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English A Language and Literature

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English A Language and Literature

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  1. English A Language and Literature Paper One Standard Level

  2. Paper 1 • You are given two texts. • Choose one of them and write a commentary / analysis on it. • It will be a non-literary text i.e. not from a novel, short story or poem. • Texts: article, biography, advertisement, news report, film review, speech, set of instructions, etc. • There might also be an image with the text. Comment on how the image works together with the text.

  3. The instructions on the exam paper Write an analysis on one of the following texts. Include comments on the significance of context, audience, purpose, and formal and stylistic features.

  4. Goal of the analysis • How do they (context, audience, purpose, formal and stylistic features) work together to create the message and its meaning to fulfil the writer’s purpose? • How effective is the text as communication? How well does it achieve its purpose?




  8. Basic approach The Big 5 • Audience / purpose • Content / theme • Tone / mood • Stylistic devices • Structure

  9. Structure of essay • Write one paragraph for each of the topics in The Big 5. • Study the sample answers in your Paper 1 dossier. • Study the opening paragraphs. • Analyse the structure of the commentary. • Study the conclusions.

  10. Opening paragraph • What kind of text is it? • Who wrote it? • When was it published? • Where was it published (if known)? • What are the main ideas and supporting ideas • What is the *purpose? • Who is the *audience? * You will need to collect evidence to justify these points in more detail in the next paragraph.

  11. Context • External factors which influence the purpose, content and style of the text. • Study the information given about the text. • Year and place of publication • Type of publication (commercial website, newspaper, government office, etc.) • Gives you idea of possible audience.

  12. Audience Make an informed guess but look for clues: • In the context information. • In the way the text is presented e.g. images, headlines, type face, etc • In the content of the text. • In the language style and tone of the text. • Could be for the general public or a specific group (age, education, interests, level of expertise, etc).

  13. Purpose • Every text is written with a purpose in mind. • Every writer wants to produce an effect on a reader. • The effect could be «to take some kind of action» , «to feel something», «to think something», «to know something». • See the next slide for purpose verbs.

  14. Purpose words • to inform • to explain to the reader … • to persuade the reader that … • to convince the reader that … • to argue that … • to entertain readers of … by … • to express (regret, sorrow, anger, joy, confusion … etc) • to demonstrate that … • to set the scene • to evoke a sense of .... / a feeling of ... / memories ... / associations with ... • to celebrate the fact that ... • to promote the view that ... • to criticise ... • to make the point that ... • to highlight ... • ... add some more verbs of your own (use a Thesaurus to help you)

  15. Formal featuresstructure and structures News report / article • headline, type face, attention grabbing introduction, newsworthy content, short paragraphs, interviews and quotes, balance, sensationalism, facts and figures, expert opinion, etc

  16. Formal featuresstructure and structures Advertisement • Image • Copy (= text) • Slogan • Signature or logo

  17. Stylistic features Language • What types of vocabulary (diction) are used? Why? • What tone is created by the diction? • Is the register formal or colloquial or a mixture? • How do the register and diction match with the audience and the purpose and the context? • What stylistic devices can you spot in the text?

  18. Tone words • The feeling(s) a text creates through the use of certain • jubilant, joyful, exhuberant, enthusiastic, dramatic • dark, sad, sombre, melancholy, gloomy, solemn, earnest, serious • longing, despairing, helpless, pleading, begging • light, playful, flippant, good-humoured, dreamy • satirical, mocking, sarcastic, ironic, cynical, irreverent • angry, bitter, harsh, stubborn, dogmatic • impersonal, detached, dispassionate, clinical, cold • personal, intimate, emotional, lyrical, poignant, sentimental, warm • calm, philosophical, reflective, gentle, mellow, tranquil, tender • conversational, matter-of-fact • self-mocking, self-critical, self-confident, over confident • formal, grand style, pompous • subservient, eager to please, ingratiating, flattering • … add more words of your own (use a Thesaurus to help you)

  19. Language Stylistic devices in non-literary texts • Imagery • Alliteration • Irony – sarcasm - satire • Symbolism • Humour / Pathos • Rhetoric – hypophera, anaphora, tricolon, etc • Allusion • Metaphor – simile • Analogy • Emotive language (also for diction)

  20. Tips for revision • Work through the examples in your dossier for Paper 1. • Study the sample texts and the two answersfor each text. • The answers are numbered: 1.1, 1.2, etc. • The 1.2, 2.2, etc answers are the good commentaries.

  21. Tips for revision • What would you expect to see in a good commentary? Create a checklist and read a sample response. Did you find all of the items in your checklist? • Read a very good sample commentary. Now it’s your turn to write a commentary on the same texts. • Read a very good sample commentary and write an outline for it. If the student had written an outline before writing this commentary, what would it have looked like?

  22. Tips for revision • Compare a good and bad commentary. Draft a list of features that are characteristic of good commentaries, and a list of things to avoid. • Take three different-colored highlighters. With one colour, highlight all of the points or statements made in a good sample commentary. With another colour, highlight all of the examples and references to the text. With the final colour, highlight all of the explanations. Do you see a pattern? • Find all of the vocabulary (adjectives) used in a sample response to describe the tone of the texts. Rank the words used from most effective to least. What words would have been better to describe the tone of the piece?

  23. Tips for revision • Read a good sample response. Create a table with several boxes: sequencing words, expanding words, explanation words, contrasting words, comparison words, concluding words. Find examples to put in each box. • Find examples of how quotes and illustrations are set up. How many different strategies can you find for embedding quotes and illustrations in a commentary? • Use the assessment criteria to assess a sample response.

  24. Individual work Each person in the group writes two paragraphs. • Content, theme • Audience and purpose • Diction, tone and mood • Stylistic devices • Structure • Conclusion

  25. P O I N T • The main idea for the paragraph. The POINT YOU WANT TO MAKE some aspect of the text. • TOPIC SENTENCE Make a strong, clear statement or claim about the topic of the paragraph e.g. structure.

  26. P O I N T (Paragraph on similarities – theme) Although both texts are different types of texts, they comment on people’s preconceptions of gender roles.

  27. I L L U S T R A T I O NE X A M P L E • Use quotes, paraphrases of passages to support your POINT. • Integrate these well into your writing, using a suitable phrase such as: “For example, in line 26 the author remarks…”

  28. I L L U S T R A T I O N The comic clearly states that it is about gender stereotyping in the first frame, where Cathy says, “This is our baby’s one chance to get to meet people totally free from gender stereotyping.” The nurse claims that the baby is ‘strong, mischievous and tough,’ and therefore must be a boy.

  29. E X P L A N A T I O N Explains how the example illustrates the main point. Cathy is frustrated by this stereotype and argues that girls can be strong too. The nurse continues in her stereotyping once she learns the baby is a girl, by saying that she has “precious dimples.”

  30. P I E (P) Text 2 has the purpose to purely inform and convince the audience.(I) The passage really comes across as a promotional piece of text, as you read lines like “taking that extra time conching (stirring constantly in a vessel that looks like a conch shell) our chocolate to bring out the intense flavour that has become our trademark.”(E) By using jargon (“conching”) the writer convinces the reader of his level of expertise, which in turn persuades the reader to buy the chocolate.