VCE Preparation Classes: working on the “package” of skills
(Pls note if you keep up the following tasks, and read as many books as possible, you will be able to achieve top marks in your class for English.)
For English Works Classes 2017, pls see my memo.
1. How to improve your written expression
- Good writing: We will work on a passage each week focussing on “good writing”. The passage may be from the newspaper (editorial or opinion text) or a novel. We will learn/analyse sophisticated words, expressions, phrases and key ideas. One task is to write a concise summary of the author’s main ideas and key arguments.
- It is important to constantly improve our written expression. Please send me a paragraph on one of our tasks or a paragraph from a school task and I will analyse any awkward phrases/clauses. We will go over the typical/common grammatical errors in the class. Please see: student-sample-expression-corrections
2. How to improve your reasoning and persuasive techniques and persuasive speeches/essays
- Please do an exercise each work from the Green Workbook: The Language of persuasion: become an expert. See this link for relevant exercises/now “turn to” exercises.
- We will also go over other workbooks and persuasive texts/newspaper articles. A+ students intuitively get a balance between macro/micro or “big picture” and key details. This enables you to do a better analysis of “purpose” and hone in on the “most important” persuasive techniques – not just a list of everything.
- We must also keep learning the “metalanguage” that is filtered throughout the workbook, especially the tone words. (Pls see this typical “tone test” based on my favourite tone words). We will learn how to use sentences that embed the metalanguage (to avoid technique-listing and summarising).
- We must use these techniques in your own persuasive speeches and essays.
3. How to improve your text-based essays
- We will study a variety of passages from your set texts, other texts/the “classics” and opinion articles, and identify key ideas. We will practice writing topic sentences, which are critical for text response essays. These key ideas also form the basis for a comparative essay. eg. guards and abuse of power; Example: pls see the analysis of key article and key ideas. Also work on themes etc. You must also get a balance between key ideas and sharp, deep analytical focus on specific areas of the text.
- Please see notes on Writing a Text Response essay
- Please see notes on Writing A Comparative paragraph/essay
4. How to improve your creative essays
- We will continue to analyse people/characters/themes (through a variety of people stories and text excerpts.)
- We will study passages in texts and focus on the author’s creative strategies and vocabulary. Please see list of passages/strategies.
Scholarship Classes: 2 pm and 3.15
- We will do an exercise each week from the Yellow Book, relating to Techniques and Essays
- Creative writing: we will work on people stories such as Two of Us; and themes. See our summary.
- Pls see the tasks on Identity and Difference: Write an analysis of characters: Please personalise the story. Why are they different? How do they cope with their differences, ie positives and negatives.
- Focus on New Vocabulary and Spelling – common words to improve
- Creative work and english extension: we will read texts/passages from a variety of texts such as Christmas Carol, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
Specific Text Studies
Return to Classes This Week