The ability to compare and contrast is one of the most important and challenging skills to master for the 9 to 1 English Language and English Literature. Previously compare and contrast techniques was tested only by Controlled Assessment in one of the four units of English Literature: now it reaches across both specifications as detailed below. It takes on much greater significance because some reading passages in English Language and English Literature are unseen.
Where Compare and Contrast Fits
With the 9 to 1 specifications it makes sense to start with the original DfE curriculum order.
English Language GCSE: Bullets 2 & 4
‘synthesise’: combine elements into a whole
‘compare’/ ‘contrast’: estimate the similarity/ dissimilarity of two things
In practice bullet 2 is represented as part of AO1 and bullet 4 is wholly represented as AO3.
AQA, Edexcel, Eduqas, OCR: the objectives are expressed in exactly the same words:
AO1 - Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts
AO3 - Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts
However, they appear in different ways in each Board’s Specifications.
Select and synthesise evidence from two or more texts.
This is essentially to do with the location and reorganisation of information across two texts by way of recognizing common and/or contrasting facts.
Edexcel Paper 2, question 7 a.
Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
This is essentially is a comparison and/ or contrast of topic, theme and style across the two texts.
Edexcel: Paper 2, question 7 b.
English Literature: ‘reading comprehension and reading critically’
Paper 2 Section B. A question asking for comparison of two poems from the anthology, one a named poem and the other a poem of the candidate’s choice. And….
a question asking for comparison of two named poems.
Register now for our subject updates and FREE instant access to this article.
Already registered? Login below to continue reading this article.
With Edusites English you'll find everything you need to prepare for GCSE (9-1) English Language Literature including schemes of work, anthologies and sample assessment materials.
The assessment of reading skills in this paper is based entirely on unseen texts. Consequently whenever possible students should practice analysing fiction texts as ‘unseens’ as the norm in their study of both English Language and English Literature. The sample fiction texts that have been produced in this Anthology are based loosely around four themes they illustrate the range of genres, cultures and period described above. Students should build up in their learning a wide portfolio of fiction texts that they can use beyond this in preparation for the exam. Within the Anthology, there is a discussion on how to use this material effectively in the classroom...
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.