Suggested Year 11/12 Oral Presentation Topics for 2017

Persuasive Speech Topics 2

Are you having trouble choosing a topic to present for your Oral Presentation in English for Years 11/12?

These are Suggested Topics Only – there may be more issues to consider closer to the date of the SAC:

  1. Is the ‘no jab no pay’ rule regarding child inoculation a fair rule set by the Federal Government?
  2. Should we ban greyhound racing in all States of Australia?
  3. The humanitarian crisis in Syria, should Australia take more refugees?
  4.  Why are children still abused and neglected in care in Australia today?
  5.  Do we need off-shore detention centres for refugees or is there an alternative?
  6.  Why is gender inequality still an issue in the world today?
  7.  What are the implications for Australia in electing Trump as President of the US?
  8.  How should we stop vicious thugs like The Apex Gang from terrorizing Victorians?
  9.  Is climate change a hoax or real?
  10.  Why are Indigenous Australians classified like people from a third-world country?
  11.  Should trophy hunting of animals in Africa be banned?
  12.  Is Australia’s border security policy justified?
  13. Is youth detention a growing problem in Australia and what are the solutions?
  14. What is the best solution to make our beaches safer from shark attacks?
  15.  Why is family violence still on the rise in Australia?
  16.  What are the causes and effects of racism in Australia?
  17.  Should we recognize gay marriage in Australia?
  18.  Should Australia have more renewable energy resources for the future?
  19.  What are we doing to reduce youth intoxication of alcohol in Australia?
  20.  Should sports betting advertising be allowed on Australian TV and sports arenas?

Tips on Oral Presentations for English Years 9-12

 JFK Giving Speech

A few tips on writing your speech:

  • Have a CAPTIVATING introduction sentence; use a short, clear and powerful sentence. You can even ask a rhetorical question of your audience to make them think right at the start.
  • RELATE to your audience so that it keeps them interested so they actually WANT to listen.
  • If you are taking on a persona, firstly study and UNDERSTAND your character. (A persona is how you present your speech, ie. in a friendly voice, a business type strictly formal speech or using lots of colloquial phrases).
  • Don’t forget your persuasive techniques. Use repetition and rhetorical questions, emotive language and inclusive language.
  • Remember that you are writing a SPEECH, not an essay. Instill your oral with emotion, varied tone and sentence lengths.

A few tips on your performance:

Memorise your speech

Always remember that practice makes perfect. Practice as much as possible; in front of anyone and everyone including yourself (use a mirror). Keep practicing until you can recite it.

As for cue cards, use dot points. Don’t just copy and paste whole sentences onto cue cards or else you’ll rely on them too much. Not to mention that it’ll be hard finding out where you are in the middle of your speech. Use “trigger words” so that if you forget your next point, you have something there.

Use your Powerpoint presentation to best advantage. Keep the images relevant to your speech. Have the images not too “busy” so that the audience are looking attentively at the screen and forget to listen to your speech. Make sure the presentation is on mouse click to the next slide or timed so you don’t have to fiddle around with the computer, but remember to keep talking.

But most importantly, if you mess up, keep going. Even if you screw up a word or suddenly forget your next point, just take a breath, correct yourself, and keep going. Do not giggle. If your friends make you laugh, don’t look at them.

Control your voice

Do not be monotone. Give it some energy; be pumped but not “I-just-downed-5-cans-of-Red Bull” pumped. Give it as much energy as it is appropriate for your speech. As you transition through various intense emotions such as anger, happiness and shock, your performance should reflect it. This is achieved in both your tone and your body language (moving around, not jumping around as that will distract from what you are trying to say).

Speak as if you believe in your contention – with passion. If you sound confident, then your audience will think, ‘wow, they sure know what they’re talking about’. Remember, confidence is the key.

Don’t rush through your speech and speak at a million kilometers an hour – or even worse; skipping half of your speech because you just want to get the hell out of there. Also, speak so that the teacher can actually hear you. More likely than not, they’ll be sitting somewhere near the back of the room. Don’t be “too quiet” master the art/power of projecting your voice. It actually does make a huge difference.

Be aware of your actions

Don’t just stand like a statue in one spot. Think about real life – do you know anyone that stands completely and utterly still when talking to you? Make sure you look around the room; you’re addressing everyone, not just one person. Don’t stare at your teacher; it freaks them out. You don’t even have to look at a specific place. Start off looking at the back wall… then as you go through the speech, naturally turn from one back corner of the room to the other. Also, try not to look down because it will make you mumble and be hard to understand or hear. Don’t try to look at your cue cards while they’re right up next to your body. Move it out when you need to have a GLANCE at them then go back to the audience.

