LEAVING CERTIFICATE ENGLISH

PAPER 1 (Draft)

ORDINARY AND HIGHER LEVEL
 

STUDENT RESPONSES



Introduction

In May 1999 the teachers of English in ten schools agreed to take part in a small piloting exercise for the NCCA produced draft papers. The fifth year students who participated sat the examination over the full 2 ½ hours allowed. It must be remembered that no teaching or preparation for the exercise was possible; the students sat the examination ‘cold’. It is a tribute to them and to their teachers that the exercise was completed so thoroughly.

The members of the training support service would like to thank the teachers and students who took part in the exercise.

Cabinteely Community School, Dublin
Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co. Cork
Crescent Comprehensive School, Limerick
Holy Faith De La Salle College, Skerries, Co. Dublin
Portmarnock Community School, Co. Dublin
Presentation College, Mardyke, Cork
Ramsgrange Community School, Co. Wexford
Senior Comprehensive School, Ballymun, Dublin
Ursuline College, Sligo
Vocational School, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary

The samples of student writing that follow have been transcribed exactly as they appeared on the original written scripts.

The task preceding each student response is taken from the Draft examination paper.

Each response is followed by two brief commentaries. The first attempts to identify some of the positive qualities in the writing; the second reflects on some approaches that may be useful in encouraging the students to improve their writing.
(See Draft Guidelines for Teachers of English and pages 68-103 of Resource Materials for Language Teaching for a more extended treatment of this approach.)

Words in square brackets [] represent writing which the student deleted and/or omitted.
 
 

SOME SAMPLES OF STUDENT WRITING

ORDINARY LEVEL PAPER 1 (Draft)
 

Brief report on answering the Draft paper.

Both teachers and students were invited to give their responses to the Draft papers.
Before the students began answering the questions on the Draft papers, teachers were asked to guide the them through – explaining the layout, the link between Comprehending and Composing, the choices etc. and to spend some time answering any queries arising as a result. In their reports teachers recorded the students’ concerns, the kinds of questions they asked and, importantly, their own observations. At the completion of the time allocated to answering the Draft paper, teachers were then requested to present their views in an open-ended format while the students were asked to complete a questionnaire. There follows a brief report on the teacher responses: the result of the student questionnaire follows immediately afterwards.
 

Teacher reflections.

· There was a wide range of material to choose from both in terms of texts and questions. Students appreciated the choice but were surprised that they only had to answer on two texts, for example one question A from one text and one question B from another. A clearer wording of the instructions on the title page would help.
· Students were surprised by the linking of the Composing to the Comprehending texts. While hoping that the variety of texts in Section 1 [Comprehending] would be continued, students would welcome more variety in Section 2 [Composing]. It was felt that only question 7 [My Favourite Story - The Language of Argument] was ‘easy’: the others were too confined to the texts. This could reflect the dichotomy between learning in the current syllabus and the expectations for the new examination in 2001. The question of how much to write in Section 2 was of immediate concern.
· Not all students worked to the end of the time allocation. This could be because they did not take the time to read all the texts as instructed or were unused to developing the answers in the manner required by the examination.
 
 

 
The student questionnaire.
 

 
1. The instructions for answering the paper were -

Very clear 17%
Clear  60%
Not very clear 22%

2. The time allowed for answering the paper was -

Sufficient 93%
More please 07%

3. The illustrations on the paper were -

Very useful 25%
Useful  65%
Not very
useful  10%

4. The texts on the paper were -

V.challenging 38%
Interesting 57%
Easy  05%

5. The short introductions to the text were -

Very useful 37%
Useful  63%
Not very
V useful 00%

6. The visual text [text 3] was -

Easier to write about than the written text – 37%
Harder to write about than the written text – 63%
7. Did the composition titles offer you a good range of topics?

Yes  63%
No  37%
 

8. Did you use or refer back to the written or visual texts when preparing your composition?

Yes  55%
No  45%
 
 
 

The student responses.

Example.

The task:

SECTION   2  Q5  COMPOSING  THE AESTHETIC USE OF LANGUAGE.

You are the captain of a ship or spacecraft. On one of your voyages you encounter events that are deeply mysterious. Write a series of entries in the Captain’s Log (diary) which describes the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds your ship.
(Use Text 4, ‘Captain’s Log’, as a model for laying out your entries.)

The student response:

Captain’s Log.

Monday 11 March 1900
Passing though Sector 9 on the way back to loading bay and seen a planet strange to this zone. It was glowing light red from a mixture of the heat and atmospheric pressure. We decided to take a closer look when some how we got dragged in.

Tuesday 12 March 0800
Power down totally, shields are low and team spirits are rock Bottom. We found out that the local residents are a bunch of people called dookies who do not like the(p.k.s.F.) peace. keeping. space. force. to much. Some they draged out of our ship to the surface of the  planet and are draining out all the resources of the ship.

Thursday 14 March 1000
We only had enough power to teleport one crew member down. Luietent TRE COOL steped up. His mission was to head toward the centre of the main town were the enigiser was stired. He would hit the switch then disasemble the machine which was paralising our ship.

Thursday 13 March 1530
Tre Cool radioed in that he is in the enginer room and about to hit the switch. Hes completes his mission quickly but he gets interrupted by the head Dookie Major Kerplunk. He was taken prisoner and brought to the detention centre just of the main city. We already had our power back on line so we quickly got a rescue team organised.

Friday 15 March 1200
The rescue team was successful and Tre Cool on back on board we were heading back towards landing bay and a bit shaken after our experience. No doubt their will be an inquirey into our experience but all I know is that this is not the last time I will record a detail in my diary about the dookies.
 

Length of student’s written work: 296 words. 1 page of Department Examinations Booklet.
 

