What is the problem with question four? It should be as simple as teaching the difference between analysis and evaluation, point them in the right direction, and watch them go. But it isn’t.
Go back to the start
Before answering this question, students must read the text again in light of the statement. It is absolutely necessary. There is too much detail that could be missed by neglecting a re-read. I think I fall foul of the rush-rush-rush of the classroom, and forget about how important it is to go back and read the story again. However, if you want to develop those skills you’re going to have to sit and wait in silence whilst they re-read the passage and consider it in light of the statement. Grit your teeth, and be sure it will make a difference.
Register now for our subject updates and FREE instant access to this article.
Already registered? Login below to continue reading this article.
Of all the challenges in the English Language exam, question one fades into the background when compared to the complexities of question four, or the mental gymnastics for the analysis in questions two and three. Question one sits there. Unobtrusive. Inoffensive. Nonchalant. A little dream of a question, really. “Find four things…”. Can’t go wrong, right?
The language analysis in question two is a tricky little gem of a question. Most students feel pretty confident attacking this one, and usually even weaker students can pick up one or two marks. I’m going to split this into advice for those who are aiming for each separate ‘level’, because the advice I would give is quite different.
And now question three. You little tricky brute. It should be so simple! Teach structural devices, and how to analyse them, chuck in a couple of nice sounding technical terms to boost their confidence, and voila! Eight out of eight? NO.