Home >  Blog >  Digital texts in English

Digital texts in English

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 19 February 2017

The following letter was submitted for possible publication in The Sunday Mail of 12 February 2017 but it did not make it into print. It was in response to an opinion piece in the previous week's edition by the education reporter for The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail.

Digital texts in high school English

Lauren Martyn-Jones is certainly correct in stating that great literature has the capacity to be life changing ("Students are being short-changed in world of SMS keystrokes", Feb 5). She is, however, a little confused about some other aspects of high school English teaching and the NAPLAN tests.

ACARA's NAPLAN tests are intended to assess literacy and numeracy. While the subject areas of English and maths might reasonably be expected to take a leading role, these two capabilities are meant to be developed across the curriculum. And literacy does not just relate to major works of literature.

High school English should have students improve their powers of literacy across a range of text types. Just because a Shakespearean play like Romeo and Juliet and some SMS messages might both be touched on in the same course does not mean that they are ascribed equal worth in the big scheme of things.

I agree with Martyn-Jones that Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a great novel, but if she were seeking directions to assemble a flat-pack furniture item, she would find it no help at all.

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Diving Deep into the Analytical Essay for teachers

The Teacher workshop  information and links will be sent to registered participants on Thursday morning Teachers can view the webinar session Preparing Students for the EA on Saturday morning then participate in our live discussion. Or you can choose to run your own workshops later.  Pre-recorded material will be available f...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 12th October 2020
Venue:   Online
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


SCCC Resource sharing

Andrew Snee and the Senior English staff at  Southern Cross Catholic College would like to share some of the teaching strategies and modelling/scaffolding resources that have been implemented and devised for the demands of general English. From analysing representations of prejudice and alienation in literary texts to creating engaging im...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 17th October 2020
Venue:   Online
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Early Career Conference 2020: Diving Deep into Teaching

This event for teachers in their first five years of teaching and those who are new to the teaching of English will submerge you in a new, colourful, and enchanting world where you can engage with your peers. it is also a 'not to be missed' event for preservice teachers.  This event has been re-scheduled for Saturday 24 Octob...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 24th October 2020
Venue:   Wynnum SHS
Venue Address:   25 Peel Street, MANLY
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Essential English - Community of Practice Event

Essential English is new for everyone in 2020. We have all been busy creating rigorous and engaging programs for our students and guiding them through a period of extraordinary change and disruption. Now we're ready to take some time out for us. Our community of practice event is an opportunity for us to share some of the exciting work we...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 7th November 2020
Venue:   Citipointe Christian College
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


State Conference 2020: Diving Deep

With a heavy heart we announce that due to Covid-19 restrictions, the State Conference will not he held this year.

 

Category:   State Conference
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Sunday 15th August 2021
Venue:   Lourdes Hill School


View all

Latest News

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected