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second edition



Rex Sadler

Viv Winter

Tom Hayllar




second edition



Rex Sadler

Viv Winter

Tom Hayllar

National English Skills 9

second edition

Rex Sadler

Viv Winter

Tom Hayllar

This edition was published in 2023 by

Matilda Education Australia,

an imprint of Meanwhile Education Pty Ltd

Melbourne, Australia

T: 1300 277 235

E: customersupport@matildaed.com.au


First edition published in 2012 by Macmillan Science and

Education Australia Pty Ltd

Second edition published in 2023 by Matilda

Education Australia

Copyright © Rex Sadler, Viv Winter, Tom Hayllar 2012, 2023

The moral rights of the authors have been asserted.

Publisher: Melinda Schumann

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Cover and text designer, typesetter: Beau Lowenstern

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Cover image: Kananu Kirimi and Tom Burke in Romeo

and Juliette by Shakespeare at Shakespeare's Globe (2014).

Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo/Donald Cooper

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Publication data

Author: Rex Sadler, Viv Winter, Tom Hayllar

Title: National English Skills 9 2e Student Workbook

ISBN: 978-0-6550-9214-8

Warning: It is recommended that Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander peoples exercise caution when

viewing this publication as it may contain images of

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Printed in Malaysia by Vivar Printing


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Intertextuality 1

What is intertextuality? 1

The Titanic 1

Information text

Eyewitness account

Film poster



Film still

Comic strip

Language Nouns 11

Context 14

What is context? 14

Personal context 14

The Diary of a Young Girl

Social context 18

Poor Man’s Orange

Cultural context 21

‘Behold my brothers’

Historical context 23


‘Son of mine’

Language Clauses 27

Words and images 31

What connects words and images? 31

Symbols and icons 31

Book cover 34


Graphic novel 36

Jane Eyre

News story 38

‘Three frogs cost developers $100,000’

Language Verbs 41

Conflict 43

What is conflict? 43

Individual vs individual 43

Treasure Island

Individual vs nature 45

‘Girl against the jungle’

The Old Man and the Sea



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Individual vs self 49

Touching the Void

Individual vs society 49

'Riviona Speech'

Success with words 53

Word meanings 53

Synonyms and antonyms 55


Overused words 58

Word practice 59

Persuasion and argument 61

What is persuasion and argument? 61

Constructing an argument 61

Persuasive strategies 62


‘Apology to the Stolen Generations’


‘Ads not helping gambling problem’

Print advertisement 68

‘Stop smoking, start repairing’

Language Shades of meaning 70

A new country for a new life 74

What is cultural understanding? 74

Getting to Australia 74

The Happiest Refugee

Fitting in 77

Red Dog

A search for identity 80

Unpolished Gem

Language Informal language - idioms 82

So you want to be a writer? 84

How to improve your writing 84

1 Hooking the reader 84

Openings from various texts

2 Using details to describe a character 86

Matilda; Of Mice and Men

3 Describing the setting 87

Storm Boy; Boys by the Sea

4 Positioning characters 89

The Hobbit

5 Using the five senses 91

The Windmill at Magpie Creek; My Father’s Fortune

6 Using verbs to create action 93

Lockie Leonard – Legend; The Grapes of Wrath

7 Using dialogue 94

Underground to Canada



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Saving the planet 96

Climate change 96

‘What is climate change?’

Endangered animals 98

‘An uncertain future’

The world’s forests 100

‘The importance of forests’


‘Coketown’, ‘Mummy, Oh, Mummy’

A problem for the planet 104

‘The motor car’

Issues and perspectives 106

What are issues and perspectives? 106

Issue 1: Youth violence 106

‘Police officer injured at rowdy party‘

Issue 2: Wildlife trafficking 109

‘The crime of wildlife trafficking’

‘Break the chain’ poster

Issue 3: Animal welfare 112

‘A pound of flesh’

‘The battery hen’

Media texts 117

What are media texts? 117


‘Seeking the perfect selfie’


10 Things I Hate About You

Magazine cover 122

Great Walks

Up close and personal 124

What can we learn about others? 124


The Wind in My Hair



Language Adjectives and adverbs 131

Appreciating short stories 134

What is a short story? 134

Analysing short stories 134

Crime fiction 135


Exploring poetry 140

What do we look for in poetry? 140

Purpose and subject matter 140



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‘The last of his tribe’

