Activity Introduction

CA-Boat-Joel-van-Houdt-photoframe2Quick summary: Students examine issues associated with people seeking asylum and offshore detention policies by studying the expository language and visual choices in media texts. Using a variety of thinking and analytical tools, students refine their knowledge and skills by analysing, evaluating and comparing expository language and visual choices in texts. In doing so, students enhance and deepen their understanding of the connection between offshore detention policies, people seeking asylum and the power of visual, written and spoken language to communicate and persuade on these issues.

CA-Title-Treatment-ReversalChasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies through the personal accounts of people seeking asylum and whistleblowers who tried to work within the system. To watch the documentary, stream it on Kanopy and Clickview or purchase the DVD at the ATOM Education Shop.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand and be able to analyse the way language, structural, stylistic and visual choices work in representing and shaping points of view and influencing audiences.
  • Students will enhance their comparative skills to understand how different media texts represent and report issues in different ways and elicit different responses from audiences.
  • Students will be able to analyse and make evaluative judgements about the effectiveness of media texts in positioning audiences about issues.

21st Century skills:

ca expository voices skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 11 English:

Investigate the representation of ideas, attitudes and voices in texts including:

  • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences (ACEEN024)
  • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices, for example, emphasis, emotive language and imagery in the construction of argument (ACEEN025)

Analyse and evaluate how and why responses to texts vary through:

  • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented, for example, how events are reported differently in the media (ACEEN029)

Reflect on their own and others’ texts by:

  • evaluating the effectiveness of texts in representing ideas, attitudes and voices (ACEEN039)
  • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers (ACEEN040)

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority:

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of work: Voices of Chasing Asylum – access the unit overview here.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion and assess student work.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Asylum, refugee, political influence, visual language, media, exposition, perspectives.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

CA-Cambodia-Tim-Deagle-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This Finding Out lesson is designed to engage students with expository media texts and the visual, written and spoken language and communication choices used to inform and influence audiences about seeking asylum in Australia, as well as the related government policies. By critically examining the use of visual, written and spoken choices in specific expository media texts, students will deepen their understanding of how language can be used to inform and shape audience responses to issues and experiences surrounding refugees and seeking asylum.

Teacher content information: All over the world, the issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is heavily politicised one. Across a range of contemporary and historical media texts, a wide spectrum of perspectives and voices exist. Australia has a long history of migration resulting in a nation of diverse ethnicities and cultural and religious backgrounds. The reasons for movement of p

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" - Peter Drucker

A Brief Overview of Policy

Watch the following clips, then observe and interpret what you see and hear. Use the 'See, Think, Wonder' visible thinking routine below to help organise your ideas.

Chasing Asylum Clip 21 (

Chasing Asylum Clip 04 (

Chasing Asylum Clip 17 (

  What do you SEE? What do you THINK about that? What does it make you WONDER?
Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3

Analysing Expository Media texts: Television (The Project)

Watch this news story from Channel 10’s The Project and complete the comprehension and analytical questions below.

1. What is the overall message the news story is trying to send about asylum seeker policies?

2. How is the Australian government/opposition represented in the news story? Explain your response.

3. List th

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