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· Modelling on printed extract is evident in the layout of the student’s writing. There is some sense of the genre.
· Opens in the immediacy of the action.
· Development is noticeable from entry to entry.
· Sense of language awareness – the ‘lingo’ of Star Trek eg: Sector 9; teleport; energiser etc. Attempt at irony – Tre Cool, Major Kerplunk.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· Focus on creating the ‘atmosphere’ of mystery in each of the entries.
· Re-read entry for March 12th – did you get the most appropriate wording in ‘…residents…bunch of people…’ How would you re-word this more effectively?
· Compile a list of sci-fi words and learn to spell them.
· Having a strong sense of the ‘writer’ can re-enforce the point of view in the Log.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Example.

The task:

SECTION   2  Q5 COMPOSING  THE AESTHETIC USE OF LANGUAGE.

You are the captain of a ship or spacecraft. On one of your voyages you encounter events that are deeply mysterious. Write a series of entries in the Captain’s Log (diary) which describes the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds your ship.
(Use Text 4, ‘Captain’s Log’, as a model for laying out your entries.)

The student response:

Monday, 2 July, 1427.
Today we set sail on the Marygold in search of new teritories for the king of Spain. We are to set sail around the dark continent until we see the end of the world, then we are to search for new worlds and claim them for his majesty the king. We are in a fleet of 3 ships the Marygold captained by myself, The Phoenix captained by captain Smith and the titanic captained by captain Roger’s and being the largest shall sail at the fore of the other two. We are setting off on a beautiful summers day but how long will the weather remain good.

Tuesday, 3 July, 1427
One day into the journey and not a breath of air since last night which means we are falling behind in Time. I have the crew out doing a quick rundown of the ship and swabbing the decks, hopefully the wind will pick up.

Wednesday, 4 July, 1427
We are once again under way after catching a strong trading wind we are making good progress. We have cleared the southern tip of our  homeland but mood’s are good and the crew are happy, but for how long. Trips like this before it have ended in mutiny and I cannot say I have not had feeling about it.

tuesday, 10 July, 1427
My smaller ship has fallen behind the other two which is worrying for the rest of the Trip. The mood’s and atmosphere of the crew are still good and the food is still on course. My ship is the armaments ship which means I have the largest army presence of the three ships to protect the guns and powder. The wind has remained strong and we have gained ground. However I can only see the masts of the other two ships.

Wednesday, 18 July, 1427
Today we lost sight of the other two ships but I know where they are headed, to the edge of the world. The dark continent has been in and out of view for the last couple of days which seems to make the men uneasy. I was thinking of pushing our to sea away from land, but the crew are begining to get agitated and the other two ships are gone for the past week, I do not know
 
 

Thursday, 19 July, 1427
Last night an eery fog rolled in and so far it has not cleared, this worries me very much and I have consulted with the general and my chief of crew about what to do and we are undecided. I shall write later…I have heard that the crew have held a meeting which I do not like and have had to make an example of one upstart who began screaming into the fog. He received 25 lashes and is in the sick bay, I hope that this will end any thoughts that may have even though I have ordered the general to ready his men, I can only wish that they are not with the crew.

friday, 20 July, 1427
Last night went alright even though there was a fight but fortunately it was over a woman back home. The other two ships have to be caught in this fog too and without hardly a breath of air to move us along…we just hit something and it seems to be the phoenix, oh dear god what has happened, the crew they are all dead but not one with a knife wound or a gun wound, just dead. Not a soul alive where is the titanic I hope not of the same fait.

Saturday, 20 July, 1427
Today we burnt the phoenix and gave those sailors a sea burial. The crew want to start rowing and so do I but for how long we have been drifting now for 3 day’s and 3 nights how long can it go on for. There was trouble again last night but everyone was subdued today.

Sunday, 22 July, 1427
The fog is gone as quickly as it came and the Phoenix is smouldering and their is the titanic its crew are alive. I have meat with the captain of the Titanic and we are returning to spain as quick as possible.

Monday, 23 July, 1427
The crew are feeling better now as are we all but the memory of those men, their faces and their bodies will go with me to my grave. We seem to have all the look now with a strong wind behind us.

Saturday, 12 August, 1427
today we arrive back in Spain but without having achieved anything but charting new waters and loosing a fine Spanish Ship, the Phoenix, The king shall certainly be mad but I think we will make up a story of a fire breathing dragon This is my final entry at least for this journey as captain of this ship.
 

Length of student’s written work: 818 words. 3 pages of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· Creatively based on text 4 Section 1; model imitated.
· Forward referencing used to create the atmosphere of mystery eg. Entry for Wednesday 4th: “Trips like this before it have ended in mutiny…”etc.
· Use of phrases to enhance the atmosphere: ‘end / edge of the world’: ‘dark continent’: ‘[eerie] fog’: ‘one upstart who began screaming into the fog’ etc.
· Suspense as to the exact nature of the mystery is sustained right through the writing.
· The captain’s point of view is maintained throughout.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· Read aloud to get a sense of the punctuation and make corrections.
· Use of Spanish names for both ships and captains would enhance the veracity of the log [diary].
· Re read the final entry. Consider the phrase ‘make up a story’. How else could this be expressed more appropriately by a captain of the King’s discovery expedition?
 

Example.

The task:

SECTION 2 COMPOSING. Q7 THE LANGUAGE OF ARGUMENT

My favourite story.
Nominate a book or film as your favourite story. Give a brief outline of the story and then write a review of the story for your school magazine. Highlight the merits of the story in a way that will encourage other students to read or view the story.

The student response.

My favourite story. Brief introduction.

My favourite book is ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Sallinger. I am currently studying it for my Leaving Cert English Course. It deals with all the aspects of teenage life, as it is about a teenage boy desperately trying to find his ‘true self’ in a world full of phonies, and also in a preudice and phoney society. The main character is Holden Caulfield. The book [portrys him] first deals with [all] his life in Pencey, his school and his relationship with different characters there. [After this] He ends up getting kicked out of Pencey, and is forced to cope out in the ‘real world’ for a few days. [It deals wi] These few days deal with different aspects of teenage life, with Holden experiencing a lot of depression, but also experimentation, as all teenagers do.

The review for the school magazine.

