Showing posts from May, 2015

Notes on GCSE exam - Question 5

Question 5 (16 marks, 25 min, write about 300-350 words in 4-5 paragraphs.)

The question focuses on you ability to: inform, explain and describe. You will be given the topic to have to write about, therefore you will have to identify the subject, the purpose, the audience and the form. 
There could be two kinds of combined purposes: to write to describe and informto write to inform and explain Let's say that the question 5 is: write a brief article for Real Life magazine, describing a childhood memory and explaining why it is important to you. 
1. Read carefully the question and answer several further questions; write down notes after reading.  Decide what the topic is. Decide what the purpose is.Target the audience.Choose the way to present your point of view depending on the question.
2. Preparations. Draw a spider diagram with 3-4 childhood memories you can write about. This is for a magazine, so it will be for the general public.The general public - people at different ages, backgr…

Notes on GCSE exam part 2

Question 3 (8 marks, 15 min) Explain some of the thoughts and feelings (keep in mind 3 things: what, how and why and use PEED to structure your answer.)
Start your response with an overview sentence to show you have a grasp of the whole text before going into detail. Select part of a text which convey some of the thoughts and feelingsof a character (or characters). These parts may include what is happening, what is character saying, or what the character is doing. About four quotations which you will be able to explain. Identify the thoughts and feelings of a character (or characters) from the parts of the text that you selected. Interpret the thoughts and feelingsof a character (or characters) from the parts of the text that you select. This is the most important part of your explanation. To interpret something means to read 'between the line'. Like in the previous questions - try to give an alternative explanation, or extended one: perhaps .... Even if you are being asked to …

Notes for AQA GCSE Exam in English/English Language higher tier (1)

I hope that my short notes will help you, the reader, and me to keep this in mind during the exam.
Questions one and two in this post. The examples of candidate responses and commentaries here.

Key words for all questions: to have connotations of, to be evocative of, to attract the reader's attention, try to grab initial attention, intensifies the idea of, this mirroring of words is suggestive of, adds further details, has sudden impact on the reader, creates strong contrast, the juxtaposition of, directly involves the reader, is thought provoking, lodges the idea in the reader's mind, creates sympathy, adds informality, makes it seem authentic, gives validity, is persuasive because, makes it believable, the reader feels obliged to participate, the reader feels important etc

Emotive language
Dramatic language
Verbal imagery helps the reader to hear the sounds
Dramatic imagery
Visual imagery helps the reader to imagine, to see the scene depicted in more detail
Giving the visual…

GCSE English question 2 - past paper

Homes and crops wrecked, but relief sweeps Queensland in Yasi's wake
The headline concisely conveys the information about the events described in the article: the homes and crops were wrecked by the cyclone in Queensland, Australia. We learn from the text that the cyclone was given a name 'Yasi'.

The headline consists of two parts, divided by a comma accentuating two opposite feelings the people of Queensland have.
The first part is very dramatic. We learn about 'homes and crops wrecked' by the cyclone. The word 'wrecked' is very effective because it implies total destruction of places where people lived and crops which gave people income. This is linked to the text informing us that 'cost of damage is ... about A$3.5bn'.

The second part of the headline conveys the opposite feeling. The author informs us that 'relief sweeps Queensland'. The juxtaposition of the words 'wrecked' and 'relief' builds the dramatic effect and even deep…

Writing about features

Writing about posters is similar to writing about the features of articles. I am going to write about a poster, using some useful vocabulary for that purpose.

The first thing 
that strikes me about the poster is an image in a shape of a droplet that connotates the water, indispensable to life.But, the droplet is not blue, as we could expect. It is red, but not such bright red that symbolise a threat. Inside, there is a white shape of a mother with her little baby, and this forms the visual focal point of the poster that immediately attract attention.

When you look closely 
at the droplet then you realise that it is also a shape of a woman expecting a baby. The droplet with red and white colours implies the meanings that bring the connotations of life, motherhood and vitality. It instantly evokes positive reactions and very warm feelings. We are ready to explore the poster in detail to know its purpose. 
Our warm feelings are enhanced by the warm shade of red with its connotations of fire…

The Sun - presentation analysis

There is another part of my analysis of presentation devices for question 2 for GCSE exam. I think that I have learnt more about how to tackle this problem. In my opinion, the best is to start naturally - as if you are presented with a paper and try to figure out what it is all about. 
I would start with quick reading, so you understand the subject, then I would write it this order: the picture (the big picture always attracts us first)the caption - it anchors the meaningthe title (if really big we may change the order)the subheadingall other features of the text (layout, bullet points, colours, subtitles, everything apart from the language in the text itself)brif summary of the context - do the features link to the text and how (still not sure about 'how') I am not very disciplined but I suggest that keeping PEE in mind would help.
Point: The headline is written in sans type of font (evidence on the paper - no evidence in this situation). Explanation: That kind of font looks m…

GCSE English Language: presentational devices

The more I learn how to discuss presentational devices, the more I realise how little I know about it. Most teachers give some vague advice about the importance of answering the question 'Why is this device used and how does it affect the reader?' Not many people can professionally answer that, it involves the knowledge (usually learn at any media course) and, what is also important, the vocabulary. Below, this is a video and so far the best help for any GCSE English student. 45 minutes from a specialist - worth watching many times and learning vocabulary from it. It is fast paced, but wonderful. I will try to build up this post with the set of vocabulary to use. We need to be prepared for the question 2, as well as it is possible. Ann Marie, I hope that you will find this post helpful. :)

Analyzing the headline and picture 2

Here is another article, this time from The Independent.

1. How is the headline effective?
The headline does not dominate the page but it uses statistic what make the text seem informative, authoritative and scary; it uses two key word: 'alleged' and 'on the beat'. It informs us that the policemen are not find guilty so far, but accused of brutality towards the public. 'On the beat' makes a kind of pun because of the multiple meanings of the word 'beat'. Here, the members of the Police are still on duty, and if they are barbaric, they still can beat innocent people.

2. How is the picture effective?
The picture dominates the page. It shows the police forces in full gear during rioting; there is the fire in the background. The policemen look very powerful, the army of men trained to fight with those who are dangerous to the public life and property. In the picture black colour dominates, what represents the police, but with the yellow and red blazes it make…

PEED (Point, Example, Explan and Develop) in English essays

A very important skill for passing GCSE is being a master of PEED; it surely helps to organise thoughts and write in proper English.

Albeit the structure seems very easy, putting it into practise needs some time and attempts in writing using this model. English teachers love PEED and expect us to use this during exams and assessments; also this is their favourite paragraph structure with a slight difference that the last point - development should lead to the next idea, explained in the next paragraph. Therefore, a 'Develop' step should incorporate some words or structures showing the transition from one idea to another.

I think that during the pressure of the exam it would be useful to note down the ideas in the PEED order and then create interesting sentences, using structures like 'one reason', 'I think', 'because' etc. I will prepare a separate post to gather some of these words.

My English teacher advised us to read at least one article a day and t…