From the English Faculty

From the English Faculty

Ms Genevieve Pelekani
English & Literacy Coordinator

Manal Younus Presentation – Year 8s 

Adelaide spoken-word poet Manal Younus has been a welcome visitor to SAC in recent years and she was warmly welcomed by Year 8 students this term. Her presentation combined performance of her emotive poems and sharing of her experiences growing up in a migrant family and finding a ‘voice’ to share her message through her poetry. Her visit provided a strong introduction to our students’ study of poetry and many of them have reflected well on her messages.

Student Reflections:

“I find Manal’s poems and presentation empowering and connecting. They were powerful and strong using strong emotive language to convey her message. I felt happy that I could relate to another Muslim person living in Australia. Her experience with connecting to her culture was enlightening and thought provoking, and I connected deeply with the struggles of overseas relatives. Her journey of expressing herself was inspiring and her poems were strong and meaningful. I really enjoyed it.” – Aamina Dars 8MB

“I most enjoyed Manal Younus’ openness and her way to connect to everyone around her. I loved how she was so happy to share her story and wanted us to learn. I was most inspired by her poem with the metaphor of a women being a tree. I found it powerful and relatable. I learned about her struggles and how there are different experiences that should be more recognised.” Tegan Reinschmidt-Ryan 8MB

“Before today, I didn’t like poetry but after Manal came in, I had some inspiration and ideas on what to do next.” – Tinaya Dias 8NW

“She inspires us to be the best possible person that we can be and to never let a fear of public speaking get in our way. She is an amazing role model and a very empowering person.” – Maddie McGregor, Portia Mylonas and Roisin Reck 8MB

“Something I took away from Manal’s performance was that pursuing and persevering with things that are hard can make them easier. I also leant to not get too caught up with how things SHOULD look and let them be”. – Eva Churchill 8MH

“Something I liked about Manal’s performance was the emotion she showed during it and how her poems connected with me through culture and religion. Her poems felt very deep and the emotions and body movements that she used added to the meaning of the poems and made me feel more connected.” – Asna Naseri 8MH

“I learnt that poetry techniques are tools not rules. I leant that poetry is just another way of expressing your feelings, especially spoken poetry.” – Charlotte Reid 8JT

‘Words That Changed the World’ – Poetry in Action

Words are powerful and powerful people use words well. These messages were powerfully presented to the Year 12 English and English Literary Studies students recently when they saw a performance by Poetry in Action entitled ‘Words That Changed the World’. The script by Australian writer, Caleb Lewis wove together the texts of powerful speeches, both historical and contemporary, alongside explanations of how these speeches work to impact their audiences. It was a thought-provoking production and a timely reminder of the importance of critical literacy as students of English and as consumers of media.

Student Reflections:

“The performance was informative and engaging. For me personally, I resonated with the idea presented that it is not the meaning of the words that you use to persuade someone, but the way that you say them. I also enjoyed that there was a mix of theory (with an explanation of certain techniques) and performative elements. This was done informatively in a range of contexts; speeches, poems and even short advertisements. It enlightened me on the ways that these persuasive features were used in everyday contexts. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance!” – Daniela Bagnato 12LZ 

“After watching ‘Words that Changed the World’, I found myself agreeing that the use of powerful speech has had influence within both history and the present. The show was able to enhance my perspectives on how different famous speeches would have impacted history and could be used as an example on how to improve one’s own speeches”. – Angelina Kokotis 12LK

Ms Genevieve Pelekani 
English & Literacy Coordinator