“A book we can all relate to”
ATTENTION READERS.

This well-rounded oral story based on the life of Holden Caulfield, a confused teenager growing up in a ‘ mixed-up’ society deals with issues you may think you are the only one experiencing. Well readers – we are not alone! Holden Caulfield experiences problems with society in general and he thinks its phoney. His hatred for phoneys is portrayed in this book. Most of us are too busy trying to fit in with society to notice how false and phoney it is, and when we do we are afraid to speak our mind in case we are recognised for being ‘different’. Well Holden Caulfield is different, and by the time you read this book you will [see] find that there is a Holden Caulfield in everyone of us, and you will also find you, [are] the ‘different person’, are hiding behind a phoney image along with a lot of teenagers in today’s world.

The book is a psychoanalysis of Holden’s life. First of all it deals with social issues, that we can all relate to – school problems of course! He finds it hard to settle down and basically dosen’t give a damn about school-work. Most of us are able to relate to this, at least I know I am. Secondly it deals with Holden’s attitude towards sex. He is torn between his innocence as a child and his adulthood. He experiments with sex and ends up hiring out a prostitute. He describes his feelings for a girl, who he is in love with, thus dealing with relationships both sexual and emotional. Now I’m sure we can all relate to them.

It deals with religion in general and how poney the priests and ‘the church’ is. He blames society for portraying ‘religion’ as phoney. It also deals with family relationships, and most significantly death. [He describes how he] It is written in simple English in Holden’s own words, instead of the usual ‘ hard literature books’. It is extremely enjoyable and definitely worth reading, as it gets you thinking about your true self and how mixed up today’s society is.

Rating: 10/10 – Because unlike most books, the next chapter was always unpredictable. I found myself [not] being unable to close the book at times.

Suitable for: teenagers aged fourteen upwards.

Available in the school library under Fiction. Relax, take a break, this is a book you’ll enjoy. Forget those hard literature books for a while, and engose yourself in to Holden’s confused thoughts.

By the film and story reviewer.

A.W.

Length of student’s written work: 576 words. 2.5 pages of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· There is some evidence that the student has read Text 1 in Section 1
· The outline is brief and the language register used to present the information manages to achieve a precis-like objectivity. The writer makes a clear distinction between the outline and the review in the choice of layout.
· By addressing the ‘audience’ directly, the writer establishes the language register of the school magazine ie the use of ‘reader’; ‘we’; ‘us’ etc creates an appropriate  sense of familiarity with the ‘fellow students’ nominated by the task.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· In making an argument, we need evidence to support our views. Look at paragraph 1 of the review. What evidence can you advance to support your views (i) that  ‘Most of us are too busy trying to fit in … for being ‘different’;
and (ii) that ‘You are hiding…along with a lot of teenagers in today’s world.’ ?
 

Example.

The task:

SECTION  2 COMPOSING  Q7 THE LANGUAGE OF ARGUMENT

My favourite story.
Nominate a book or film as your favourite story. Give a brief outline of the story and then write a review of the story for your school magazine. Highlight the merits of the story in a way that will encourage other students to read or view the story.

The student response.

Book/film – Circle of Friends. Maeve Binchey.

Brief Outline.

Benny and Eve have been friends all their [likes] lives in the sleepy town of Knockglen. When they go to college in Dublin they meet a circle of friends. They become friends with the beautiful Nan Mahon and the handsome Jack. The novel tells us of the new and exciting adventures they experience in college.

Review.

The novel begins in the little village of Knockglen where Benny and Eve go to school. They became friends at the age of 10. Benny lives with her parents and they own Hogan’s clothes shop. Sean comes to work for them, Benny and Eve often joke about him as they dislike him.
  Eve lives in the convent and Sr. Francis takes care of her. Eve’s mother SarahWestward died giving birth and later her father the convent gardener killed himself. Eve has nothing to do with her family until one day she goes to ask for money for college.
 On the first day of college there is an accident. A young boy is killed on a motorbike by a car. Eve is hurt. Nan Mahon one of the onlookers begins to talk to Benny and visits Eve. Soon they become friends. The driver of the car is Jack’s father. This is how Jack meets the girls. Soon they all become friends and Jack’s friend gets together with Eve and Benny goes out with Jack.
 Nan starts seeing Eve’s cousin Simon Westward in secet. She brings him to Eve’s cottage in Knockglen. She finds out she is pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. Simon doesn’t want to have anything to do with it so Nan sleeps with Jack and tells him the baby is his. When it comes out in the open there is a lot of hurt and anger. After an accident Nan has a miscarriage and goes away to London. Benny never gets back with Jack even although she still loves him.
 I like this book because I love romantic stories. Maeve Binchey gives great detail in her writing.

Length of student’s written work: 336 words. 2 pages of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· Synopsis well shaped through paragraphing.
· Writing highlights incidents central to the novel.
· High levels of spelling, sentencing and syntax.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· Read the elements of the task set in the question. Distinguish between outline and review. Identify the audience you are writing for (the readers of the magazine ie your fellow students). The purpose of the review is to encourage. Reflect on the type of statements you can make which will communicate your enthusiasm for the book and encourage them read it as well.
· Read other reviews of books which encourage readers to read the book in question and note how it is done. Use as a model for redrafting your own writing.
· Also, read reviews which are negative about the books concerned. Note how these are written.
 

Example.

The task:

SECTION 2 Q1 COMPOSING  THE LANGUAGE OF INFORMATION

1 Narrow Escape on Railway Line.

Write a report for a newspaper on the events described in Text 2, ‘The Dare’. The events should be described clearly. The emphasis should be on the danger involved in the boy’s activities.

