Casie Horton


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In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structures, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.

AREA OF STUDY: Belonging

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of belonging is represented in and through texts.

Perceptions and ideas of belonging, or of not belonging, vary. These perceptions are shaped within personal, cultural, historical and social contexts. A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places, groups, communities and the larger world. Within this Area of Study, students may consider aspects of belonging in terms of experiences and notions of identity, relationships, acceptance and understanding.

Texts explore many aspects of belonging, including the potential of the individual to enrich or challenge a community or group. They may reflect the way attitudes to belonging are modified over time. Texts may also represent choices not to belong, or barriers which prevent belonging.

Perceptions and ideas of belonging in texts can be constructed through a variety of language modes, forms, features and structures. In engaging with the text, a responder may experience and understand the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to, or exclusion from the text and the world it represents. This engagement may be influenced by the different ways perspectives are given voice in or are absent from a text.

In their responses and compositions students examine, question, and reflect and speculate on:

  • how the concept of belonging is conveyed through the representations of people, relationships, ideas, places, events, and societies that they encounter in the prescribed text and texts of their own choosing related to the Area of Study
  • assumptions underlying various representations of the concept of belonging
  • how the composer’s choice of language modes, forms, features and structures shapes and is shaped by a sense of belonging
  • their own experiences of belonging, in a variety of contexts
  • the ways in which they perceive the world through texts
  • the ways in which exploring the concept and significance of belonging may broaden and deepen their understanding of themselves and their world.


Exploring the meaning of Belonging is the first step to broaden your understanding of it. Here are some activities to help you:

a) Brainstorm all the words that you can think of that relate to Belonging. Try to think outside the square. (Eg. Acceptance, group, affiliation, love, etc.)
b) With the words, define Belonging.
c) Compare it with the dictionary.
d) What does Belonging mean to you?
e) Do all the above again but in the concept of Not Belonging.

2. Link each of these terms with Belonging/Not Belonging:
a) Personal
b) Public identity (how you are seen)
c) Gender
d) Group
e) Relationship
f) Community
g) Place
h) Culture
i) History
j) Understanding
k) Acceptance
l) Alienation
m) Absence

Course content

  • Introduction to the concept

  • Related Text #1 - Emily Dickinson

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