‘The General’

Poetic techniques 142

Appreciating poems 144

‘The surfer’

‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’


‘My family (the dream one)’

‘My family (the real one)’

'Then and now'





English rules 152

Subject and verb rules 152

Irregular verbs 154

Pronoun rules 154

Preposition rules 156

Adjective rules 157

Punctuation rules 158

Genre 163

What is genre? 163

Science fiction 163

The War of the Worlds

Jurassic Park

Z for Zachariah


The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Neverending Story



New Moon

Drama 174

What is drama? 174

Elements of drama 174


The Outsiders

Characters and dialogue 179

Lord of the Flies


Romeo and Juliet

Reviewing 183

What is a review? 183

Features of a review 183

Film review 184

Bran Nue Dae

Language Literary devices 187

Back-of-the-book dictionary 191



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National English Skills 9, second edition, has been fully revised to reflect the content descriptions of

the Australian Curriculum: English, Version 9.0. It offers a practical, skills-based approach to the

Language, Literature and Literacy strands, with a strong focus on developing the reading, viewing,

writing, speaking and listening skills that are at the heart of the curriculum.

The workbook seeks, through a diversity of high-interest texts, to engage the interest of students

and to enrich their English experience. In addition to literary and non-literary texts, it draws

on a variety of multimodal resources from newspapers, films, advertising, the internet and more.

Texts have been carefully chosen to represent a wide range of cultural perspectives, including

First Nations.

The sections within each unit are self-contained, allowing them to be incorporated easily

into existing teaching programs. Comprehension and language exercises are suitable for both

classroom and homework tasks. Opportunities are provided throughout the workbook for

students to create their own written, spoken and multimodal texts.

National English Skills 9, second edition, includes two completely new units:

Unit 4: Conflict

Unit 9: Saving the planet.


The author and publisher are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material:


Alamy Stock Photo/A.F. ARCHIVE, 79, /All Star Picture Library, 49,

/Ben McRae, 99, /blickwinkel/D. u. M. Sheldon, 114, /blickwinkel/

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Condina, 92, /Courtesy Everett Collection, 9, /dave willman, 135,

/Everett Collection Inc, 182, /Goddard Automotive, 105, /Hans

Wretling, 102, /IFA Film, 46, /marka, 7, /Mathias Rhode, 30, /

MehmetO, 25, /Mouseion Archives , 188, /Moviestore Collection

Ltd, 171, /New Line Productions/Photo 12, 89, /Penny Tweedie, 26,

/Pictorial Press Ltd, 5, /PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive, 86, /

RGR Collection, 163, /Roberto Moiola, 169, /Roland Weihrauch/

dpa/Alamy Live News, 73, /Ronald D. Vogel/mauritius images

GmbH, 136, /Stills photographer Nigel Gaunt, Robyn Kershaw

Productions/AF archive, 184, /Taras Vyshnya, 100, /Touchstone

Pictures/AF archive, 119, 121, /Two Arts Ltd/AA Film Archive,

181, /©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection, 165, /Wolfgang

Moucha, 50, /Zoetrope Studios, 177; Alamy Vector Stock/yod67,

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3, /Torsten Blackwood/AFP, 64; iStockphoto/AGAMI stock, 109, /

archives, 21, /Ayvan, 32 (image 15), /BlackJack3D, 32 (image 2), /

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/rbv, 60, /Reniw-Imagery, 145, /Renphoto, 94, /ridvan_celik, 91, /

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/Voren1, 113, /WLDavies, 153, /zingraphic, 12; National Library of

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/Ben Swinnerton, 106; Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash, 58.


Article, ‘A pound of flesh’ by Stathi Paxinos, The Age, 16 June, 2011.