The student response:

Boy Has Lucky Escape After Miracolous
Stunt

It was reported today that a ten year old boy jumped under a rapidly moving train and survived. The driver of the train reported the incident to police who later questioned the boy involved for fear that he was suicidal. To their surprise, the boy told of how he purposely jumped under the train due to a dare he had been given by friends. “I studied the positioning that I should lie in for weeks. It was great, I didn’t feel the slightest bit nervous” were the comments made by the boy himself.
The incident has brought into question the safety of the train lines with the company involved and I has helped campaigners in their bid to make our countries train lines safer. They believe that trains travel at speeds far too fast and this maximum speed should be lowered by at least 30 m.p.h. Also included in their demands is that fences would be erected surrounding as may train lines as possible to prevent incidents such last Saturday.
The train company involved in the incident has also commented on what has happened. In a press conference [] today, a spokesperson said “We are outraged at the incident which took place last Saturday. A young boy could easily have lost his life due to carelessness on his parents part. We would urge parents to take care of their children and mae sure of their safety, especially where [ ] trains are involved. The incident was no fault of our own because there is only a certain amount we can do regarding the safety of pedestrians. Due to this a certain element of co-operation and  common sense is required from the public.[“] When a reporter asked about any new measures that would be taken to prevent the rate of accidents, which is rapidly increasing, he was told simply that “there will be no changes in our safety measures in the forseeable future”. This caused a big surprise at the press conference. A few minutes later, the director of safety spoke. “We feel that our [] lines are very safe. Of course, there are bound to be a few accidents as there is in every countries railway system. As regards the bright idea of putting fences surrounding the lines, it would have more bad effects than good in that inevitably, people climb over fences, they could be trapped inside and could easily be killed. Therefore, even if our safety budget did stretch that far, [ ] the plan wouldn’t be enforced”.
In my opinion, they are dead right. They could spend millions of pounds on erecting fenced around these[ ] train tracks but this isn’t [ ] what is needed. What we do need is to cop ourselves on with regards to safety.
 

Length of student’s written work: 469 words. 2 pages of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· There is evidence that the writer read the text concerned (Text 2 ‘The Dare’).
· The writing shows some understanding of the genre – the reporter had to go out and investigate, find information and form an opinion.
· Imaginative engagement with the text evident in the filling out of the detail.
· Use of quotations from main characters and others.
· The use of short paragraphs well suited to the genre of the newspaper report.
· Use of this incident as a launching pad for one of the newspapers favourite ‘hobby horses’- safety on the railway.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· The use of the phrase ‘it was reported’ suggests the reporter is using secondary sources. Focus of the report should be on making the primary information available to the reader. Review where the emphasis is here – on the boy’s dangerous stunt or on the policies of the railway company?
· Look at the language register in the final paragraph; the use of  phrases such as ‘dead right’ and ‘cop on’ may need rewording to emphasise a conclusion.
· Good editing also takes care of the spelling…

Example.

The task.

SECTION  1 TEXT 3. QUESTION B.
Choose either the book cover or the video cover shown above and write a description of the opening moments as you would imagine them. (100 – 150 words)

The student response.

[Video] I will name the main character Jack.
 Jack [has] is frozen with shock and fear, as he lies in his cell, living the last seven hours of his life. He keeps on visualising himself sitting on that ‘electric chair’ and he can nearly feel the pain piercing through his body, already. He is [frustrated] numb with fear, but on the same hand, extremely frustrated, because he knows it’s going to be impossible to prove his innocene without any help in seven hours. He starts praying violently, begging [him] God to help him. He starts banging the bars of his cell, and starts throwing abuse at the prison officers. He starts reminising the  past [in] on his mind, and starts thinking about the bright past and also starts thinking about his wife and his beautiful two daughters. His lawyer enters and for once they share a very [do] personal relationship. Jack’s [is][asked] laywer asks him to write a book on his story and the ordeal he is going through. [Jack agrees and the story goes] The film goes on to being a psychoanalysis of Jack’s [sto li] true story from this point in the film.

Length of student’s written work: 188 words. 27 lines of Department Examinations Booklet.
 

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· The writing emphasises the connotative aspects of the visual material.
· Captured aspects of the genre – cell, judgement, execution etc.
· The use of the ‘flashback’ is hinted at in the final paragraph.

  Suggested teaching and learning points.

· Incorporate the denotative aspects of the visual material into the writing.
· Re-work lines 6-9 (look particularly at the repetition of ‘he starts’) to make the action more immediate.
 

Example.

The task.

SECTION  1 TEXT 3. QUESTION B.
Choose either the book cover or the video cover shown above and write a description of the opening moments as you would imagine them. (100 – 150 words)

The student response.

Novel – Nightmare City.

 This could have really happened to Nick Oldham, or he just imagined it, or made it up and based it upon rea[l]l life. Maybe he saw a horrible incident happening and wrote a book about it.
 He was staying in a run down hotel in the centre of Vancouver when he heard a riot going on downstairs. He got up out of bed, went to quietly open his door and look to see what was happening. There was a tall black man with a gun, which was loaded ready to kill another man who owed him money for drugs. They started to fight out on to the street, the other man said he had the money he owed for the drugs but the man with the gun did not believe him so he put the gun to his head and shot him, he wasn’t dead but later the police and ambulance came and 10 minutes later he died because he was loosing too much blood. He would never forget what happened that night. After the police questioned him he left to [b] go back to his home place.

Length of student’s written work: 188 words. 18 lines of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· The writing captures some sense of the genre- the run down hotel, the point of view of an innocent observer, the anonymous threat etc.

Suggested teaching and learning points.

· Re-examine the purpose of the opening paragraph.
· Read aloud to achieve a sense of clarity – especially paragraph 2 lines 4-8. Naming some of the characters could also help here.
· Use the visual clues could help to give the writing a little more atmosphere.
 

Example.

The task.

SECTION  1 TEXT 3. QUESTION B.

Choose either the book cover or the video cover shown above and write a description of the opening moments as you would imagine them. (100 – 150 words)

The student response.

Nick Oldham – Nightmare City.

