about the problems ...

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The Kyoto Protocol: exploring a debate

Climate change remains a hot topic in Australia. Different people express various and often opposing viewpoints about how best to address climate change. As you watch this clip from 2007, explore the debate surrounding the Kyoto Protocol and practise analysing speakers' arguments.

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Redefining marriage: analysing an argument

Why do people get married? Around the world, some people marry for love while others marry for social or pragmatic reasons, including economic ones. In this clip, filmed in 1973, explore the arguments of leading anthropologist Dr Margaret Mead as she challenges many of the ideas about marriage that were current at the time.

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Humans: will science and technology change us?

Human evolution has produced the most powerful and resourceful species on Earth. What makes us human and what might we be like in the future? Through different types of representation this video traces how scientific and technological developments in the past have influenced what it means to be human now. Will emerging ...

Assessment resource

Improve our town: arguments: assessment

Test your understanding of the arguments concerning a community issue. Help a local council decide on a development proposal. Determine whether the best use of a demolition site in the centre of town will be for a park or for a mall. Talk to people in the local community to find out their opinions. Restate the reasons given ...


Discussion booklet - 'White Australia - to-day's dilemma', 1957

This is the cover of a 16-page booklet titled 'White Australia - to-day's dilemma', an issue of Current Affairs Bulletin (CAB) edited by J L J Wilson. The booklet discusses the White Australia policy, which was in place at the time. It was published by the Department of Tutorial Classes at the University of Sydney and is ...


Discussion booklet - 'White Australia - reform?', 1964

This is the cover of a 16-page booklet titled 'White Australia - reform?', an issue of Current Affairs Bulletin. It discusses the White Australia policy, which was then in the process of being overturned. It was published by the Department of Tutorial Classes at the University of Sydney and is dated 6 July 1964. It now ...


Inanimate Alice suggested activities: game play

This is a one-page document with suggested activities for students and relates to 'Game play', the sixth 'Alice in Australia' photo story. Students investigate the popularity of computer games in the class and have a discussion and debate about their value. They are also encouraged to explore a range of websites to further ...

Teacher resource

Speaking and listening map of development

This is a description of seven phases in student development of the speaking and listening modes - emergent, beginning, early, exploratory, consolidating, proficient and advanced. Part of the internationally recognised ‘First Steps’ literacy program, the map is intended to help teachers chart students’ progress in speaking ...

Teacher resource

Speaking and listening resource book

This is a detailed resource book that supports teachers in understanding and teaching speaking and listening. Part of the internationally recognised ‘First Steps’ literacy program and a companion resource for the ‘Speaking and listening map of development’, its focus is on: different forms of spoken language; speaking and ...

Teacher resource

Genetically modified crops - yes or no?

This is a unit of work for teachers about the cases for and against genetically modified plants in Australia. It also includes intellectual property (IP) concepts about plant breeder's rights and the benefit to society. The resource has three main sections: Classroom unit - including an overview, the learning objectives ...

Teacher resource


This is a unit of work designed to help students investigate and understand how species interact with each other in an ecosystem. Students examine interactions between the biological and physical aspects of the environment, including possible changes in population numbers, which ultimately cause a change in the wider ecosystem. ...

Teacher resource

Doing science investigations: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide that provides an overview of lessons covering the Science Inquiry Skills strand of the Australian Curriculum: Science for years 7 to 10. It includes worksheets and assessment suggestions. The resource supports teachers to enable students develop the skills necessary to complete their own open-ended ...


Doing science investigations: student guide

This is a student guide that contains information and hands-on inquiry activities for the Science Inquiry Skills strand of the Australian Curriculum: Science for years 7 to 10. It includes scaffolding in the form of worksheets to support the choice of investigation question and planning, conducting and evaluating a student ...

Teacher resource

Do it yourself - adapting science lessons to an inquiry-based approach: teacher guide

This is a professional learning module for teachers that provides a step-by-step guide by which they can adapt their existing teaching resources towards a more inquiry-based approach. The resource contains a template that teachers can use in their process of adaptation. It also contains examples of traditional resources ...

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Internet filters: a good idea?

Have you ever been confronted with something you didn't want to see while surfing the internet? When governments propose laws to filter the internet they can cause quite a stir, as shown in this clip from 2010. Many people think it's a great idea that will protect children, while others argue that such censorship limits ...