The use of this work has been licensed by Copyright Agency except

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Agency, 112; Article, ‘Bran Nue Dae’ by Jake Wilson, The Age, 14

January 2010. The use of this work has been licensed by Copyright

Agency except as permitted by the Copyright Act, you must not

re-use this work without the permission of the copyright owner or

Copyright Agency, 184–5; Extract and cover from The Happiest

Refugee by Anh Do, Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2010, www.

allenandunwin.com.au, 74–5;Extract and cover from Invictus:

Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin,

Atlantic Books, 2008 © John Carlin 2008. Reproduced with

permission of the Licensor through PLSclear, 127–8; Extract and

cover from Unpolished Gem, by Alice Pung (Black Inc. 2006), 80;

Extract from The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. First

published in Germany by Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag GmbH



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1979. Reproduced with permission from Bonnier Media

Deutschland GmbH, 169; Extract and cover from The Wind in My

Hair by Brigitte Muir, Reproduced with permission from Brigitte

Muir, 124–5; Extract from Jane Eyre - The Graphic Novel, original text

version by Charlotte Bronte, script adaptation by Amy Corzine,

artwork by John M Burns, Classical Comics Ltd., United Kingdom,

2008. Reproduced with permission from Classical Comics Ltd,

www.classicalcomics.com, 36; Poster, Copyright Commonwealth of

Australia. Reproduced by permission of Department of Health.

Permission to reproduce the Commonwealth Coat of Arms granted

by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 68; Extract,

Conservation Regulator, Agriculture Victoria, Crime Stoppers

Victoria, 109; Poster, Conservation Regulator, Agriculture Victoria,

Crime Stoppers Victoria, 110; Extract from The Voyage of the Dawn

Treader by CS Lewis © copyright CS Lewis Pte Ltd 1952. Extract

used with permission, 168; Article, ‘Australians Love to Gamble...

Ads not helping the problem’, The Daily Telegraph, 06 April, 2011.

The use of this work has been licensed by Copyright Agency except

as permitted by the Copyright Act, you must not re-use this work

without the permission of the copyright owner or Copyright

Agency, 66; Extract from Matilda by Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape Ltd

& Penguin Books Ltd), © The Roald Dahl Story Company Limited,

reproduced by permission of David Higham Associates, 86; Poem,

‘The General’, copyright Siegfried Sassoon. Reproduced by kind

permission of the Estate of George Sassoon, 141; Extract from

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies – adapted for the stage by Nigel

Williams, Faber and Faber Ltd, Great Britain, 1996, 179–80; Article,

‘Three frogs cost Pakenham Racing Club property developers

$100,000’ by Evonne Barry, The Herald Sun, 07 April, 2010. The use

of this work has been licensed by Copyright Agency except as

permitted by the Copyright Act, you must not re-use this work

without the permission of the copyright owner or Copyright

Agency, 38; Article, ‘Police officer punched, kicked at rowdy teen

party’, by Joel Cresswell (AAP), The Herald Sun, 09 July 2011.

Licensed by Copyright Agency, 106–7; Poems ‘Son of Mine’ and

‘Then and Now’ by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Republished with

permission of Jacaranda Press, from My People, Oodgeroo

Noonuccal, 1990; permission conveyed through Copyright

Clearance Center, Inc., 26, 150; Extract, Copyright © 1990 by

Christopher Sergei. Based up on the novel THE OUTSIDERS by S.E.

Hinton. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd and The

Dramatic Publishing Company, 176–7; Extract from The Hobbit by J.

R. R. Tolkien. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers

Ltd © 1937 J. R. R. Tolkien, 89; Poem, ‘The Surfer’ by Judith Wright,

Collected Poems. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins

Publishers Australia Pty Limited, 144; Extract from speech,

‘Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples’ by Hon. Kevin Rudd,

reproduced with permission from Office of the Hon. Kevin Rudd

AC, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, 63; Front cover and back

cover from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Little, Brown and

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with permission of the Licensor through PLSclear, 34; Extract from

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, Little, Brown and Company, 2006.

Copyright © Stephanie Meyer 2006. Reproduced with permission

of the Licensor through PLSclear, 172; Cartoon, Mark Lynch, 117;

Extract from Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers, HarperCollins, New

York, 2003. Reproduced with permission from Mary Rodgers

Estate, 84; Extract from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest

Hemingway published by Vintage. Copyright © Hemingway Foreign

Rights Trust 1952. Reproduced by Permission of The Random

House Group Limited , 48; Extract from Children of the Dust by

Louise Lawrence. Copyright © Louise Lawrence, 1985. First

published in Great Britain by The Bodley Head 1985, Red Fox, 1995,

2002. Reproduced by Permission of The Random House Group

Limited, 84; Extract from Z For Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien,

published by Puffin Books. Copyright © Sally M. Conly 1975.

Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Limited, 166; Cover

from Poor Man’s Orange by Ruth Park, Text copyright © Ruth Park

1983. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House Australia

Pty Ltd, 18; Extract from Red Dog by Louis de Bernières. Text

copyright © Louis de Bernières 2001. Reprinted by permission of

Penguin Random House Australia Pty Ltd, 77–8; Extract from

Deadly Unna by Phillip Gwynne. Text copyright © Phillip Gwynne

1998. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House Australia

Pty Ltd, 85; Excerpt(s) from UNDERGROUND TO CANADA 25TH

ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Barbara Smucker, Copyright © Barbara

Smucker. Reprinted by permission of Puffin Canada, a division of

Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved. Any

third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is

prohibited. Interested parties must apply directly to Penguin

Random House Canada Limited for permission, 95; Extract and

Front Cover from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank published

by Penguin Books. Copyright © The Anne Frank-Fonds, Basle,

Switzerland, 1991, 2002. English translation © Doubleday, a

division of Random House Inc., 1995, 2002. Reprinted by

permission of Penguin Books Limited, 15–6; Extract from Touching

the Void by Joe Simpson. Copyright © Joe Simpson 1988, first

published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape 1988, Vintage

1997. Reprinted by permission of The Random House Group

Limited, 49; Front Cover from Red Dog by Louis De Bernieres,

published by Vintage. Cover Illustrations © Rob Ryan. Reprinted by

permission of The Random House Group Limited, 77; Poem

‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’, from THE COLLECTED

POEMS by Robert Frost © 1969 Holt Rinehart and Winston, Inc.,

published by Vintage Books. Extract reproduced by permission of

The Random House Group Ltd, 146; Cover and Extract from Eragon

by Christopher Paolini. Text and Illustrations Copyright ©

Christopher Paolini 2002. Published in Great Britain by Doubleday,

2004, Corgi Books, 2005. Reprinted by permission of The Random

House Group Limited, 170; Extract reproduced with permission

from R.K Sadler, 1–2; Extract reproduced with permission from

Sandra Sadler, 46–7; Extract The Battery Hen from The Works By

Pam Ayres, published by Ebury Press. © Pam Ayres 2008.

Reproduced by permission of Sheil Land Associates Ltd., 113–4;

Extract from ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes, reproduced with

permission from The Society of Authors as the Literary

Representative of The Estate of Alfred Noyes, 142; Extract from

‘Shatter Proof’ by Jack Ritchie, originally appeared in “Manhunt”

October, 1960; reprinted by permission of the Jack Ritchie Estate

and the Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency, 136–8; Cartoons, Kindly

reprinted with permission of Tony Lopes,

http://www.tonylopes.com.au, 10, 152; Permission to reproduce

extracts from Poor Man’s Orange by Ruth Park courtesy of Kemalde

Pty Ltd, c/- of Tim Curnow Literary Agent, Sydney, 18–9; Poems,

‘My family (the dream one)’ and ‘My family (the real one)’ from

Love, Ghosts and Nose Hair - A Verse Novel for Young Adults by Steven

Herrick, University of Queensland Press, Queensland, 1996, 148;

Magazine cover, Great Walks, October-November 2021. Permission

courtesy of Yaffa Media, 112.

The author and publisher would like to acknowledge the following:

Poem ‘Mummy, Oh, Mummy’, by Anonymous, 103; Poem

‘Shantytown’ by Anonymous, 147; Extract from Of Mice and Men by

John Steinbeck, Penguin UK, 2000 © John Steinbeck, 1937, 1965, 86;

Extract from ‘Frequently asked questions’, The Official Website of

Stephenie Meyer, http://www.stepheniemeyer.com, 34 (bottom).

Every effort has been made to identify copyright holders and obtain their permission for the use of copyright material.

We actively solicit copyright holders or anyone with knowledge of copyright holders to come forward.



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What is intertextuality?

Intertextuality is the connection that some texts share with other texts. Texts may

make connections through their storylines, settings, themes, contexts, characters

and language. A text may be transformed into another text, referred to or borrowed

from. For example, the teenage romance film 10 Things I Hate About You is based on

Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew.

The Titanic

The story of a famous event may exist in various forms such as a film, photo, poem, novel,

information report or newspaper article. The texts that follow are all derived from actual

happenings related to the sinking of the Titanic in 2012.


What happened to the Titanic?

When the Titanic was launched it was the

largest and most luxurious passenger ship

afloat. It had shops, lounges, a gymnasium

and even a squash court. Added to this,

the Titanic was believed to be unsinkable.

It had a double bottom and 16 watertight

compartments. Yet, on its maiden voyage in

the early hours of Monday morning, 15 April

1912, the Titanic was to slip quietly to the

depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after 1.30 am on Monday morning,

the Titanic collided with an iceberg which

ripped a great gash about 90 metres long

in its hull. Captain Smith realised that it

would undoubtedly sink because most of

the watertight compartments would have

been flooded. SOS messages were sent out

to ships in the area. Captain Smith ordered

the ship to be stopped in mid-ocean and for

lifeboats to be lowered. Even at this stage

many passengers could not be convinced

that the Titanic was sinking. Moreover, the

Titanic carried only enough lifeboats for 1178

people, even though there was nearly twice

that number of people aboard. Some of the

lifeboats were not fully loaded when they

were launched.

1: Intertextuality


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Most of the passengers and crew

acted calmly.

The band played on deck. Women and

children went into the lifeboats first. When

it was discovered that there was not enough

room for everybody, those left on board

prepared for death in their own way. By

1.45 am, the sea was washing onto the

Titanic’s forward deck. At 2.05 am, Captain

Smith gave his final instructions to the crew.

‘You’ve done your duty, boys. Now it’s every

man for himself.’ At 2.20 am the Titanic

slipped beneath the surface.

The icy waters soon choked the cries of

those who had been unable to board the lifeboats. Unfortunately, a rescue ship, the Carpathia,

did not reach the tragic scene till 4 am and was too late to save most of those swimming in the

water. Only 705 of the passengers and crew survived.

How well did you read?

1 What is the writer’s purpose in this text?


2 Why was the Titanic claimed to be ‘unsinkable’?


3 What caused the Titanic to sink?


4 What was done to bring help to those on board the sinking ship?


5 Why was the Carpathia too late to rescue those swimming in the water?



6 'Only 705 of the passengers and crew survived.' Why were the lifeboats partially

responsible for this?




2 National English Skills 9

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Eyewitness account

On 19 April, the very day after the

Titanic survivors reached New York,

a United States Senate Committee

began an inquiry into the sinking of

the Titanic. The witness in this brief

excerpt from the hearing is Able

Seaman Edward John Buley.

The Titanic disaster


Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Before the ship went down you did not hear any cries for help?

No cries whatever, sir. Her port bow light was under water when we were lowered.

How long after you were lowered and put in the water was it before she

went down?

I should say about 25 minutes to half an hour.

Was yours the last boat?

Mr Buley: Mine was the last lifeboat, No. 10.

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Were the collapsibles lowered after that?

The collapsibles were washed off the deck, I believe, sir. The one we picked

up that was swamped, I think they dropped her and broke her back, and

that is why they could not open her.

Were there people in that collapsible?

She was full up, sir; that is the one we rescued the first thing in the morning.

How soon after the Titanic went down was it before your boat went back

there with Lowe to help rescue people?

From an hour to an hour and a half.

And your idea is that the people were frozen.

Yes, frozen.

Frozen in the meantime?

If the water had been warm, I imagine none of them would have been drowned, sir.

Then you got some people out of the water, and some of those died after you

rescued them, did they?

Yes, sir.

Were they injured in any way?

1: Intertextuality


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Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

Senator Fletcher:

Mr Buley:

No, sir. I think it was exposure and shock.

On account of the cold?

Yes, sir. We had no stimulants in the boat to revive them, at all.

They seemed to be very cold when you got them out of the water?

