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A Level English Language - first time teaching the course...

Discussion in 'English' started by fantastischfish, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Hello Trusty TES Teachers,
    I'm teaching AQA Spec B English Language for the first time and I'm struggling and little to organise my thoughts of how to get into the topic of language and gender.
    I'd begun last week by trying to introduce some debate about languge bias when it comes to gender, thinking it would give them something juicy to debate: address terms, suffixes and imbalance in words to describe men and women. No. They were not interested at all. They didn't seem to think it really mattered all that much and that gender imbalance/bias is an out-dated notion. In an attempt to explore their argument, I gave several furhter examples, but they were not to be moved from their 'It's only words' stance.
    So, I need some help. Please could someone experienced in this area give me a few tips on how to inject some inspiration and interest in them? How do you approach the topic in the first few lessons? What are your tips of debate and grabbing their attention, making them think about it?
    I honestly don't think any of my students quite understand what LANGUAGE means. In fact, I'm sure some have wandered into the wrong lesson, because if they can't muster up even a mild interest in 'just words' what am I supposed to do with them?
  2. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Apologies for typos; my fingers are freezing!
  3. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Don't have it to hand, but my tutor at university used a memo from a concentration camp that used euphemisms to describe the ethnic cleansing. Might be one way in for the darker-minded students to see how language can be used for the powers of evil.

    In fact, I always preface any teaching of language or persuasive techniques with requiring students to tell me whether they intend to use such ability to manipulate for the powers of good, or the powers of evil. They almost always say evil, and I show faux-rage and declare that I will not teach them every language trick. Well, not everything...

    On the other hand, A-level language is, I imagine, a shock to the system for many students, so beginning with something in which they can succeed is perhaps a good bet. Nowt's as motivating as achievement, hey? Good luck!

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