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AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 4

Discussion in 'English' started by CloudsTES, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Hi there
    I don't know whether anyone might be able to help?
    The AO for AQA English Language Paper 2 question 4 is obviously:
    AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
    Typically, as far as I understand, the question tends to ask for students to compare 'different' attitudes/ perspectives, although the Paper can also ask for a comparison of 'similar' attitudes/ perspectives.
    I work as a tutor and, in terms of this question, if it states 'different' attitudes/ perspectives, I encourage students to focus on comparing the different viewpoints/ opinions in the texts. However, one of my students' teachers has suggested that - I'm assuming because the AO is comparison, more broadly - a student can also compare similarities in attitudes/ perspectives, even if the question cites the word 'different' rather than 'similar' (on reflection, I suppose attitudes/ perspectives will, inevitably, be presented in different ways, even if they're along the similar lines).
    If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would be very grateful...!
    Many thanks
  2. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    The teacher is correct. Don't forget that it's also assessed for HOW they're presented. That's where people often fall down.
  3. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Thank you so much!
  4. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    I have marked this paper for years and the question is misleading as the main skill at the top of the markscheme is comparing the ideas and perspectives, not the methods. A student could achieve in the top band for perceptively comparing ideas and perspectives and do nothing on method and that would take them to the bottom of that band. I always suggest students compare one idea/perspective on the same thing and include how the writer presents that opinion as they write so: Source 1 viewpoint on issue 1 and what method is used, followed by Source 2 viewpoint on same issue followed by method and repeat a few times. Whether a question asks for simiarities of differences both are fine. Same for question 2 (which doesn't use the word 'compare' but that's what it means!
  5. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Thank you so much for coming back to me with your very informed perspective (no pun intended :)) on this. I was particularly interested to learn that even if methods aren’t explored, a student can reach the bottom level of the top band. This does provide me with some sense of relief as, for a while, re: tutoring this question, I wasn't focusing on methods, as much as comparison (and, yes, in terms of the comparison, pretty much following your Source 1/ 2 structure), until I read an examiner’s report recently, which highlighted the need to include method analysis (although, as you've suggested, this is clearly not the key ask of the question…). Thanks again!

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