Book Review: Belonging 2 by Jane Curran, Lyndall Hough & Gillian Lovell

by Jane Curan, Lyndall Hough & Gillian Lovell

by Jane Curan, Lyndall Hough & Gillian Lovell

Publisher: The Learning Curve

Publication Date: 2008

Belonging 2 (The Guide to the HSC English Area of Study: Belonging) is a thorough guide through the HSC English Paper 1 (for Standard and Advanced English).

It discusses and provides useful exercises to the concept of belonging, brief guides to Section 1 (unseen belonging material) and Section 2 (creative writing).

The bulk of it is guides and activities for half of the Belonging prescribed texts (the other half can be found in Belonging 1 by the same publisher):

  • The Joy Luck Club
  • The Namesake
  • Great Expectations
  • Romulus, My Father
  • The Crucible
  • Rainbow’s End

For Students

  • Provides 7 Belonging related materials with exercises/guides that you can consider using for your HSC.
  • Has in-depth analysis/discussion of the prescribed Belonging texts – important themes etc to consider and how it relates to Belonging.
  • It uses a lot of tables (I find this really helpful for some students!) to help you analyse.
  • Doesn’t provide you with all the answers, but gives you examples and questions that are very helpful – they point you in the direction that you should be thinking/analysing.

The benefit of using tables:

As a student, I wrote all my notes in dot points.

Now as a tutor, I encourage my students to use tables. Why? Tables ensure that you’ve covered everything – stated the idea, backed it up with a technique, explained its effect. Tables ensure that your essay (and thinking) flows logically. It’s also easier to look at a table and find the information that you need – rather than reading a lengthy paragraph.

For instance, I will often use this table structure and get my students to fill it in.

Example of "Ancestors" by Peter Skrzynecki
Example of “Ancestors” by Peter Skrzynecki

For Tutors

  • Filled with activities and questions that you can give your student (easier than making them up)
  • Includes some example Belonging related material with activities to go with.

This is a very useful book for tutors, because it comes with many activities and questions that you can go through with your student. Often, I find it difficult to come up with my own questions and activities, because I lack the imagination or just can’t think of any. Also, activities I find tend to be more engaging for students (getting them to think and analyse for themselves) than simply telling them the “notes” or the “answers”.

Although I’m not tutoring any of the prescribed texts covered in this book, I will be using the Belonging related materials/activities as practice for Section 1 (unseen Belonging material).

Another great thing is that book is definitely for value – it splits pages up into 2 columns, so it’s packed with content/activities in the approx. 150 pages.


None actually – this book is very good for both tutors and students!


6 comments for “Book Review: Belonging 2 by Jane Curran, Lyndall Hough & Gillian Lovell

  1. max maxy
    January 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    First off I’d like to thank you for talking your time to review this book, but can i just clarify something? Are you saying that book one focus only/ the majority on section 1 (short response) while book 2 focus more on the prescribed texts?

    Thanks in Advance~

    • tutortales
      January 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Sorry about the confusion – both Belonging 1 and Belonging 2 have the same Section 1 (short response) and Section 2 (creative) material I believe. The only difference is that Belonging 1 and Belonging 2 have guides/activities for different Section 3 (essay) prescribed texts. For example, Belonging 2 has The Joy Luck Club, The Namesake, Great Expectations, Romulus, My Father, The Crucible, Rainbow’s End; Belonging 1 has Skrzynecki, Dickinson etc. TT

  2. max maxy
    January 20, 2011 at 8:16 am

    OH! Thanks for the reply!

  3. max maxy
    February 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    May i ask you where i can obtain a copy of this book? Dymocks doesn’t seem to have it

    Thank you.

  4. Amy
    March 3, 2012 at 11:31 am

    would this book still be of good use for 2012? I’m not sure if the syllabus for standard English has changed or not.

    • tutortales
      March 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Amy, yes this book is still current. The texts etc are only set to change after 2014. The current Area of Study (Belonging) and Modules are for 2009 to 2014. TT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *