English language revision

English Language Units 1 and 2



Transcript of English language revision

Page 1: English language revision

English Language

Units 1 and 2

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This examination is two hours long and consists of the following:

Section A: Assessing READING. 60 minutes. 40 marks.

• You will read two examples of non-literary texts on a common theme and answer questions on them.

Section B: Assessing WRITING. 60 minutes. 40 marks (20 for each piece of writing)

• You need to produce two pieces of transactional writing – writing that pays special attention to audience, purpose and format.

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The reading section

Section A: Assessing READING. 60 minutes. 40 marks.

• You will read two examples of non-literary texts

on a common theme. These could be an advert, a newspaper or magazine article, a page from the Internet or an essay (e.g. travel writing). You then answer questions on these texts. One question (usually the last one) will ask you to compare the texts.

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Reading paperThe questions you will be asked fall into seven

basic types:• Locating and retrieving information• Impressions and images• Viewpoint and attitude• Intended audience• Analysis of persuasive techniques• Comparison of texts• Evaluation of texts

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Reading paperHow the questions might be worded:• Compare and contrast these texts.• What are the writer’s thoughts and feelings

about…?• What evidence does the writer give that…?• Which of these texts do you find the most

effective?• Who would the language in this text appeal to?• What impression do we get of…?• How does this text try to persuade the reader


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Remember PAS

Purpose – Why has the text been written? What does the writer want to achieve?

Audience – Who is the text intended to be read by?

Style – How do the language and presentational devices of a text suit the PURPOSE and AUDIENCE?

So, put simply, the S is used to match the P and A!

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Glossary of useful terms

• Facts• Opinions• Statistics • Positive/negative adjectives• First/second/third person• Questions (interrogatives)• Commands (imperatives)

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Glossary 2

• Emotive language• List of 3• Parallel syntax• Contrast• Jargon • Anecdote • Humour

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Glossary 3

• Pun (play on words)• Coining• Statements from people• Modal verbs to indicate the ‘mood’ of

the text (can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must)

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Persuasive language uses the following tactics:

• scare tactics (playing on your fears or insecurities)

• shock tactics (often sensational or creating outrage)

• an appeal to your hopes, dreams or ambitions

• an appeal to your vanity or snobbery• an appeal to your better nature or idealism• an appeal to your self-image

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• Structure = how a text is organised or put together. You may well be asked to discuss how an argument is structured in the exam. You need to think carefully about WHY the writer chose to put particular details/information in the place/order they did.

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Tone• Tone = the way something is said or written

which shows the mood or feelings of the writer.Here are some useful words you could use to

describe a writer’s tone. calm aggressive measured

ranting serious ironic/sarcasticreasonable emotional factual opinionated

formal informal earnestelevated flippant/lightheartedconversational/colloquial

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Headlines and titles

The advice given in the WJEC textbook is that “All headlines and titles try to ‘catch the eye’ or ‘grab the attention’, so you will get little or no credit if that is all you say in an exam answer”.

You need to say something more specific about the headline. Why has the writer chosen those particular words?

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Use evidence


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Section B: Assessing WRITING. 60 minutes. 40 marks (20 for each piece of


• You need to produce two pieces of transactional writing – writing that pays special attention to audience, purpose and format.

• You will be asked to write two of the following: a letter, a report, an article, a leaflet, a speech or a review.

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The two tasks

One will test your ability to argue, persuade or advise; and the other to analyse, review or comment.

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Tips• Read the instructions carefully – they are there to

help you.

• Divide your time equally – about 35 minutes per question – and make sure your answers are about the length suggested.

• Think carefully before you write – plan what you will say in your introduction, in each paragraph and in the conclusion.

• When you have finished writing, read through and check for errors – don’t be afraid to make changes if they will improve your work.

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Before you begin

When tackling a piece of writing of this sort, always bear in mind these things.

Purpose: Why am I writing this piece?Audience: Who is it written for?Format: How should my work be set out?

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• What you write and the way you write it will depend on who the reader is. For a friend, your tone will be friendly, chatty and informal. For an employer, on the other hand, you will adapt a more serious and formal tone.