“Walking round the streets at 11pm on a weekend seemed like any normal everyday adventure, it was a usual routine I had got myself into, at home I was sitting down eyes staring at the four walls which surround me. So I decided it was time to check out the night life. I walked around the park the way in which I walked every night. You could smell the fresh air, you could hear the whispers and voices and noises of traffic even though you couldn’t see anything or anyone. Everywhere you looked all you could see was darkness it looked like a “nightmare city”. All that was around was a fue lights shining off a glisme of light, which didn’t help you see much. At one stage I could hear a dog barking and a loud sound like a bin falling over I could hear voices behind me, I turned round in terror…

Length of student’s written work: 154 words. 22 lines of Department Examinations Booklet.

Some qualities noted in the writing.

· Atmospheric writing – the noises, the lights, the boredom etc.
· A well shaped paragraph.
· A good sense of ‘opening’ is created. Reader left in suspense at the end…knows there is more to come!
· Interesting use of the ‘I’ to give the point of view a sense of authenticity and  immediacy.
 

As you read the above, how would you complete the points below?

Suggested teaching and learning points.


SOME SAMPLES OF STUDENT WRITING

HIGHER LEVEL PAPER 1

Brief report on answering the Draft paper

Both teachers and students were invited to give their responses to the Draft papers. Before the students began answering the questions on the Draft papers, teachers were  asked to guide them through – explaining the layout, the link between Comprehending and Composing, the choices, etc. and to spend some time answering any queries arising as a result. In their reports the teachers recorded the students’ concerns, the kinds of questions they asked and, importantly, their own observations. At the completion of the time allocated to answering the Draft paper, teachers were requested to present their views in an open-ended format while students were asked to complete a questionnaire. There follows a brief report on the teacher responses: the result of the student questionnaire follows immediately afterwards.

Teacher reflections

· Students were generally happy with the paper and remarked that the content/material was not that different – they had done similar type work for Junior Cert.
· Although they needed a lot of clarification with regard to the format of the paper (‘why four texts’, ‘what does aesthetic mean?’,  ‘do the sub-sections carry equal marks?’, etc.) they adjusted easily and required very little clarification re the intention/direction of the questions.
· Having read the first text the students were inclined to begin writing an A or B answer before reading the other texts, even though they had been instructed not to.
· “As a teacher I would be concerned with the amount of reading material on the paper. Students focused on the extracts and did not allocate enough time for the essay. But this will improve with teaching and practice. I liked the format and layout of the papers.”
· The time allowed for the examination did not pose a problem. Many of the students were finished 30 minutes before the time.
· “They were slightly envious of the incoming 5th years as they analysed the content, post exam.”
· “One candidate was confused about having to answer on only two texts as there were four given. Is the purpose of giving more than two texts to aid the students’ compositions?”
· “In general, students took their time and read the passages, had enough time and were positive in their reactions.”
 
 
The student questionnaire
 

1. The instructions for answering the
paper were –

Very clear  20%
Clear  45%
Not very clear 35%

2. The time allowed for answering the
paper was –

Sufficient  83%
More please 17%

3. The illustrations on the paper were –

Very useful 10%
Useful  60%
Not very useful 30%

4. The texts on the paper were –

Very challenging 07%
Interesting  85%
Easy  08%
 

5. The short introductions to the texts were –

Very useful 30%
Useful  65%
Not very useful 05%

6. The visual text was –

Easier to write about than the written
text -  33%
Harder to write about than the written text - 67%

7. Did the composition titles offer you
a good range of topics?

Yes  60%
No   40%

8. Did you use or refer back to the
written or visual texts when preparing your composition?

Yes  32%
No   68%
 

 

The student responses

Example

The task:
COMPOSING Q 2 THE LANGUAGE OF ARGUMENT
“There are actually people who take pride in their race. This is actually stupid.”
Write an article in which you challenge or support the views expressed above by the author of TEXT 2.

The student response:

 I agree with the view expresses by this statement. I believe that the greatest achievement humanity could attain would be to live with each other in equality and acceptance of the differences between people and between peoples. This is made impossible by such evils in our society as racism and prejudice. These in turn are, in my opinion caused by the stupidity of some people who believe that their race is superior to other races.
 An example of this stupidity is told in the book ‘The Little Prince’. The author tells a story about a Turkish astronomer who discovers an asteroid. Very excited by his discovery he makes it known to the other scientists in the world. But because he is dressed in Turkish fashion, and because the proud Europeans believed their dress is superior, his discovery is not accepted. A few months later the Turkish astronomer again tells of his discovery; this time he is dressed in European clothes, and this time he is believed.
 The above story shows the stupidity of people who judge others by superficial characteristics such as appearance. The astronomer had discovered the asteroid, yet he was discredited because of his nationality. If people of different races overlooked race as a thing of importance, think how much more could be discovered through cooperation.
 Racial or national pride has had devastating consequences in the past. For example, the first World War was to a great extent caused by the sweeping growth of nationalism which took hold of almost every European country at the beginning of this century. In fact, the immediate cause of the war was a dispute between two different races. World War One caused, directly or indirectly, the deaths of approximately eight million people. Hardly a price to pay for preserving national pride?
 A recent example of this cruelty and devastation which can stem from racial pride is the policy of ethnic cleansing being carried out in Kosovo, against Albanians living there. This has led to hundreds of people being forced to leave their homes or suffer the death of members of their families. To murder people because of their race appears to me to be the ultimate example of stupidity, cruelty and inhumanity.
 Racial pride produces racism by virtue of the fact that people who believe that their race is superior do not consider people who belong to other races to be equal human beings. This is the reason that during the Second World War, many people weren’t outraged at the treatment of Jewish people. The Holocaust is one of the most shameful atrocities in the history of humanity, and it was caused by racial pride. We must be able not to give weight to racial differences if we want to live together as humans. It is unquestionably stupid to cause hurt and death to other equal human being because of a little pride.

[481 words, 2 ½ pages of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some qualities noted in the writing
· The opening paragraph demonstrates an engagement with and understanding of the point of view of TEXT 2 on the examination paper. In the rest of the composition the student argues in support of this point of view offering evidence from The Little Prince, two world wars and Kosovo, but makes little overt use of material available in the text on the examination paper.
· Effective use of anecdote.
· The expression is good, individual sentences reveal strong opinions and the writing can be quite energetic, e.g. The above story shows the stupidity of people who judge others by superficial characteristics such as appearance… The Holocaust is one of the most shameful atrocities in the history of humanity.

