Just curious, I am studying English 3AB and our first task is studying expository texts. Now i wanted to know, will the teacher be going over the texts with us students or what. The reason i ask is because we are studying a text and all i have been given is homework and to fill in questions about the text.... No actual teaching of sorts about the text.
How are you finding 3AB English?
Usually you are required to study the text your self. Of course this is english we are talking about so i suggest some fast skim reading of the book and then try and find quotes and explanations on the book from a place like sparknotes.com thats what i did with pride and prejudice and i ended up with about 70% if you really want higher then that your going to have to to the hard yards your self im afraid :P
Dammit. Thought the teachers would go through the texts with us in class, closely examing the conventions etc... I guess it's year 12, time to pull my own weight. Btw i am referring to some short story/type texts.
Thanks for the other tip above :), you have anymore? We are studying identities atm.
yeh sometimes the teachers do a review session where they have a few important quotes but it is mostly work done by the students at home :P
Our teachers expect us to have done a first reading and then we usually do a second reading in class, or at least go over most of the text. I do lit but I presume english would be the same. :)
oh cool.... Hopefully it will be like that. In the reading, you guys discuss conventions, themes and stuff like that?
It really depends on your school and your teacher as to whether they will go through it with you or not. Try asking someone who had your teacher that has graduated.
Awesome, have english tomorrow hope he does go through it with us :).
Thanks for the replies guys!
The main goal in English, and very strong in Literature, is to understand how language works. Most of your work will be essays and they need to be expository in describing a text, its features and context, and how it is constructed to promote certain values and to influence readers. Your homework will probably help you in understanding how to write good essays - very important at school and in the exams.
The topic about identity usually covers the socio-cultural themes of gender, class and race (and sometimes some others like age and sexual-orientation). What you should be trying to learn is how those aspects of identity are "created" in the way language represents them. How do certain words or phrases make one group seem better or more important than another (male/female; upper class/working class etc)? If you want to do well in English, explore your true views and share them, but when it comes to getting marks the right answer is that everyone should have equal status and equal rights, and back this up by quoting texts you have read on the topic which show the prejudices and have inspired you to reject unfairness (that's what a great text does).
Thanks for the reply Ruth. Can you explain more about "is to understand how language works" part please :).
"how those aspects of identity are "created" in the way language represents them" You mean like how they are portrayed by the writer? Like are they shown as the villain, heroe etc.... Like whos disempowered and whos empowered?
Oh sweet man, thanks for the information above. Will definitely save it :)
Thank You :D
Yes, some good examples! Narrative conventions and the empowerment and disempowerment of characters is definitely important. And how the characterisation of heroes and villains constructs a moral perspective on them (the villain might be powerful but is not trustworthy). Often novels and plays with a theme around one of these types of identity have a main plot and then a parallel sub-plot which contrasts making the point stronger. But how you "read" a text affects your interpretation - eg with Shakespeare nowadays, instead of accepting all the power inferences by interpreting it traditionally, you are meant to "critique" them.
How language works - umm the whole course covers this and it's really interesting!!!! Some examples:
The conventions of paragraphs, topic sentences, conclusions, punctuation etc to enhance meaning (you learn by reading and demonstrate these in your writing).
Being able to analyse and explain stuff such as:
Word choice: Are the words describing people or situations inviting a positive or negative attitude? (Our brilliant Uncle Jack vs that bastard Dad always had to invite to barbeques just because Grandma wanted both her sons there. Our charming hostess vs the dreaded dragon).
Tone (formal is in charge and a bit unfriendly, tends to use imperatives/commands; informal is more friendly, invites the reader to have an opinion and allows the reader to make choices).
Metaphors and similes (how they work and how they influence or manipulate the reader to think positively or negatively about the real issue they represent - metaphors of killing or of charity have different effects).
These apply to fiction and non-fiction texts. Even in essays or news reports, "real people" or companies are represented in particular ways through language.
Wow thanks man :) Detailed and brilliant explanation! Just had english today and the teacher went through the text with us, which was quite a relief.... Assumed in year 12 they'd through you in the deep end of the pool and expect you to swim lol....
Once again thanks! Will note down your posts.