English and Media Studies

Ko te reo te tuakiri – Language is my identity
Ko te reo toku ahrei – Language is my uniqueness
Ko te reo te ora – Language is life

At Kaikorai Valley College all students study English from Year 7 until the end of Year 12. After Year 12 students can then elect if they want to continue in Year 13 up to Scholarship level.

What is English about?

In English we study the use and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing. Learning English encompasses learning the language, learning through the language, and learning about the language. It underpins the teaching and learning of a student’s other subjects.

Understanding, using, and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging with text-based activities, students become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.

Why study English?

Literacy in English gives students access to the understanding, knowledge, and skills they need to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the wider world. To be successful participants, they need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in depth.

By understanding how language works, students are equipped to make appropriate language choices and apply them in a range of contexts. Students learn to deconstruct and critically assess texts in order to understand the power that language has to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives.

The study of New Zealand and world literature contributes to students’ developing sense of identity, their awareness of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and their understanding of the world.

Success in English is fundamental to success across the curriculum. All learning areas (with the possible exception of languages) requires students to receive, process, and present ideas or information using the English language as a medium. English can be studied both as a heritage language and as an additional language.

In both junior and senior English our programmes revolve around two main ideas:

  • developing meaning of ideas or information they receive [listening, reading, viewing]
  • creating meaning for themselves or others [speaking, writing and presenting]

Some highlights of our English programmes are:

  • Speech competitions
  • Writing for publications
  • Creating Radio broadcasts
  • Entering into quizzes and writing competitions
  • Producing short films and media presentations
  • Guided Reading programmes

Media Studies

Media Studies is a natural offshoot of studying English. Many of the skills learnt in English provide a great foundation for achieving well in this subject. At Kaikorai Valley College Media Studies is offered as a full NCEA course in Year 12 and 13.

The term media as used in this subject means communications and entertainments including:

  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Film
  • Magazines
  • Advertising

What is studied?

Students learn to look at media audiences and how they respond and who makes and owns the media. What are these people’s intentions?

The characteristics of various media are examined along with the techniques used to create them.

How things are represented in the media is an important area of study for students who need to be aware of how accurately people, places and events are portrayed in our society.

For most students making media products such as short films, magazines, web pages or newspaper pages are the most enjoyable part of the course. Students use this subject to go on to tertiary courses such as journalism. Some ex-students have made successful careers in movie making, radio announcing and television reporting.