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Does anybody have a definitive answer based on an official answer/document from AQA on ELH for CA?

Discussion in 'English' started by chocolateheaven, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    I am trying desperately to find an answer to this, and struggling dismally!
    For the Lit Unit 3 comparison/linking of Shakespeare and a ELH text, if using poetry do the students have to study 15? I was told that students had to study 15 poems, and write about 2 or 3 of their choice. However, a guy I now work with claims that when he went to an AQA meeting, he was told that he could just get them to write about one sonnet, maybe 2, and not study any others.
    The spec for English that was sent out from AQA says that students <u>must</u> study about 15 poems, but the version online doesn't seem to. I can't find any reference to it in the Lit spec! Does anyone have any idea? Please?
     
  2. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    I am trying desperately to find an answer to this, and struggling dismally!
    For the Lit Unit 3 comparison/linking of Shakespeare and a ELH text, if using poetry do the students have to study 15? I was told that students had to study 15 poems, and write about 2 or 3 of their choice. However, a guy I now work with claims that when he went to an AQA meeting, he was told that he could just get them to write about one sonnet, maybe 2, and not study any others.
    The spec for English that was sent out from AQA says that students <u>must</u> study about 15 poems, but the version online doesn't seem to. I can't find any reference to it in the Lit spec! Does anyone have any idea? Please?
     
  3. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I don't actually know the English system, but it sounds like the Scottish system a few years ago where students had "set" poets to study and had to write about two or three of the fifteen or so covered.
    Think beyond the exam. Why are you studying English? Is it so that the pupils learn just what they need to pass an exam? If so, then do one poem and ignore the rest.
    However, if you're studying English to open the pupils up to a range of literature, if you're studying English to share your love of literature with pupils and if you're studying English in the hope that you'll spark a fire that stays with them after they leave and perhaps study it further, then you are absolutely failing them rotten if you DON'T do the full range recommenced.
    Remember, the exam is meant to be a test of some of what they have learned in English throughout their study, a snapshot of their knowledge. If their knowledge of English extends only to what is tested in the exam, then I would suggest the course has been a failure. Think about the big picture, think about why you became an English teacher in the first place.
    Remember too the golden rule: teach well and the assessment will take care of itself. An HMI once told me that.
     

  4. This is the determinant factor for me in regards any reason to become a teacher.
    Did we choose to become English teachers for the endless backlog of lesson planning / homework corrections / exam preparation?
    Or was it the simple love of English that drove us into this career?
    The simple freedom to express and motivate beauty through learning.

    To be able to tell someone this poem / this play / this novel is beautiful, because...
    What a beautiful gift to teach...
     
  5. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    The "official" line (from an official source) is that 15 poems must be covered during the course of study. This is a QCDA ruling - their decision taken years ago - being that "a poetry text" consists of 15 poems. The students should write about 2 or 3 in their CA -- one would simply not give them enough to write about anyway. Studying poems does not mean that you need to relentlessly plough through them all with a fine tooth comb; in fact this is to be positively discouraged. Students should be taught the skills of responding to poetry, maybe incorporating close study of one or two in class, then move to reading/exploring other poems independently and eventually writing about 2 or 3 of them in their CA, preferably independent choices.
    However, well said Raymond Soltysek - study the poems for their own sake and let the students find what they like and want to respond to. It's the mindless search for "meaning" and the perusal of every word and aspect of a poem from only the teacher's point of view which switches so many students off poetry - and that is a crime!
     
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Absolutely agreed.
    For many pupils, their overriding experience of poetry is to have it shoved at them and then asked to go simile-spotting.
     
  7. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Well said, Raymond and regents.
    But on a purely practical level, to the OP - if you are doing the Shakespeare for a Controlled Assessment, then the need to study the cluster of 15 poems from the Anthology is actually for the Lit <u>exam. </u>For the ELH CA, you can link the Shakespeare play with any text "from the English (Welsh or Irish) Literary Heritage. The text can be from any genre, but must not be a text studied in any other unit of this course". (So you can't in fact use any poems from the cluster you are studying for the exam)
    <u></u>
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