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90856: Show understanding of visual and/or oral text(s) through close viewing and/or listening, using supporting evidence

Updated October 2019. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Focus of the standard

This standard assesses a student’s understanding of visual and/or oral texts. Students show understanding of how the meaning of each aspect, such as the development of an idea, character or atmosphere, is created by the effects of visual and/or oral language features.

This is the same reading skill that is assessed in the external unfamiliar text standard 90851; however, the text type being closely read is visual and/or oral, rather than written.

Independent assessment

Although a visual or oral text can be viewed in class and teachers can choose the aspects to be studied, the aspects must be taught using different text/s or extracts from those used for assessment.

Close viewing/listening techniques

Students analyse how aspects, such as the development of a particular idea, character or atmosphere, are created by the effects of visual and/or oral language features. Visual and oral language features frequently used in close viewing/listening may include:

Ambient sound/silence



Body language



Camera work

Rhetorical devices




Sound effects

Special effects





Production design

Use of templates

Templates support students’ initial viewing of the text/s. Teachers must provide students with the opportunity to show their understanding of how aspects work together, the purpose of the director/writer and the wider context (requirements for Merit and Excellence).

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