Suggested teaching and learning points
· The student might have made a good deal more of TEXT 2. For example, explicitly linking the reference to The Little Prince with Giovanni’s Family Feud anecdote would have strengthened the argument, showing a shared point of view rather than simply a parallel anecdote.

Focus on one paragraph
· The final paragraph does little to draw together the thread of the argument. It introduces fresh evidence (the Holocaust). Does this militate against the reader’s having a sense of conclusion in the argument?
·  The student could be more familiar with the reasoning structure underpinning an argument.
· The second last sentence lacks impact because of its negative shape – ‘We must be able not to…’
· ‘being’ instead of ‘beings’ is simply a slip
 
Example

The task:
COMPOSING Q 2 THE LANGUAGE OF ARGUMENT
“There are actually people who take pride in their race. This is actually stupid.”

The student response:

 Why would someone in their right mind make such an idioc statement. To even ask some “why they take pride in their race is a ridiculous question. We are who we are. If you are Black, White, Asian or even Jamacian you should be proud. It aint always the black kid that gets beat up. Everyone is different and we cant change who we are unless of course you’re Michael Jackson. Everyone in this world should be proud of who they are no matter what colour your skin is. But this man is the most ridiculous man to write a piece of prose with such obscure material inside it. Imagine asking somebody why they take pride in their race. I am so proud to be white but I don’t think I’m stupid. The only person who I think is stupid is the author of this passage. The author must be so insecure about himself if he makes a statement like that. In my own opinion, people who take pride in their race are people who were raised properly and have no insecurity about themselves. Whereas the author of the piece of prose is the complete opposite. I myself cannot understand why groups like the Kulkuz Klang, and political leaders like Hitler, Sadam Heuisan and Slobadon Milosoveic can get away with ethnic cleansing of Blacks, Jews, Arabs and Albanians. These acts of violence are what we are witnessing everyday in our lives. People should not be fearful because they are Black or Jewish. Just like so many Jews stood proud when they were killed in 1945. We should stand proud and not let anyone or any organisation put us down. Many different races have been picked on down through the years. During the 1700’s and 1800’s the blacks have been subjected to u unbelievable acts against them. And in the second World War 1939-45 the Jews were killed in Concentration camps. All of these people have died down through the years and now the author Nikki Giovanni has the cheek to ask why we should be proud of our race. Our Fathers, grandfathers, mothers and all other relatives have died for the black or Jewish cause. We should be so proud of these people. To go out and be killed because your White, Black, Asian is a horrible deed to go through but to go and ask the relatives afterwards why are you proud of your race is terrible ironic and you may as well be putting the knife / or firing the shot that killed him/her.
 Everybody is proud of his or her race because they are brought up well and brought in a society of similar people. (same race) Whereas when people are brought up in a mixed society there tends to be conflicts emerging and racist fighting and murders become an everyday experience. Take England which has the greatest mix of people and each one of them s very proud of his/her race.

[495 words, two pages of Department Examinations Booklet]
 
Some qualities noted in the writing

· This student takes on the task explicitly and makes a valiant attempt to challenge the views expressed by the author.
· The reader senses a commitment, a personal voice coming through.
· Lack of logic – the writing contradicts itself at times.
· Poor punctuation obscures the meaning occasionally.
· There is little sense of a structured argument; what is advanced as argument is too frequently clouded by name-calling (The only person who I think is stupid is the author of this passage.), overstatement (Our Fathers, grandfathers, mothers and all other relatives have died for the black or Jewish cause.), and muddled expression (But this man is the most ridiculous man to write a piece of prose with such obscure material inside it.).

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Remember that an argument is rational, ordered and carefully planned.
· A strongly held point of view must be supported by evidence.
· Identify the points you want to make and build a paragraph around each.
· Pay much more attention to paragraphing, the ordered shape of the writing.

Example

The task:
TEXT 4 (the visual) Question A (ii) “How is this kind of lifestyle suggested?”

The student response:

The country lifestyle is implied by the view of the house, the horse, the binoculars and the two dogs on the grass. The impression of a well off family is given by the size of the house, the woman’s necklace, the well kept appearance of the dogs, the good condition of the door and the more modern – in that time – conveniences: the phone and the binoculars. The style of the phone and the woman’s dress indicate the setting in time and the image of society is given by the two dogs and the label on the binoculars which reads: ‘LONDON RACE CLUB’.

[102 words, 10 lines of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some qualities noted in the writing

It is of value here to pose the question: ‘What evidence is there in the answer that the student is reading a visual text?’
· Clear focus on a range of visual details.
· Picks up on the verbal clue given in – LONDON RACE CLUB
· Appropriate vocabulary: is implied by, the impression…is given, etc.
· The student moves from listing the items to their connotations in terms of lifestyle, values, and so on.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· This visual text provides a good opportunity to think about the term ‘montage’ – the technique of producing a composite whole from fragments of pictures, words, etc. This term is very useful in discussing the manner in which a film places apposite images side by side, in sequence.
· Good possibilities here for developing awareness of context – these same images could carry very different meanings depending on where they appear, from Country Life to Phoenix to Private Eye.
· See pp 24-25 of Draft Guidelines: Visual/verbal texts.
 

Example

The task:
COMPOSING QUESTION 6 THE LANGUAGE OF PERSUASION
“Fashions and dress-codes.”
Compose a persuasive article, e.g. a speech for a debate, which addresses the issue: ‘We are what we wear.’

