Earlier this week, I decided I should put my 25-minute drive to work to more productive use. Instead of listening to Radio 3, Radio 4, 5 Live, or Capital, I downloaded the AQA’s podcast ‘De-icing with Death and Jane Eyre’s flamingos’ as it promised to explain ‘how effective back planning can help students untangle a text from its context’ and the ‘importance of cultural capital’ in this process. It proved a thought-provoking 15 minutes.
Edusites Jane Austen
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Edusites and A Level English Language...Many of you will be looking to cover the topic of Child Language Acquisition (CLA) with Year 13 now, perhaps with an eye to providing it as a possible Investigation topic. On the Edusites English, we have 24 page printable booklet which contains a comprehensive guide to the topic, covering key concepts in a range of frameworks and the central theories in some detail.
NEA Investigation Basics Thinking about getting your year 13s started on Investigations? If so, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. There’s a great guide here on Edusites, written with the AQA specification’s NEA in mind, but it should help you out too if you’re an Eduqas or OCR English Language teacher. The guide fits the requirements of the current specification, and has an example of a nice approachable music-themed project that you could easily show to a class and work through with them, to help them get their heads around what an investigation is.
Autumn – and our minds turn to tackling the grittier of ‘language methods’ (or approaches, frameworks, or whatever they’re known as in your department). It’s grammar time! Having built up some confidence with ideas like lexis and semantics, it’s about this point in the term when things start to get a lot more technical and we want to really nail that terminology.
As an idea, Language and Power is so closely allied to Language and Gender, that it would make sense to teach this unit second as a grounding in ‘Power’ will provide a solid grounding in ‘Gender’. Equally, language-mediated via any form of technology, too, is frequently a site where power (and gender) relations are important and so dealing with Language and Technology last of all can work well.
Allusions in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Picture the scene: last July I see my 2018/19 timetable in my pigeonhole. It has all my new classes, including AS Level Literature. I’m nervous – we split classes, 1 teacher teaches Othello and love poetry, the other Tess of the D’Urbervilles and unseen prose. Othello and poetry? That’s my jam. I’d feel happy there. Hardy and his endless ramblings about pastoral Wessex? Not so much… So, obviously, I end up teaching Tess.
Precise responses Grainne Hallahan AQA Paper 1 English Language Memorising Quotes with Amy Forrester GCSE English Literature Slices Taxi Tales from @heymrshallahan
Students having access to responses which exemplify a high grade 8 or 9 response gives a target for which they can aim. In the run up to exam season Edusites ‘Live Scripts’ can form the basis of a number of excellent lessons based on ‘what’ other students have achieved and most importantly how and why.
Edusites Slices show you how to enable students to consider how to ‘use’ quotations in their exam responses. However, the quotations need to be placed in long term memory to be available during the exam. What are some of the best ways of helping students to do this?
Back in 2015, when the first exams of the new spec rolled around, I knew the importance of quotations - it was a closed book exam after all. However, over time, I began to realise that the key wasn’t just in the retention of quotations, but in the knowledge of what to say about them.
So often students don’t speak up and let us know when they don’t understand a piece of vocabulary. Why? Embarrassment. Awkwardness. Indifference. But there are those other times, where there is a word in a sentence that they do not understand the meaning of, but they don’t speak up because they don’t realise themselves.
Videos and images used in the classroom can be huge distractions if used ineffectively. Chris Curtis has spoken about this very problem at the recent Team English National Conference and Rugby ResearchEd, and written about this very problem in his excellent blog here (http://learningfrommymistakesenglish.blogspot.com).
Catching up with your reading? Some expert subject based strategies for you to delve into.