year 10 and english helpWatch
- Practise (mostly in year 11). By this I mean do loads of past papers and get your teacher to mark a lot of essays and give you feedback on how you can improve. I would say an essay a week or two-ish
- Actually pay attention in class and participate so you can see if your ideas are on track. I usually participate in class as I can be quite chatty but it meant that I could see what type of idea my teacher was looking for.
- Write down as much of what your teacher says as you can. This gives you more to say in future essays and, hopefully means you'll remember more
- Read your book before you start, it helps allow you to engage in discussions
- Study the poem/play/book until you are sick of it. This includes reading them, watching movie/theatre adaptations doing practise questions, making revision notes and discussing with others.
- Ask your teacher to see if they can give you some advice.
- Start revising earlier than your other subjects as it gives you time to prepare.
- Treat homework/practise essays and in-class tests as if they were the real thing (unless you are getting too stressed, then you can relax as it isn't actually your exam)
That's all I can think of right now. Hope this helps and that you haven't heard this all before!
Watch Mr Salles Teaches English on YouTube and Mr Bruff to guide you with how you’re supposed to be approaching texts.
English Lit is about producing personal responses to texts so have a personal relationship with the texts by really understanding their messages and purposes and how these are conveyed (the ways the writer carries this across). The second bit is really important, often people forget that the characters and everything that happens is all fictional, even if the writer bases it off true stories (links to context is significant here if this applies), and that everything within the text is CONSCIOUSLY CRAFTED for purpose.
After you are strong with plot and the understanding of it, ask yourself whether you can highlight what the authors/poets deliberately do to achieve their purposes/messages. Purposes and messages could go from Shakespeare warning against treason and disrupting the divine right of kings/natural order in ‘Macbeth’, Duffy purposefully exposing the chaotic effects that war has on the state of mind in ‘War Photographer’ etc. etc. Purposes/messages will link to methods straight away and you build on these ideas with context i.e. the importance of religion and order in Jacobean society, the issues of morality surrounding the photographing of traumatised children in the Vietnam war etc. It might be useful to get all these ideas down in the form of mind maps/essay plans so that when you revise certain themes and characters, they’re all in one place. Obviously, if you’re not confident you’ll need to go back to the basics; so start off revisiting the plots and journeys of each individual character and do some research on the context surrounding the texts and then look at the role and function of each theme/character.
Once you’re confident with all of this, start to write practice essays where you include analysis - ask teachers to mark these and offer feedback so that you can build on your weak areas and improve/ maybe even change your approach. There are lots of resources out there online that can help you start from not understanding anything to really being confident and having a personal understanding of the texts. Doing so will get you to a very strong place!
LANG: know what the examiner demands for for each of the papers. If you’re on AQA, Paper 1 will include: a short comprehension q, a language analysis question, structural analysis, evaluation of an extract question and creative writing. Paper 2 will involve: a short comprehension question, summary of distinctions and similarities in two extracts using inference skills, language analysis, comparative evaluation question and non fiction writing.
If you’re not on AQA, check what each paper asks for.
Effectively, you want to make sure your analysis and comprehension skills are top tier. Most of these skills overlap with what is asked for in LIT, especially the language analysis. Read practice papers with extracts regularly and understand the key methods (i.e. metaphor) needed for answering each question. Mr Bruff and Mr Salles have loads of great content for English Language online.
For (creative) writing, read short stories to expand your vocabulary and imaginative ideas, practice writing when you can and ask teachers how to develop this as they often have loads of tips.
the best advice for both is to make sure you summarise and write lots of notes for both subjects.
keep everything organised and have separate folders for both.
if your doing essays based on novels or books, try to find online resources which can help you to understand your work further.
ALSO THE BIGGEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR LANG is ESSAYS!!!!!! COME UP WITH LOTS OF QUESTIONS, and WRITE ESSAYS on them (give them to your teacher so they can mark and correct them - so you can better your writing )!!!! this was a BIG help for me!!!! This was I was able to be prepared for any question as i knew what to write - even though i didnt end up doing my exam, it still left me prepared for the worst case which was if i had to resit them in November.
The BIGGEST thing for LIT is to look at the CGP guides for the stories your studying. they gave me in depth info on my books and i always read ahead so i had an understanding on what the teacher was going thru the following day.
hope this helps x
if you need anything else just ask x