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AO2 language analysis in Lang vs Lit

Discussion in 'English' started by OneLooseCrank, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    A short ponderance - I teach AO2 'language analysis' in the same way for both GCSE Language and GCSE Literature. The Head of Dept has recently told me that they are different and implied they are not to be taught in the same way... so I'm curious, do other teachers teach them as a shared skill between the GCSEs or, as different skills with different techniques? How do you teach AO2 in Lit if not the same way as you would teach AO2 in Lang? There are differences in the wording, but I want to extrapolate that here:
    • Lit descriptor for AO2: Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.
    • Lang descriptor for AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.
    • Obviously, the word 'form' is omitted in the GCSE Language descriptor until you get to this phrase in the specification 'comment on writers’ choices of vocabulary, form and grammatical features, paying attention to detail'. Both GCSE share the command word 'analyse', and shar the skills of 'effects' and 'terminology'.
    • The where appropriate bit is certainly one key difference and for Literature, and so I would expect less focus on the language components of the text (however, Lit AO1 and AO2 are equally weighted).
    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. KarineNatalie

    KarineNatalie New commenter

    We teach AQA - not sure if that makes a difference as I've only taught AQA for the new spec!
    I teach them the same way - to take a writer's method from the text and analyse it in detail, hopefully looking at multiple elements of it and multiple interpretations.
    The difference I find is that, for Literature, I try to teach them to intertwine their analysis with context where applicable, whereas this is not required for Lang.
    I try to get them to look at how the writer's methods build up to form a 'bigger picture' and to analyse how the writer creates an overall effect for both Lang and Lit - the only differences to me are the addition of context for Lit and the fact that their analysis needs to apply to a whole text rather than an extract.
  3. rachelsays

    rachelsays New commenter

    We teach Cambridge IGCSE Lang and Lit and as far as I'm concerned AO2 is the same skill set for both; you're looking at language in context and teasing out what features are being used for what effect. However, there is a subtle difference in that the language analysis in the Literature paper is not thinking about the effect on the reader, whereas the language analysis in the Language paper is.

    For Literature you're looking at language in the context of a whole fictional text rather than an extract, and you're thinking about how the language usage contributes to the writer's overall message in the text as well as characterisation, plot, etc. You're not going to be talking about how it makes the reader feel.

    For Language, the focus of the language analysis is to identify how the language is designed to provoke a response in the reader. So you're using the same skills as Literature, but rather than thinking about messages or character development, you're thinking about how the language is designed to make the reader feel.

    So for example - if I'm looking at, say, the line 'oh she doth teach the torches to burn bright' from Romeo and Juliet in my Literature paper, I would talk about the use of the alliteration in 'burn bright' as emphasising the notion of light, which is a theme of Romeo's depiction of Juliet throughout the play, etc, etc, etc.

    Whereas if 'oh she doth teach the torches to burn bright' were used as a line in an advert for lightbulbs in my Language paper, I'd be talking about the alliteration of 'burn bright' as a persuasive feature, emphasising the power and efficacy of this particular brand of lightbulbs, influencing me to buy them.

    I say this with the proviso that I'm an examiner for Cambridge so I only speak for how Cambridge approaches it.
    VeronicAmb likes this.

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