Textual Anaysis: Why Use a ‘Meaning First’ Approach?

In various A-Level English Language tasks, you’re asked to analyse text. This may be to comment on the meanings and representations created within it, or it may be in relation to a particular topic, such as child language acquisition or ethnicity. Whatever the task is, many students are tempted to jump on features that they… More Textual Anaysis: Why Use a ‘Meaning First’ Approach?

Why can’t I write ‘it makes the reader want to read on’ – and what on earth do I write instead?

As teachers, we’re pre-programmed to sigh – or roll our eyes – when students write or say that fateful phrase ‘it makes the reader read on’. But here’s the thing: when we’re talking about things like chapter ends, cliffhangers and clever titles, writers DO choose things to keep us reading. After all ‘page-turner’ or ‘I… More Why can’t I write ‘it makes the reader want to read on’ – and what on earth do I write instead?

Discourses: How do I write about Language for a non-specialist audience?

In several of the A-Level English Language specifications, you are required to write about Language topics for a non-specialist or general audience. In the specification I know best, AQA, this comes under the heading of ‘Language Discourses’, because it is the place – in the world and specifically the media – where language is discussed.… More Discourses: How do I write about Language for a non-specialist audience?