If you teach English Language A Level, I’d recommend the following online resources:
- Membership of the English Language List (take a personal subscription on this site). This email list is where teachers of A Level Language share resources and discuss aspects of the course. It’s a brilliant community and we all learn a lot from each other.
- The relatively new site The Grammar Teacher, maintained by Dick Hudson and Geoff Dean has lots of helpful (and recent and positive) material about grammar.
- Membership of Teachit
- Subscription to Emagazine and EMC Extra. Emag is a fantastic magazine for sixth form students of English (all varieties!) and EMC extra is an online resource which is growing all the time. I particularly appreciate the video clips with academics on specific (and often tricky) details.
- Dan Clayton’s blogs – on English language and on teaching grammar
- The Linguistic Research Digest blog, maintained by Sue Fox and Jenny Cheshire
- Membership of English Edusites
As for books:
- David Crystal’s “Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language” is great to have in the department.
- Deborah Cameron’s “Teachers’ Guide to Teaching Grammar” is excellent if you’re less confident on word classes and syntax.
- The “Language of …”, “Living Language” and “Intertext” series are good for student reference, especially for Language Investigations.
- For the AQA spec, the OUP textbook (by authors of the old Nelson Thornes ones) is also particularly good 🙂
- (note: book links are affiliate links to Amazon)
General Writing Resources
- If you are looking for help with getting published, The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook is essential. As well as many useful articles on the business of writing, it lists publishers, agents and other relevant companies/persons.
- I’ve been reading the Story Fix blog for years. The posts on Story Engineering became a book published by Writer’s Digest and are well worth your time for a thorough – and clear –explanation of story structure.
- For women writers in all genres and disciplines, a Mslexia subscription is invaluable. The magazine features interviews with and features on well-known women writers and lots of pieces on forms and outlets you may not have considered.
- The podcast Writing Excuses offers a wealth of advice to remove excuses and get you writing. It’s fifteen minutes a week and has a huge archive. Season 10 is a good place to start, as they ran that as a year-long masterclass in writing craft.
- Another great podcast for writers is The Bestseller Experiment, now (in late 2018) about to enter its third year of weekly broadcasting. They interview authors and publishing industry experts regularly with great advice to offer on both traditional and self-publishing.
- Some good writer blogs to read include: Sarah Duncan’s; live write thrive; Joanna Penn; Go Teen Writers!
- This Tumblr of writing prompts has lots to offer, if you’re short on wacky inspiration…
Resources for Writing for Children and Young Adults
- Getting involved in Twitterchats can be really useful to talk to other writers, like #MGchat (for writers and readers of middle grade fiction, or books for 9-12 year olds).
- Anyone writing for children or teens – from picture books up to gritty YA – should consider joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s a worldwide organisation with an active British Isles chapter.
- There are several well-organised blogs featuring groups of children’s/YA authors which are worth visiting for insight into writing and publishing: Author Allsorts; An Awfully Big Blog Adventure; Picture Book Den; Girls Heart Books.
- There is also a specific Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, with relevant content for children’s and YA publishing.
- Two books that I would also recommend on writing for the children’s/YA market are both written by well-known literary agents:
Where to find more support for teaching A Level English Language; advice on teaching reading and writing, and recommendations for good reads for young adults (also see the blog for a lot more on this).
I thought it would be good in this umpteenth version of the site to add in a bit more for teachers, so I’ve tried to cluster together some of the stuff that you might not have seen from elsewhere that I hope is helpful. My Reading page will be forever updating, as it draws from my blog and twitter to pull reading recommendations and the posts relevant to teachers, as well as featuring my 2016 summer reading list that tries to match tastes to TV/film and hobbies/interests etc.
You may wish to follow my Facebook page, as that is where I occasionally share updates, as well as links to useful stuff online for Language. I also do this (much more reliably) on Twitter, but then I do everything on Twitter, so you also get a lot of book chat, dogs and writing stuff, as well as personal/political comments. I also use FB to give tips on how the articles/resources could be used in the classroom (which there isn’t really room for on Twitter) as I am really aiming the FB page at teachers and not students.