Congratulations MSC Yr 12 VCE cohort of 2012. You have had an exciting year so far which has been jampacked full of all types of learning. Your year in English is going to continue with the study of Dear America.

'One thing worries me...will people...want to forget the whole thing happened?' Lt. J.G. Richard Strandberg

Landing Zone Pick Up

Dear America is the novel you will use for your Unit 3 Reading and Responding outcome. You will need to complete a variety of S/N activities and write a text response essay to complete this first area of study. The essay will be your first SAC for the year and will account for 30% of your Unit 3 coursework mark. Also keep it in mind that you might choose Dear America as the text you focus on for the Reading and Responding section of your exam at the end of the year.

This blogspace has been set up to enhance your study of the text and develop your language and writing skills. It is a collaborative space where you can share and discuss your learning. Perhaps most importantly, this allows you to conference and comment on each others' writing to improve your prowess as we get closer and closer to exam time. You can access your VCE English study design at the VCAA website for detailed assessment and exam information.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


2012 Blog Copy John Hagmann LetterforAustralianStudents[1]


Dear John Hagmann,

Thank you for your interest in our studies and willingness to share your story with us. It was a powerful experience for us to receive a letter from you as we study Dear America - Letters Home from Vietnam. We have many questions about this important time in history and will be privileged to learn even more about what you and others went through as you lived through the Vietnam War. Here are our questions:

  • What happened to you when you got back from the war John? How did people treat you? How did you fit back into normal life? (What type of work did you do in Manhattan?)
  • Do you know what made it so important to Edelman to put this anthology together?
  • Do you think the text represents the war accurately?
  • Do you think the text glamorises the war compared to reality?
  • Do you think the anthology could have included a bigger variety of perspectives. More voices from the Vietnamese and the people back home in America?
  • How did the war in Vietnam impact on your family?
  • Do you have any contact with Vietnamese allies?
  • Did you have any support from the American government when you returned?
  • How do the experiences of you and your friends compare? Similar or very different?

Yours truly, MSC 12 English 2012 
John Hagmann response to students






Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 Practice SAC Topics

Choose one topic and write an analytical response.
Length of the response should be 700-900 words.

1. How does the structure of 'Dear America' work to maximise the emotional impact on the reader?


2. "War has a damaging effect on all those involved." Do you agree?


3. "It is easy to understand the experience of a soldier whilst on a tour of duty in Vietnam because of the intensely personal nature of the letters." Do you agree?

See pp. 69-72 of your 'Insight English' for information on constructing a text response.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dear America - American Involvement in the Vietnam War

Vietnam - Flags and Maps

Click here to view annotated maps of the Vietnam War. They provide information about particular places and locations that help to put the circumstances into context.

Using the information on the web maps note the following on your handouts:

- Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon - Paris of South East Asia – French imperialist/colonist influence – lost 1954)
_ Hanoi
_ Ho Chi Minh Trail
- note 3 points about the TET offensive
- Quang Tri and significance
- note what happened to Saigon on April 30, 1975
- the north-south demarcation line

Access map templates at:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Handy Vietnam War Terms/Phrase

DEAR AMERICA – Active Viewing Activity

During the film it is presented to the audience that whilst serving in Vietnam during the war there were ‘handy phrases’ to know (approx. scene 15 as per your running sheet). This is also referred to in the book. These handy phrases are part of the unique vernacular of this particular war – something that you could possibly allude to in an essay. It is good to build a knowledge of what some of these ‘handy phrases’ are as they can work to enhance your discussion of the text in your SAC or for the exam.

- In your reading and responding section of your folder put the heading: DEAR AMERICA: ‘Handy Terms/Phrases’

- Create a glossary t-bar table:

- Look out for headings of some ‘handy phrases’ being displayed on the screen as you view the film, e.g., grunts. List them in your table

- Write the definitions of the terms/phrases in your table, e.g., zippo raid – soldiers set huts on fire with lighters. Use the glossary at the back of your text to help.

View fron start of clip at -

Good internet glossary of Vietnam war terms and slang -

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2012 Reading and Responding Area of Study Starts Here!

Reading and Responding 2012</P>
<P>Dear America -</P>
<P>Letters Home from Vietnam

Viewing the film of Dear America - Letters Home From Vietnam will complement our study of the written version of the text.