Experience Through Language

INTRODUCTORY LESSON: Understanding the topic


  • How can language be manipulated to create a distinctive voice?
  • What Textual Conventions are used? Techniques and structure used to create particular meanings, adding to the creation of a ‘distinctive voice’.
  • How language shapes understanding, perceptions of and relationships with others and the world


  • How does language create, reflect and enhance our perception of experience?
  • What is the simulacrum?
  • SIMULACRUM: French philosopher Baudrillard – real experience becomes artificial representation in texts: TV, comp games, spoken recounts…
  • Essentially we are looking at how texts become a re-creation or re-representation of a particular experience.
  • How do individuals communicate in order to share their version of reality? They re-create a reality that may not be experienced at that time by the listener, but rather the language creates a simulacrum of that experience.
  • Pictures created in our minds enable us to create a mental experience, a simulacra, of the event. However the responder needs to understand the context and situation being spoken about to in order for the text to make sense.
  • For example some phrases/words can be used in many different contexts, it is their context that changes their meaning.
  • In order to understand the full meaning of the speech, we need to understand their context.
  • Language choices by the composer shape the way we share that same experience.
  • There is an important inter-relationship here: Experience creates language: we see it we name it. And language creates experience.


Write your own understanding of what a simulacrum is, and how language re-creates experience that can be understood by the responder.


HSC Requirements

Examination rubrics

English (Standard)

Paper 2 – Modules

Section I – Module A: Experience Through Language

In your answer you will be assessed on how well you:

  • demonstrate understanding of how distinctive voices are created in texts
  • demonstrate understanding of meanings shaped through distinctive voices
  • organise, develop and express your ideas using language appropriate to audience, purpose and form

So to break this down you will look at:

  • various types and functions of voices in texts.
  • the ways language is used to create voices in texts
  • how this use of language affects interpretation and shapes meaning.
  • one prescribed text, in addition to other texts providing examples of distinctive voices.


  • FIND A RELATED TEXT that has points of connections and ALSO points of difference, to show a further understanding. Make sure it is saying something in itself.


  • Refer to the ‘audience’, ‘listener’, as well as ‘responder’. They are heard.
  • The purpose is to persuade
  • Know the elements of Rhetoric: the art of using language to communicate effectively.



  • Martin Luther King – ‘I Have a Dream’, 1963
  • Severn Cullis-Suzuki – Address to the Plenary Session at the Earth Summit Rio Centro, Brazil, 1992
  • John F Kennedy – Inaugural Address, 1961
  • Jessie Street – ‘Is It to be Back to the Kitchen?’, 1944
  • Earl Spencer – Eulogy for Princess Diana, 1997
  • Indira Gandhi – ‘True Liberation of Women’, 1980
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