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NSW Syllabuses

Content and the use of terminology

Responding and composing

In the English K–10 Syllabus, the study of English is an active pursuit where students use language to learn about language. The key processes of responding to and composing texts are central to students using language purposefully and meaningfully and engaging with a wide range of texts.

'Responding' is the activity that occurs as students read, listen to or view texts. It encompasses the personal and intellectual connection a student makes with texts. It also recognises that students and the texts to which they respond reflect social contexts. Responding typically involves:

  • shaping and arranging textual elements to explore and express ideas, emotions and values
  • identifying, comprehending, selecting, articulating, imagining, critically analysing and evaluating.

In this syllabus, 'composing' is the activity that occurs as students produce written, spoken or visual texts. Composing typically involves:

  • shaping, making and arranging textual elements to explore and express ideas, emotions and values
  • processes of imagining, drafting, appraising, reflecting and refining
  • knowledge, understanding and use of the language forms, features and structures of texts.

As students undertake the key processes of responding to and composing texts in their study of English, they undertake a number of other integrated and concurrent processes which also highlight the importance of students as active users and learners of language. The processes in this syllabus are intended to emphasise student agency through students developing and applying knowledge and understanding of context and language forms and features, and reflecting on their learning. In addition to the key processes of responding and composing, these processes include:

  • engaging personally with texts
  • developing and applying contextual knowledge
  • understanding and applying knowledge of language forms and features.

The key processes also help to organise and emphasise content in this syllabus within and across stages of learning.

Use of terminology

The generic terms 'composer' and 'compose' can be used in preference to 'author' and 'create' as used in the Australian curriculum. The use of the terms 'composer' and 'compose' does not preclude use of specific nomenclature such as 'poet', 'writer', 'novelist' or 'playwright' by teachers and students where appropriate.