GCSE English revision help

(24 Posts)
Coconutty Sat 03-May-14 11:40:01

Has anyone got any tips to help DS with English revision? He is good at learning facts and figures but is finding it harder to revise English.

He's okay at of mice and men, patchy on Jekyll and Hyde. English language is the hardest one apparently.

He doesn't like BBC bitesize much.

Any tips would be very gratefully received.

MrsRTea Sat 03-May-14 11:57:14

I am shamelessly marking my place, but also bumping for you, Coconutty. I'm quite sure we are not alone.

Coconutty Sat 03-May-14 12:09:00

Thanks MrsT.

Tissuemapissue Sat 03-May-14 12:38:36

Tell him to go on YouTube and search for Mr Bruff. There's loads of excellent stuff there.

AmeliaToppingLovesShopping Sat 03-May-14 12:51:19

I second looking at Mr Bruff.

Is he doing English Language?

If you do a search on past papers you can get him to practice. They are the same format every year.

I am doing English GCSE as an adult and have been told by my tutor that the questions people get wrong the most are the ones about language features and presentation features.

Also get him to look up DAFOREST. They are language techniques that will help him a lot.

Good luck to your DS.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 03-May-14 12:56:10

The TES website has mountains of extra material for English language and literature.

As does teachit.co.uk.

Both free and help me prepare my lessons on a daily basis

FantaSea Sat 03-May-14 13:09:25

DD did English gcse 2 years ago - I had to help a lot with the literature. I bought her the York notes and also the Letts revision guides for each book. They seemed to be very keen on 'themes', such as 'power' and 'love' and these books gave examples for each theme. They also stressed character studies and again gave examples of these.

DD was told to put in quotations wherever possible to strengthen her ideas, and also to make suggestions as to why a character behaved in a certain way. She wrote things like 'I wonder if X behaved in this way because of...'. She was told that providing she could support her ideas, then there would be not be marked down.

Hope that helps smile

Coconutty Sat 03-May-14 13:21:08

Brilliant, thanks very much. He's doing literature and language.

He's off to check out YouTube.

AmeliaToppingLovesShopping Sat 03-May-14 13:21:45

Also if he hasn't been told about PEE paragraphs get him to look them up.

It stands for Point Example Explanation

They help to make your point without waffling.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 03-May-14 13:26:59

Coco- there are loads of PEE and FOREST examples and templates on the websites I mentioned. Have also got loads on my external hard drive if you want me to ping you over anything.

flamingtoaster Sat 03-May-14 13:29:16

The CGP revision guides are excellent: https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/whoAreYou?page=books_gcse_englishlanguage_revision Revision can never be fun but CGP do throw in humour.

Coconutty Sat 03-May-14 13:42:24

Thanks Drank.

Mr Bruff does AQA and DS is doing edexel. Damn, he looked great.

AmeliaToppingLovesShopping Sat 03-May-14 13:45:23

That's a shame. Have you tried putting in edexel revision help into Google or youtube? Someone else might have done similar.

Phaedra11 Sat 03-May-14 14:27:48

I am no longer a fan of Mr Bruff. DS and I were watching a new video he's just put up on youtube, where he claims to be pretty confident that he can guess what questions will be coming up in the English Lit AQA paper. He claims that his success in previous years has been spot on. DS has a different exam board but we watched with interest anyway.

Mr Bruff went on to explain he had written A* answers to these questions. Great, DS and I thought. Then, up on the page came a paypal sign and Mr Bruff started to explain how if you clicked on the donate to Mr Bruff tab on his website and contributed, he would send you his A* answers to those questions.

Very exploitative shock

Littleturkish Sat 03-May-14 17:46:55

I have lots of example texts for paper one non-fiction paper I'm happy to share- PM me your email and I'll send them over when I'm in work on Tuesday. This is the best prep for the language paper- start by reading the articles with him and go through the questions: what did you learn? What effect does the headline/image have? How does language create (specific feeling/tension) and then comparing the language of two articles.

