Activity Introduction

CA-Boat-Joel-van-Houdt-photoframe3Quick Summary: Students are introduced to key terminology and language encountered when studying or reading about the topic of refugees and people seeking asylum. They enhance their understanding of the power of language through investigating the similarities and differences between concepts and terms and apply this knowledge by constructing their own definitions.

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 the importance of language choices when discussing and studying complex issues.
  • Students will understand and be able to communicate the meaning of key terminology and concepts related to asylum seeking and refugees in the 21st Century.

21st Century Skills

ca expression skills v2

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions

Year 10 English:

  • Understand how language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower or disempower people (ACELA1564)
  • Refine vocabulary choices to discriminate between shades of meaning, with deliberate attention to the effect on audiences (ACELA1571)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-5C, EN5-3B.

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

Cross-curriculum priority:

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students listen for ways features within texts can be manipulated to achieve particular effects and show how the selection of language features can achieve precision and stylistic effect.

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of workStories of Chasing Asylum – access the unit overview here.

Time required: 120 minutes.

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 audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class. Flashcard definitions of key concepts and terminology. Five double-sided printed copies of the Frayer Model for each student. One copy of the Flashcards to display in the classroom.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: asylum seeker, refugee, migrant, immigrant, emigrant, push and pull factors, persecution, sovereignty, nation-state, citizenship, statelessness, whistleblower, policy.

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 lesson is designed to engage students in a common language surrounding the topic of refugees and people seeking asylum. By considering existing definitions, then communicating their own understanding and definitions, students will establish an understanding of shades of meaning, and consider the impacts of language on audiences, especially its empowering or disempowering effects. They will be able to use this new understanding to engage with the topic of refugees and people seeking asylum in a more informed way.

Teacher content information: The issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is very political - many different perspectives exist across a range of contemporary and historical media texts. Australia has a long history of migration resulting in diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions. The movement of people has occurred for varied reasons, including work and employment opportunities, family connections, and leav

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the difference between a migrant, a refugee and a person seeking asylum?

KWL and word association

With your teacher’s guidance, reflect on what you already know and what you want to know and learn about, focusing on refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Your responses could be specific or broad depending on your experience and knowledge, but make sure you think deeply and recall what you can about the topic and what you might be able to share with the class.

What I KNOW:

What I WANT to know/learn:

What I have LEARNT:

The following short video was produced by Refugee Education (a component of the Roads-to-Refuge initiative by the University of NSW and the NSW Department of Education) It features interviews and footage about refugees in Australia and peoples' perspectives on refugees and asylum seekers. While you're watching, think about the different explanations for refugees and people seeking asylum

Roads To Refuge 2

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