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  1. GCSE ENGLISH Unit One Reading Task

  2. What is the examiner looking for? • Comprehension and reading skills • Identifying fact and opinion • Following the line of an argument • Analysis of language and presentational features • Succinct, focussed, supported responses • Due selectivity in answers

  3. The basics… • Read the question carefully • HOW = explain, analyse, use quotation. • Follow the instructions that you “must” do, according to the question set by the examiners.

  4. Recognising the difference… • What does the writer believe should be done about obesity in this country? • The writer believes that ‘ hard-hitting advertising campaigns’ and better education in schools are the key to … • The writer uses lots of rhetorical questions to put forward his ideas about what should be done about obesity such as…

  5. Recognising the difference… • How does the writer use language to persuade us of his views? • The writer’s view, that children today are far more violent than in past decades, is most prominently seen in his sarcastic tone and use of hyperbole such as… • The writer thinks that children today are much more violent. He implies this when he writes…

  6. Other basics… • Some questions ask you to COMPARE texts, writers or their methods. • Use connectives to signal you are doing this… • On the one hand… • On the other hand… • However… • Furthermore… • In addition…. etc.

  7. Audience, form and purpose… • Who is the text aimed at? • What form does it take? (article, front page of newspaper, speech, webpage etc.) • What is the writer trying to achieve? (entertainment, persuasion, information, instruction etc.) • WHAT BEARING DO ALL THESE FACTORS HAVE ON THE WAY THE TEXT LOOKS AND THE WAY IT IS WRITTEN?

  8. Language features… Possibilities (words)… Possibilities (structures)… Repetition Long, complex sentences Short, sharp sentences Syntactic parallelism Rhetorical questions Exclamations Imperatives (commands) • Exaggeration (hyperbole) • Figurative/literary language (metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, appeal to the senses etc.) • Colloquialism • Formal register • Sarcasm/irony • Humour • Positive/negative connotations • Adjectives and adverbs • Strong, dynamic verbs

  9. Presentational features… • Text-rich? Image-rich? • Nature of images (cartoon, photo, black and white, sepia, blurred, close-up etc)? • Colour scheme? • Size and style of font? • Logos? • Positioning of visual aspects relative to text?

  10. For discussion… • Nine years ago Gemma’s mother left her on the doorstep of her local hospital. She has never been traced. Swaddled tightly in a pink sweatshirt, with only a note simply stating ‘I’m sorry. Her name is Gemma’, the tiny baby was taken into care and that is where she has remained ever since. This is where, however, you can make a real difference to children like Gemma…

  11. For discussion… • What is the purpose of this text? • What facts do we learn from the piece? • How does the writer use language to achieve his purpose? • Where do you imagine a text like this might appear in the real world?

  12. For discussion… • Choosing your A-Level subjects can be a daunting prospect. What if you haven’t decided what to do at university or in the future yet? What if your current school doesn’t offer the subject you would like to study? Stop. Calm down. Then, get proactive. Make a list of all your questions and approach someone in the know (now, not next week!!) who can help…

  13. For discussion… • Who is this piece aimed at and how can you tell? • What is the writer's purpose? • How have the audience and purpose of the piece influenced the language used?

  14. Reading images…

  15. Reading images…

  16. Compare… • How do the previous texts use presentational features to get their message across?

  17. To conclude… • Answer the (right) question. • Write enough appropriately in the time available. • Be explicit about audience, form and purpose. • Don’t just feature spot. • Read as many media and non-fiction texts as you can in the run-up to the assessment asking yourself questions about their content and presentational features (FAP).