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Difference between questions

Discussion in 'English' started by DalekTeacher, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Hi,
    I am teaching a Year 11 class for the first time for an English Language exam. I was wondering if I could ask for some advice on what the difference is between different question types.
    I have been looking on the WJEC pastpapers for the reading paper and I am concerned in case I am teaching it wrong.
    For example, what is required in a "How" question in comparison to a "What."
    Thank you,
    Dalekteacher.
     
  2. gruoch

    gruoch New commenter

    A 'how' question is about use/effect of language.
    A 'what' question is information retrieval.
     
  3. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Thank you.
    Would they need to include analysis and explain the importance of a quotation in a question that was a 'what' question?
    Would a 'how' question also encompass exploration of persuasive techniques.
    I am actually very nervous about preparing pupils for exams. I don't want to mess it up. I want to help my pupils.
    Dalekteacher.
     
  4. gruoch

    gruoch New commenter

    Yes to both - though I don't teach WJEC
    Caveat: if the 'what' is a simple information retrieval question, they do not need to analyse. Look at the mark scheme.
    If a question asks for 3 pieces of information and has 3 marks, then simple copying is all that is required. If it asks for 3 pieces of information and has 6 marks, a comment is also required.

     
  5. I presume you're talking about English Papers 1 & 2, Section A, which both follow a fairly similar format, although Paper 1 is English Literary Heritage comprehension and Paper 2 is on non-fiction. The first question tends to be a 'listy' sort of question "what do we learn about character X's thoughts and feelings in lines 1-30?" or something like that. Despite the equal mark allocation (4 questions, 10 marks each), the later questions tend to be more involved and require more analytical skills.
    I find that introducing kids to the mark schemes and getting them to self/peer assess (which you then check yourself later) is a really good way of getting them to understand the difference between a D and a C, or any other grades, depending on your targets. Something else I've been doing is getting them to choose an extract from a text they know well (Of Mice and Men for example), on which they then set four questions.
    Hope that helps.
     
  6. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Hi,
    Thank you for your help with this. It is Paper Two, with the non-fiction texts that they are doing. They are being entered for the Higher Tier, and I have looked at the mark schemes and they do look a little vague with what they are after which is why I wanted to check.
    How do you approach the teaching of Paper Two?
    Thank you,
    Dalekteacher.
     
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    You sound very unsure about what you need to teach. Are you a supply teacher? Or a student? If so, there should be someone (HOD or mentor) to ask so that you prepare the class properly for their exams. Have you tried doing the papers yourself and marking them? It does help you to see clearly what you need to teach for the top grades. I sometimes sit and write answers in class while the class do them in timed conditions and swap with one of the more able students in the group when we peer assess. They will always find something to comment on!
     
  8. Best thing is to get hold of the new WJEC text book as it breaks down the question types for you and gives examples of how to approach the different questions.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/WJEC-GCSE-English-Language-Student/dp/0435016873/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1300642206&sr=8-2
     
  9. The first question on paper 2 is simple information retrieval. They can list points and are not expected to analyse. They should be able to easily get 10 marks here.
     
  10. Many thanks gruoch but I cannot find them. I have all the past exam papers but now the mark schemes that go with them. I have searched through the 'Documents' sections but cannot see what I am looking for. Could you post a link please?
     
  11. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    It appears that you have to buy them. If you look on the GCSE English page, there is a link to the shop page and then you can see the mark schemes.
    AQA supply some mark schemes for download but the more recent are in a secure section that needs a teacher login. Perhaps this is true for Wjec? Seems a bit odd to charge schools to download mark schemes.
     
  12. gruoch

    gruoch New commenter

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