The student response:

 From the beginning of time, man has yearned to look good. Whether it was the Roman’s toga or the knight’s cloak – each had the same significance.
 ‘We are what we wear.’ Interesting. Perhaps a crude, maybe bold statement, but in my view, true. Whether you like it or not, first impressions are a part of us all. When you see a man in a suit you believe he has money, when you see a man in a wheelchair, you judge them differently. Now I’m not saying this is a favourable quality for us to have but it’s part of human nature people.
 Time and again, we hear of discrimination in the work place. In relation to job selection. If two men apply for a job, they’re equally qualified. One man is wearing his new Armani suit. The other man is wearing a mud ridden, sweaty Tshirt and a pair of pants his poor mother stitched together. How do you separate them? Do you go for the smartly dressed corporate apostle or the slack jawed yokel? I know who I’d choose.
 In our world today you respect by what they wear. You feed a guard in a uniform, a symbol of authority – respect. You see a judge in his cloak, a symbol of authority – respect. You see an army general in uniform, a symbol of honour – respect. You see a man dressed in tight pink T-shirt with black latex shorts squeezing his buttocks like there’s no tomorrow. A symbol of what? Respect? I don’t think so. Call me unfair, but how can you respect “this”?
 I’m sorry but, ‘we are what we wear’ could not be truer. I’ve heard all this garbage at how “O, its, its, what counts on the inside.” Maybe, but I don’t hear anybody listening. You may be the smartest man in the world and have everything to say, but if you’re not dressed right, forget about it. We live in a cynical, cynical world, where there is just no room for the little guy. Automatically you are put in a different [category] on the clothes you wear. I take the examples of nightclubs. I have witnessed in certain regions that depending on how clean your shoes are, is the basis for admission to these nightclubs. You may be the most well respected man in town, but if you got dirt on your shoes it’s Adios!
 Regarding fashion, there’s a certain arrogance that surrounds the entertainment world. Constantly we see stars (unadmittingly of course!) compete against each other for title of “Best Dressed Male” or whatever. People will spend thousands of dollars/pounds just to improve their appearance and massage their egos. They may spend £40,000 on a dress just for one night!
 The same can be said for haircuts. People spend ridiculous amounts of money just to get noticed. But who doesn’t want to get noticed? People will judge others differently regarding haircuts. For example two men walk into a bar, one has traditional short back and sides will [while] the other is sporting a single green three inch spike and numerous piercings on his face. He may be classified as ‘weird’, he may even have difficulty being served! But that’s the world we live in folks.
 We live in a world where appearance is everything. Arrogance comes before substance and indeed we are what we wear. It’s time we ought to look beyond the shirts and ties and see what lies inside. But, as we approach the 21st century, egos continue to inflate, and people become more selfish. Time to smarted up, and see people for what we really are. Equal.

[605 words, 2 ¾ pages of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some qualities noted in the writing

· Good grasp of some of the techniques of persuasive writing – imagery, tone, selection of appropriate detail, etc.
· Opening sentence establishes the light tone of the writing very well.
· The chatty style is attractive, draws in the readers, and includes us in the writer’s point of view.
· Illustrations are witty and apt.
· The accumulation of images in paragraph 4 is very dramatic and effective.
· Effective use of the repetitive rhythm of persuasion - We live in a cynical, cynical world, where there is just no room for the little guy.
· Some very effective use of broad, declamatory phrasing - We live in a world where appearance is everything. Arrogance comes before substance and indeed we are what we wear.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Student appears to ‘change horses’ slightly in the final paragraph. Does the conclusion follow clearly from what went before? Does this add to or detract from the impact of the composition?
· The general shape/structure of the piece could be more coherent. Re-phrase and/or rethink certain parts.
 
 

Example

The task:
TEXT 3 WRITING ABOUT HOME QUESTION B
Imagine yourself in the home of some well-known figure from the world of sport, entertainment, or political life. Write a short account (150-200 words) for a popular magazine of what you imagine this home to look like and give some indication as to what you have chosen to include as significant detail.

The student response:

 From the outside this could be anybody’s house. The garden is neatly kept, but not lavish. There are a couple of garden chairs, the cheap plastic kind, surrounding a garden table. With on corner smeared with birds droppings, it appears the table hasn’t been used much lately, but these are busy times.
 This conformist, middle class suburban house is owned by none other than our own Taoisheach, Mr. Bertie Ahern. The house is nondescript on the exterior, the same as a thousand others from the same blueprints.
 The interior is of the same tone. A fitted kitchen, pleasant but not beautiful, can be seen through the open door at the far end of the carpeted hallway. The dishes are still on the table since breakfast time, and the 750g box of Cornflakes stands open on the sideboard. The Irish Times lies open on the kitchen table, “Manchester United on course for the triple.”
 The sitting room is well lit, with a large sliding door leading out to the back patio. Similarly it is functional and comfortable. The television is the main focus of the room, with all chairs facing this direction. Two coats lie draped over the back of the white couch. A pile of videos in front of the television show the mark of teenagers on the house.
 This is the house of the modern man, practical and hurried, only made into a home by a few warm touches.

[240 words, 1 page + 5 lines of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some points noted in the writing

· Short sentences and simple language make it easy to read.
· Material is pitched towards a non-specialist, general readership. Subject matter and details selected show an awareness of audience.
· Quite televisual as it moves into the house scanning the detail of the rooms.
· Delays the identity of the person until we are ‘inside’ the house.
· Nice conversational tone of ‘none other than our own… Bertie Ahern.’
· Some touches of a sly humour.
· A consistent and coherent picture of the house emerges.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Might have employed the shape of the magazine article more fully – headline, sub-headings, etc.
· Style adopted might have been a little racier?
 

Example

The task:
TEXT 1 QUESTION A (ii)
Do you find yourself in agreement with the author’s views here? Outline and explain your response in about 150 words.

The student response:

 To be honest like I said towards the end of the last question I do agree with the writer but that was just straight away after reading the text after a little while thinking about the writer’s points and his opinions being used to make our opinions I had the opposite views and feelings to him, this is because I thought that the writer was sort of using propagenda to win our thoughts and opinions over.
 My response to this was that he was very clever to use the words and examples that he used, the words were very subtle but his examples realy worked, in the first heading when I read about Western Culture in Singapore I immediately associated this with Vietnam and pictures seen about this and it horrified me because it showed that once an idea gets in its not going to stop until it takes over, just like in Ireland where in the past people thought that English was needed to get anywhere in life (it was true (emigration) and we saw how the Irish language completely declined.
 I do agree with the author that in some cases the loss of culture is sad.