Always make sure that you face the audience.

Use some natural hand gestures they don’t hurt either!

Take some long, deep breaths before you go on and tell yourself that you can do it!

How to Effectively Annotate Texts

 Image result for pictures of writing booksWhy Annotate Your Texts in Studying English?

Annotating texts is a powerful step in getting to know your text and optimising your essay responses. Keep in mind as a reader and annotator 2 important questions:

  1. “What is the author saying?
  2. How are they constructing their meaning/values in their text?”

Listed below are some helpful tips in learning how to annotate:

A Definition: To annotate means to add notes to a text where you provide extra comments or explanations (usually in the margins of the book).

Break up the text by using post flags to distinguish sections or chapters

Some texts are large and sections or chapters are not easy to recognise but a good way to identify the sections is to use post flags to break up the text. This will make scanning the book much easier later when you are searching for a specific passage for an essay.

Think of your text as a colouring book

One way is to use different coloured highlighters for different themes. Think of it as creating a trail for you to follow throughout the book. If you don’t like using highlighters, another simple way is to use coloured post flags to highlight certain pages where you can underline the themes with explanations at the top of the page.

Circle new vocabulary

Look it up and then write their definitions next to the word. Using higher level metalanguage in your essays is going to help to gain better marks.

Write notes in the margins or at the top of pages

Here you can summarise the chapters at the top of the page and then other significant points of a passage as you read through the text.

What are the best items to annotate?

  • Character descriptions & dialogues significant to the plot/character development
  • Historical, cultural, social and natural contexts relevant to understanding the text
  • Structure of the text, narrative voice/viewpoint, implications for the plot & characters
  • Themes, motifs & symbols that are connected to characters & plot and how these represent ideas or concepts that show the author’s values and meaning
  • Literary devices such as metaphors, similes and foreshadowing that show how the author constructs meaning and structure of the text
  • Plot changes, major events and how they affect characters and meaning of the text


Mainstream English Curriculum for Year 12 Students in 2017


Unit 4, Area of Study 1, Reading and Comparing Texts

For those students studying Year 12 English in 2017 for the first time the new curriculum does not include a study of Context in Unit 3, Area of Study 2, Creating and Presenting.  This context assessment now consists of studying a pair of texts from the VCAA’s Text List 2 in Unit 4, Area of Study 1, Reading and Comparing Texts.  In the SAC and the final exam assessment you are required to write an analytical response to a pair of texts, comparing their presentation of ideas, issues and themes.

List 2 from the VCAA’s Text List Pairs is below:

Pair 1 = Non-Fiction Text = Tracks, by Robyn Davidson & Multimodal Text – Film = Into the Wild, Sean Penn (director)

Pair 2 = Multimodal Text – Film =  Invictus, Clint Eastwood (director) & Novel = Ransom, by David Malouf

Pair 3 = Non-Fiction Text = Stasiland, by Anna Funder & Novel = Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

Pair 4 = Non-Fiction Text = Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home, by Kent & Lemer MacCarter & Novel = The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri

Pair 5 = Play = The Crucible, by Arthur Miller & Novel = Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks

Pair 6 = Play = Bombshells, by Joanna Murray-Smith & Novel = The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus, by Margaret Atwood

Pair 7 = Play = Black Diggers, by Tom Wright & Novel = The Longest Memory, by Fred D’Aguiar

Pair 8 = Non-Fiction Text= I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb & Multimodal Text – Film = Made in Dagenham, Nigel Cole (director)

Comparative Texts Summary Text Features

Right from the start when you read and/or watch your set text for comparison it is a good idea to construct a comparative list that summarises the main similarities and differences in your texts.  The pair of texts may have a number of shared ideas, issues and themes but it may also have different settings, contexts, variations in the plot, characters, narrative point of view, language and obvious differences in form and genre for example between a film and a non-fiction text.

Here is a simple comparative list that you can start with to develop your pair of texts main similarities and differences:

Text Features for Both Text 1 & Text 2

1.             Setting & Context

2.             Main Characters & their Challenges & Choices

3.             Text Features & Narrative Structure & Voice

4.             Ideas, Issues & Themes

5.             Different Perspectives & Views

6.             Author’s Message & Author’s Construction of Meaning

7.             Conclusions Drawn by the Authors & Characters in their Endings