Engaging personally

What it is 

Students engage personally when they experience interest, pleasure and personal significance in texts and the ways they are constructed. However, personal engagement goes beyond simple pleasure and affirmation of the familiar; it comes from an emotional and intellectual engagement which can lead to reconsideration of an initial impression.

Engaging personally may include:

  • personal identification with the characters, situations or ideas in a text
  • intellectual engagement with ideas individually and collaboratively
  • the expression of personal voice
  • pleasure in the text
  • enjoyment of aesthetic qualities
  • valuing texts
  • recognition and appreciation of the power of language to express human experiences and communicate ideas.

Why it is important

Engaging personally with a text can facilitate and be influenced by deeper critical and imaginative response to its representation of their wider world. Personal engagement with texts encourages students to express with discernment, confidence and with an authentic voice, ideas, opinions and values in their own compositions. 

Stage 6

Students realise their own agency in responding and composing, understanding that initial reactions are part of a cycle of creation, interpretation and appreciation of texts.

Stage 5

Students’ responses to and composition of texts demonstrate a personal understanding of the world based on their own ideas, their experience of texts and their experience of life. They project an authentic voice through different types of texts.

Stage 4

Students respond to and compose texts reflecting their widening world. They identify ways in which their own experiences, perspectives and contexts influence their responses.

Stage 3

Students explore more formal and informal ways to express their personal responses, showing an awareness of the impact of their own and others’ language choices.

Stage 2

Students identify particular elements of texts that are engaging and use these in their own composing. In their interpretations of texts they explore literal and inferred meanings. They distinguish aspects of their own perspective that shape their responses to and composition of texts.

Stage 1

Students become aware that their choices and preferences for texts and authors are shaped by their own experience and interests. They share different views, infer meaning, express and justify their own opinions and extend their experiences of texts.


Students engage with texts for enjoyment and pleasure, expressing preferences and opinions. In their responding and composing they draw on their own feelings, experiences and culture.