Yes, sir, and helpless.


Yes, sir. There were several in the broken boat that could not walk. Their legs

and feet were all cramped. They had to stand up in the water in that boat.

from the Titanic Disaster Hearings,

the official transcripts of the 1912 US Senate Investigation

How well did you read?

1 Why do you think there was a senate investigation into the sinking of the Titanic?



2 These disaster transcripts were recorded over one hundred years ago. Why are they still

valuable today?



3 What evidence does Mr Buley give that shows the Titanic was very close to sinking as his

lifeboat was lowered?


4 What caused the swamping of the collapsible lifeboat?



5 What did Mr Buley feel had caused most of the deaths of the survivors?


6 What reason did Mr Buley give for not being able to keep alive those rescued from

the water?


7 What does Mr Buley’s testimony reveal about his character?



4 National English Skills 9

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Film poster

In the 1997 film Titanic, James Cameron, the writer and director, has recreated the voyage and

sinking of the ship. To give the film increased emotional impact, Cameron has added a fictionalised

love story between a boy and a girl from two different social backgrounds. Leonardo DiCaprio as

Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose deWitt Bukater star as the ill-fated lovers. Here is the poster

that was designed to advertise the film.

1: Intertextuality


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How well did you read?

1 How has the designer emphasised the title of the film?


2 Where does the poster suggest that the main action of the film is to take place?


3 What layout techniques has the designer used to show that a love story dominates

the film?



4 How does the image of the young people suggest they are deeply in love?


5 Why has the designer placed the names of the actors Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in

large block letters?



6 Explain the meaning of the sentence, ‘Nothing on earth could come between them’.



7 Why have the director’s previous movies been printed at the top of the poster?



8 How does the poster create the impression that the Titanic is a gigantic, powerful ship?



6 National English Skills 9

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In her famous novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley describes how a scientist, Dr Victor Frankenstein,

discovers the means to create a living creature from the body parts of different people. In trying to

create a perfect creature, he ends up creating a monster.

Frankenstein’s monster has been the subject of many films, plays and cartoons and has become

part of our literary heritage.


Here is the scene from the novel where Frankenstein gives life to his monster.

Creating the monster

It was on a dreary night of November

that I beheld the accomplishment of

my toils. With an anxiety that almost

amounted to agony, I collected the

instruments of life around me, that

I might infuse a spark of being into

the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.

It was already one in the morning;

the rain pattered dismally against

the panes, and my candle was nearly

burnt out, when, by the glimmer of

the half-extinguished light, I saw the

dull yellow eye of the creature open;

it breathed hard, and a convulsive

motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with

such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had

selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! – Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work

of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly

whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that

seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled

complexion and straight black lips.

… I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate

body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that

far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and

breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.

… I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created. His eyes, if eyes they may

be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a

grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out,

seemingly to detain me, but I escaped, and rushed out of the room.

from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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How well did you read?

1 At the beginning of the passage, what is Dr Frankenstein preparing to do?


2 What indications are there to show that the monster has come to life?



3 In the first paragraph, what evidence is there to suggest that the events were taking place

over a hundred years ago?


4 In the first paragraph, what emotion does Dr Frankenstein experience?


5 What is ugly about the monster’s skin?


6 ‘I had worked hard for nearly two years.’ What effect has this had on Dr Frankenstein’s life?



7 In the third paragraph, what are Dr Frankenstein’s feelings towards the monster he

has created?


8 ‘One hand stretched out.’ How does Dr Frankenstein react to this?


9 Using the back-of-the-book dictionary, write down the meanings of these words:

a infuse: ____________________________________________________________________

b delineate: _________________________________________________________________

c lustrous: __________________________________________________________________

d dun: _____________________________________________________________________

e inanimate: ________________________________________________________________

f ardour: ____________________________________________________________________

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Film still

This still is from the 1931 film Frankenstein, which starred Boris Karloff as the monster.

Look carefully at the film still and answer the questions that follow.

How well did you read?

1 Where is the setting for this scene?


2 Why would this shot be a good one to use to promote the movie?



3 How has the director made the creature’s presence important in the shot?



4 Why is Dr Frankenstein’s clothing important in the photo?


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5 What comments would you make about the facial expressions of Dr Frankenstein and

his assistant?



6 In what ways is this laboratory different from the one in the extract from the novel?



Comic strip

‘Insanity streak’ is a popular comic strip series that appears in newspapers around the world.

Here the joke relates to the story of Frankenstein.

How well did you read?

1 What is the cartoonist’s purpose?


2 How does the sign on the wall help to create humour in this comic strip?



3 How does the cartoonist give the Frankenstein story a modern setting?


4 What techniques does the cartoonist use to make the ‘client’ resemble the monster?



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Nouns are naming words. There are four different kinds of nouns: common, proper, collective

and abstract.

Common and proper nouns

Common nouns are words used to name any person, animal, place or thing. For example:

nurse mechanic kangaroo goanna supermarket church car helicopter

Proper nouns are words used to name a special or particular person, place or thing.

Proper nouns always begin with a capital letter. For example:

Jane Matthew Brisbane Darwin Wednesday July Mazda Nescafe

Missing nouns

The following passage is presented in three sections: the orientation, the complication and the

resolution. Complete each section by inserting the missing common and proper nouns from each box.

The unsinkable Titanic


palace Southampton vessel April voyage passengers New York

On 10th _________________ 1912, the Titanic set out on its maiden _________________ from

_________________ to _________________. The _________________ was called ‘a floating

_________________’ and was believed to be unsinkable. On board were 2200 _________________.


icebergs Titanic knots Friday sailor

Smith hull shape messages speed

On _________________ 12th April, Captain _________________ received warning

_________________ about _________________. However the _________________ did not slacken

her _________________ of 22 _________________ per hour. At 11:39 pm a _________________

on duty saw a huge _________________ looming closer and closer and at 11:40 pm it severely

damaged the ship’s _________________.

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children Carpathia lifeboats ship lives

catastrophe scene survivors hours crew

Orders were given to abandon _________________. First of all, women and _________________

were moved into the _________________, but there were not enough to take all the passengers

and _________________. The _________________, which had heard the Titanic’s distress

calls, arrived on the _________________ about two _________________ later and rescued 705

_________________. Unfortunately, as a result of the _________________, 1522 people lost

their _________________.

Collective nouns

A collective noun is a word used for a collection or group of similar people, animals or things.

For example:

a gang of thieves a herd of cattle a bunch of bananas

Identifying collective nouns

Insert the correct collective noun from the box for each of the phrases below.

flotilla anthology flock troupe library

board regiment pod colony block

1 A _________________ of books

2 A _________________ of birds

3 An _________________ of poems

4 A _________________ of ships

5 A _________________ of flats

6 A _________________ of dolphins

7 A _________________ of ants

8 A _________________ of soldiers

9 A _________________ of dancers

10 A _________________ of directors

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Abstract nouns

Abstract nouns are nouns that name qualities, emotions, ideas and actions – things that you cannot

see or touch. For example:

love strength urgency deception inferiority freedom

The process of forming an abstract noun from a verb or an adjective is called nominalisation.

Abstract nouns are often used in reports and many other types of formal writing. Here is an

example of forming an abstract noun from a verb:

The river was contaminated by chemical spills.

abstract noun


The contamination of the river was caused by chemical spills.

Forming abstract nouns

Follow the instruction for each exercise to form abstract nouns. Sometimes you will need to adjust

the spelling.

1 Form abstract nouns ending in ‘-ion’ from these words:

a perfect ______________________

b promote _____________________

c precise ______________________

d devote ______________________

e confuse _____________________

f exclude _____________________

2 Form abstract nouns ending in ‘-ance’ from these words:

a arrogant ____________________

b assure ______________________

c assist _______________________

d annoy _______________________

e elegant ______________________

f comply ______________________

3 Form abstract nouns ending in ‘-cy’ from these words:

a efficient _____________________

b supreme ____________________

c private ______________________

d accurate _____________________

e obstinate ____________________

f hesitant _____________________

4 Form abstract nouns ending in ‘-ment’ from these words:

a improve _____________________

b commit _____________________

c embarrass ___________________

d develop _____________________

e argue _______________________

f encourage ___________________

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