Keeping place in subject English: 'well-worn' texts and teens 'waiting time'

Kelly Cheung, K-A O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper reports on the text selections of two English teachers from different schools in New South Wales, Australia, who participated in a larger research study that explored the decision making of teachers planning for and teaching Stage 5 English. The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon these teachers’ reasons for choosing texts within their specific contexts for students who may be characterised as ‘aliterate’(Merga & Moon, 2016). Their students are able to read and yet they lack interest to do so irrespective of the compulsory nature of subject English. One text, common to both sites, is explored here through a critical literacy lens to make visible the possibilities and limitations of text selections when resistant readers are positioned as students of English through mandated subject attendance. The focus of our examination is the young adult novel The Wave by Todd Strasser, pen name Morton Rhue (1981). The case studies presented demonstrate to readers the significance of thinking critically about teachers’ text selections while understanding that particular contextual elements will be more influential as to why some texts are privileged over others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalEnglish in Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • popular culture
  • narrative inquiry
  • text choices
  • curriculum
  • subject English


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