Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top tips for ENGA1 - part 1

Part 1 Language & Mode

Here are some quick pointers as to what might work with Language & Mode answers (and what might not).

Do these:
  • Make sure you talk about MODE: you should be explicit about where on the mode continuum you would place the 2 texts and explain your thinking. I marked loads of answers last year which didn't mention mode at all, or very much. 
  • Make sure you give precise, contextualised examples of language. It's not very helpful to say "the 2nd person pronoun you is used in text A" unless you tell us where it's used and why it's important in that particular place.
  • Always relate language to meaning. You can pick up lots of marks for identifying and labelling language feature, but you'll get even more if you explain the effect a language feature might have in its context, or how it links to the mode of the text. For example, "The text uses a number of minor sentences ("Why not?" and "True.") to imitate the structure of spoken language and achieve a more casual relationship with the ideal reader." is better than "Text A uses many minor sentences."
  • Try to structure your answer in a way that helps you use your writing time effectively. You don't have to compare the texts, but it's sensible to point out key differences and similarities. Comparison might save you time.  Then again, if you don't feel confident, don't compare.
  • Use linguistic terminology all the way through your answer and remember that the only way to get into the top band (13-15) is to discuss sentences, clauses and structures. Try to find at least one example of a simple , a complex and/or a compound sentence. And even better still, give an example that is accurate!
  • Always think about the audience, the purpose(s) and the positioning of the author/s. Who are they and what relationship are they trying to create with their reader/listener/conversational partner?

OK that's enough top tips for ENGA1 for today. If you want to ask questions, or add your own ideas, please add comments and I'll try to respond.

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