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Evaluating writer's use of Language GCSE

Discussion in 'English' started by K.Wellborne, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. K.Wellborne

    K.Wellborne New commenter

    HI All
    I'm teaching a higher level ability group and I want to give them confidence to evaluate the writer's craft e.g. be able to say when a particular language feature does not work, even if it is a published piece of writing. Any ideas?
    Thanks
    K
     
  2. K.Wellborne

    K.Wellborne New commenter

    HI All
    I'm teaching a higher level ability group and I want to give them confidence to evaluate the writer's craft e.g. be able to say when a particular language feature does not work, even if it is a published piece of writing. Any ideas?
    Thanks
    K
     
  3. I've done this a few times. I trick them. I pretend they're looking at drafting and redrafting, give them a reasonably obscure piece (or, one that I've written, which works even better- at the big reveal at the end, they LOVE the idea that they've got to critique the teacher) that clearly has a few errors in it and get them to identify what works, what doesn't, etc. Then get them to explain their choices about what doesn't in detail. Then tell them what they've ACTUALLY been doing.
    Also, being willing to point things out you don't like helps them realise it's okay to do so. And encourage them to have their own opinions about it- invite difference of opinion.
     
  4. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Some good ideas it seems. I wouldn't necessarily, though, focus on if devices do(not) work, but rather how they might interact, and what devices or ideas lead/subsume others. So, for example, if you were to turn an article into a plan, what would be the key points, and what would form details? Generally the topic sentence might outline the key point in each paragraph, but the writer might lead to the key point in another way.

    Perhaps.
     
  5. I always found that choosing the text was about 90% of the battle. If you can hit on a piece of writing which the students find interesting - e.g. written by a celebrity about a topic which they are passionate about - it will enable the students to engage with the actual language used. Also, if the students know something about the author, the response of individual students within the class may vary considerably... And that makes it much more interesting, and much less prescriptive!
    The following article has potential, as I would think that most of your students will have heard of Harry, but they might not know about his nuts! I would urge you to get a sense of what the students are interested in and watching on TV too, as there are some superb and well-written blogs around covering e.g. reality TV shows.
    Good luck.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/harry-hill/harry-hill-fairtrade_b_1331694.html
     

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