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• Purpose means the reason behind the piece of writing – for example, to argue, persuade, comment or review.

Make sure you are clear about the purpose of your writing.

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Format means how you set something out. For example, a report contains headings and sub headings so that different topics are dealt with separately and the report is easier for the reader to follow.

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These are important!

• Paragraphing • Spelling • Grammar • Punctuation.

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Formal letter

Remember that if you write a formal letter then use:

‘Yours sincerely’ if you know their name.

‘Yours faithfully’ if you don’t know their name.

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Formal letter layoutUse the correct layout for a formal letter (unless it

says otherwise).

Your Address

DateTheir address


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SpeechesThink about WHO the speech is for?Use persuasive devices such as:

• Question –• List of three –• Emotive language –• Statistic (you can make this up) –• Command – • Contrast – How things are now? How they could be?• Address the listener directly – ‘You may think that…’ • Anecdotes – little story to help make your point.

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What is the purpose of report writing?

People write reports to give information, to advise their audience or to persuade a person or group of people. Reports are normally written after some research has been done and they give up-to-date information for other people to act on.

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What kind of format is used for report writing?

• Reports need to be clear and straightforward so that points can be made clearly to the reader(s). There will be a main heading and probably subheadings. These sections should be clearly separated to clearly organise your work.

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What kind of tone should I use?• Always be polite – you are offering

information, advice and trying to persuade! However, it is fine to offer a strong opinion or conclusion if it is based on the evidence you have presented in your report.

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TOP TIP• Don’t write ‘firstly’, ‘secondly’, ‘thirdly’,

when setting out your points. Instead try to use words like ‘importantly’, ‘a crucial point is’ or ‘in addition to this’. It makes it more interesting for the examiner and makes you look like a more sophisticated writer!

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Articles for magazines or newspapers

If you are asked to write an article for a magazine or newspaper, the most important questions you have to ask yourself are:

• Who is it for?• What is it for – what is the purpose of the

article?• What style should it be in?

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Articles for magazines or newspapers

Purpose: In most cases, articles are written to inform, persuade and entertain. Most articles are written in a lively style and contain interesting facts and probably opinions.

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Articles for magazines or newspapers

• Audience: The style and tone of an article will depend on what it’s about and who it’s written for – a school newspaper will be different to Vogue. The exam question will ask you to write an article for the type of publication it is for.

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Articles for magazines or newspapers

Format: This is quite straightforward – the article needs a main heading that makes it clear what the article is about. The use of paragraphs is important (with subheadings) for a new idea or point you want to make.

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Articles – top tips

• Use a style to make it lively and draw the reader in – this might be informal and chatty, use questions to draw the reader in, or repeat a word or phrase.

• Organize your writing – use a catchy heading, an introduction to draw your reader’s attention, use three or four central paragraphs, a short and effective conclusion.

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Use a lively style that makes the reader think

you are their friend!

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• When you write a review, you need to think about: what age your audience is; which gender they are; how formal the language needs to be (‘The Radio Times’ might include more formal language than ‘The Sun’), and what your opinion is of what you are reviewing and why.

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• Give a brief description of what you are reviewing,

• offer your opinions as a reviewer. • Write about who it might appeal to. • You might want to warn your reader who

you think what you are reviewing won’t appeal to.

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Make sure you do actually express an opinion!

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LeafletsAgain you need to consider:Who you are writing for?What is the purpose?

Often a leaflet is used to persuade.

Can you remember all the techniques you have learned for persuading? (They are language devices that can be used in ALL of the writing tasks in this exam!)

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List of 3

Emotive words




Use of humour




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Language devices• Facts• Opinions• Statistics • Positive/negative adjectives• First/second/third person• Questions (interrogatives)• Commands (imperatives)• Emotive language• List of 3• Parallel syntax• Contrast• Jargon • Anecdote • Humour

You will look for these

in the Reading

sectionand use

them in the Writing section.

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I’m looking forward to

congratulating you on your final result

next August!