Is he doing AQA?

Coconutty Sat 03-May-14 19:44:00

Littleturkish that would be fantastic, he's doing edexcel. No idea why as everyone else seems to be doing AQA.

Littleturkish Sat 03-May-14 19:58:12

Ah my stuff is all edexcel.

Do you know off hand what the language paper is like for edexcel?

Littleturkish Sat 03-May-14 19:58:41

My stuff is aqa, I mean! Bah. Brain fried from singing twinkle twinkle on repeat.

littlesupersparks Sat 03-May-14 20:04:05

Although the question types might be different, a lot of the skills will be the same across exam boards - e.g. Aforest, paf, pee so it might still be worth a watch of those videos...

syzygy Mon 05-May-14 08:10:24

I teach English Lang and Lit for Edexcel, and I mark for them too! This is how I've been advising my group (and my ds!) to revise:
- create a plot line for the texts. Mark key themes out on this (for prose they are given one extract and then asked to refer to one which they choose)
-On post-its, choose one of the themes and jot down key events which demonstrate the theme
-use a post-it to create mind maps for key characters. Who are they? Who are they linked with? What do they say? What do others say about them?
-be familiar with language features that an author might use. Be able to refer to the obvious ones confidently: 'the author's use of the adverb 'brightly' .....
-create a poster to remind yourself of MRS SOAP (metaphor, repetition, simile, Sibilance, onomatopoeia, alliteration, personification)
-edexcel like PETER paragraphs. Point, Evidence, Technique, Effect, Reader Response. The top marks come with perceptive consideration of how the reader responds to the text, especially given that edexcel word their questions horribly.
- on that note, all the question is asking you is, how does it affect you as a reader! Don't panic.

- For poetry, know all the poems in your collection. Use some A3 paper and think about links that you would make between poems. Think about themes, voice, form etc.
- use MRS SOAP to practice responding to unseen poems. The way I approach a poem is: what's this about/what's the overall tone/mood of the poem, and how has the author achieved this? (MRS SOAP, and practice in PETER paragraphs)
- for poetry, know the structure of the exam paper. My son mucked up last year by not referring to the named poem. Somehow he still got a C.
- for the prose in Literature he must remember to refer to context. Social/historical or cultural. So with Mice and Me, what's out Lennie and George in this position/what happened before etc.

I always try and prompt my students to ask themselves 'so what?' The author has used a metaphor .... So what? My Uni tutor got me into the habit of this about a hundred years ago and I pass it on to all students. My dd says it's a really useful practice.

Hope this is helpful! Past papers and mark schemes are invaluable. The phrase 'sustained reference to the text' appear in the higher bands - so it goes without saying - lots of reference to the text, with plenty of consideration of reader response.

Lots of luck to him. X

Coconutty Mon 05-May-14 09:30:34

Thanks very much for all your help. It's very much appreciated.

I'm rather concerned about the fact that his teacher has told him that the poetry will most probably be on one's which haven't come up before and to really only look at those ones. Isn't that rather risky?!

Also I couldn't find past papers online for edexcel?

syzygy Mon 05-May-14 09:38:08

Edexcel is a bugger of a site to navigate. I've got to get up now, but will try and send a link later. I haven't taught poetry this year, but from what I remember it's in two sections. The first is an unseen poem. The question will be something like How does the poet express his ideas about nature/love/anger etc. the second part has two questions. In this part he will be assessed for comparing. One question will name a poem from the collection he's studied, and say compare it with one other from the collectin. The thee will say choose two poems. He will need to know all the poems in the Section of the anthology he's studied.

Unless she's doing iGCSE in which case all my advice is redundant?!

funnyossity Mon 05-May-14 12:23:15

syzygy great post, but I daren't allow my son to say "So what?" It's his default mode for English!

Coconutty Sun 01-Jun-14 18:44:08

DS has English language on Tuesday. There has been some great posts on here but any more will be very gratefully received!

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