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Help needed with son's English homework

Discussion in 'Personal' started by perdita, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. My son has been set some preparation for an English controlled assessment (year 10). They have been looking at using different styles of language and how language is used in different situations. He has been asked to imagine that he is a teacher and has to teach a 10 minute lesson on a subject of his choosing.
    I can help him with structuring the lesson and advise him on the kind of language he might use, but he's unsure whether this is meant to be a monologue or whether he should be asking questions of his peers. He finds this kind of thing incredibly daunting and would prefer to work from a script, but he wants to use questioning and obviously has no idea how his class mates would respond if he asked them a question.
    He has no idea which exam board they're using, but if this sounds familiar to anyone, advice would be gratefully received.
     
  2. My son has been set some preparation for an English controlled assessment (year 10). They have been looking at using different styles of language and how language is used in different situations. He has been asked to imagine that he is a teacher and has to teach a 10 minute lesson on a subject of his choosing.
    I can help him with structuring the lesson and advise him on the kind of language he might use, but he's unsure whether this is meant to be a monologue or whether he should be asking questions of his peers. He finds this kind of thing incredibly daunting and would prefer to work from a script, but he wants to use questioning and obviously has no idea how his class mates would respond if he asked them a question.
    He has no idea which exam board they're using, but if this sounds familiar to anyone, advice would be gratefully received.
     
  3. I know the task. I am teaching it at the moment. It is important he knows whether it's a monologue or he needs to use direct speech. We use Edexcel and our tasks were a podcast or script; difficult tasks. However, a word of encouragement, the mark scheme is pretty broad, as long as he is using a particular 'voice' he'll be placed well on the mark scheme. It appears all the exam boards are doing pretty much the same thing. Why don't you look online at the main ones to see if you can get any better advice...
     
  4. Thanks I'll do that.
     
  5. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Lead commenter

    Does the school have a VLE he can access? If so, you will no doubt find a few clues there to guide him. Other than that email his teacher / English HoD via the school office with a few key questions and hopefully they will get back to you.
     
  6. Now why didn't I think of that, I'll get him to have a look - if he ever gets out of bed that is!
    His English teacher is normally very good (I'm in awe of her ability to get him to do this kind of thing) but she was away on the day that this was set and the substitute teacher just handed out the information sheet with very little explanation. It was just one of those difficult circumstances but they have been told they will be doing the assessment after the holiday, so he's anxious to get it right.
    Many thanks for the responses so far
     
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    It sounds to me as though they are in the midst of studying for the Spoken Language Study controlled assessment (a written essay exploring an element of spoken language, for which the teacher has obviously chosen the topic link to language used in a job). The assessment sounds like she's cleverly creating a speaking and listening assessment out of it as well - 3 mini assessments throughout the year worth 15% altogether of the final grade for English Language.
    It sounds like a very good idea and one that I might pinch myself to use with my class. As for how he should deliver it, I'd imagine she's wanting him to show understanding of how teachers speak, and therefore wants him to use questioning (closed and open), imperatives etc; basically all of the things we do as teachers in order to perform our job in the classroom. I'm sure she's not remotely assessing him on the success of his mini-lesson, but on his ability to interact with his peers and his ability to get into role as a teacher. Of course, this doubles up as excellent prep for analysing how teachers use language because he will need understanding of this in order to create his lesson.
    Well done that teacher. Good luck to your son. I'm sure he will be great.
     
  8. Thanks Eva, that's really helpful. Presumably, if she wants him to interact with his peers, a rigid script is not a good idea. Perhaps if he has some questions in mind and then has a bank of responses that he can draw on, depending how his peers answer his questions.
    Blimey, I don't envy him. This is an incredibly challenging task for a shy, quiet 14 year old.[​IMG]
     
  9. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    It would be useful for him to find out if he is being assessed in the "presenting" strand or the "role play" strand, as it could conceivably be either.
     
  10. Thanks for all the advice so far.
    We've had a good look at the information sheet that he brought home. They're doing AQA and it appears to be a speaking and listening task. They are told that they will be acting as teachers and the rest of the class will analysing their talk and how they perceive a teacher behaves. They will be assessed on their ability to create and sustain a role.
    The higher mark band suggests that he will need to 'respond skilfully and sensitively'. I'm taking that to mean that he will need to ask questions of his peers and respond as a teacher might to their answers. He could have a basic script, but there's no way he will be able to learn it by rote and recite it. (Which is what he would prefer to do!)
    Does anyone know if I'm on the right line?
     
  11. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Sounds great! It's a tricky task, but I'm sure the teacher is just utilising an opportunity to 'double up' and kill two birds with one stone - to get an S+L task out of the way and also to get the students to explore the spoken language of teachers, which will no doubt lead towards their spoken language study controlled assessment.
    I really wouldn't worry about it too much, if your son is very shy, the teacher will be aware of this and will adjust things accordingly. It's great that he's preparing so thoroughly though - I wish my class would! I'd just get him thinking about what he observes teachers doing when they talk - the kind of language they use, different types of questions ask (closed, open, directed, rhetorical), ways of explaining, reiterating, clarifying etc, using students' names etc.
    Good luck to him. xxx
     
  12. Thank you. I'm sure I'm over thinking this, he's seen teachers in action for 10 years now (and lived with me!), so I'm sure he'll have picked up some tricks of the trade along the way.
     

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