[198 words, 20 lines of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some points noted in the writing

· The register is far too close to the spoken word.
· Follows the instruction in terms of keeping TEXT 1 in mind.
· Shows a genuine attempt to see both sides of the issue.
· The virtual absence of punctuation means that the reader has great difficulty with the sequence of ideas.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Slow down!
· Read the text and question again more carefully.
· Use a rough work/scribble space to plan and think out your response.
· Don’t rush into agree/disagree and then scrabble round for reasons.
 

Example

The task:
COMPOSING Q 7 THE AESTHETIC USE OF LANGUAGE
“Tales of feudal princes and magic birds and wars and tragic love affairs.”
Compose a fable or fairy-tale suggested by one or more of the details in the above quotation from TEXT 1. You may, if you wish, give your composition a modern setting.

The student response:

The war against Zeon.
 Clyde was a young teenager born on the island of Groundseal which contained the two kingdoms of Grisham ruled by King Grisham and Clydes home kingdom of Gransy ruled by Kai Ho.
 Clyde was still attending school with his friends Chester who was have [half?] man and had the legs of a horse, Sarah, a necromancer (magician) who had the powers of healing and telepathic thought and finally Jaha a very strong dwarf who always carried an axe. They were tutored by Lord Astral, a magician, scholar and trusted friend of King Kai Ho. One morning while waiting for Lord Astral to arrive at school a tremendous uproar come from the earth. The buildings, trees and ground started to shake. Suddenly huge crevaces opened to swallow entire buildings. Clyde decided to go to the castle to find Lord Astral and find our what had happened and see if he could help.
 Once he made it to the castle Sir Astral informed him that King Grisham’s son Prince Zeon had cast a magic spell taking away all of Gransy’s able bodied men. Lord Astral informed Clyde that he must make his way to Zeon and kill him so the spell would be reversed. So Clyde began his voyage crossing mountains and swimming lakes. On his way he found a small town inhabited by birds, their leader was Peter the Phoenix.
 Once Clyde told Peter of Zeon’s goings on Peter said he would help by accompanying them and helping them kill Zeon. Their next few days travel was tortureous. They had very little food and barely enough water. They were constantly getting involved in battles with Zeon’s soldiers, everytime becoming weaker and tirder.
 Eventually they made [it] to King Grisham’s castle. They could see preparations underway for an invasion of Gransy. They decided to attack once the troops left. The army left just before noon, leaving plenty of unguarded routes to the castle. They decided to act fast.
 At two o’clock they struck. Deadly fast. Deadly. They made their way into the castle. Jaha and Chester stayed in the courtyard defending the others’ backs from wandering guards.
 Clyde and Sarah made it to the Hall of the castle Peter having been killed earlier on. They met Zeon. He immediately struck Sarah to the ground leaving only Clyde to face him in a duel. Zeon lunged forwards attacking Clyde and catching the side of his torso. Clyde swung rashly and missed Zeon. Zeon then slashed Clyde across the throat and cut one of his legs. Zeon who was laughing loudly looked at his swords and took a mighty swing at Clyde, before he struck an axe was embedded in Zeon’s head by Jaha. The spell was broken.
[457 words, 2 ¾ pages of Department Examinations Booklet]
 

Some points noted in the writing

· The names and the ambivalent time and place give the story a fantasy-type setting.
· The narrative line is very simple, though not very engaging perhaps.
· Descriptions of the fights lack dramatic impact.
· Black and white characterisation is appropriate to fairy-tale.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Using a title page in which the student jots down the features of the genre would be helpful e.g. Fable – simple characterisation, clear moral, inclusion of magical elements, etc.
· Clearer focus on the dramatic elements of narrative writing, the things that engage the reader.

Focus on a single paragraph

Take a closer look at the opening paragraph:
Clyde was a young teenager born on the island of Groundseal which contained the two kingdoms of Grisham ruled by King Grisham and Clydes home kingdom of Gransy ruled by Kai Ho.
· Exotic place names are the only means by which the reader is invited into the world of the story. How else might the writer generate a more credible sense of place?
· Is the sentence shape employed in this opening the best way of establishing the drama of the narrative?
· Experiment with different rhythms, more evocative descriptive detail, and so on.

 

Example

The task:
COMPOSING QUESTION 4 THE AESTHETIC USE OF LANGUAGE
“Days In My Life”
Imagine you are working in the household of the person in TEXT 4. Compose an autobiographical sketch in which you characterise your experience in the house and comment on your relationship with the householder.

The student response:

 Following my brief if somewhat disastrous stay at McMahon’s grocers, I began working in Ardgillan Hall two months after my fifteenth birthday. Ardgillan Hall was the home of the local landed gentry: Lord and Lady Hampton as it was in those days. In my two years there as a kitchen maid I can’t say I saw Lady Hampton more than ten or eleven times: and that including when I started and left. As I recall, she was a horsey kind of woman, always clad in tweed or her horrendous jodhpurs. Even entertaining guests with her lipstick and pearls she always seemed to excrete an underlying ‘eau de cheval’. On the rare occasions when she strayed into the kitchen, such as when Mrs. O’Shea was accused of fiddling the housekeeping money, she merely greeted me with a vague, rather bemused smile.
 “Curious specimens, these staff,” she seemed to be saying. “I simply wouldn’t know what to say to them.”
 Such moments were really the sum of my interaction with my employers. It wasn’t unusual for the time: those grand households employed so many staff – kitchenmaids, undermaids, chambermaids, gardeners, fieldhands, stableboys – that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to remember them all.
 Our little cottage lay on the edge of the Hampton estate, a walk of two miles to the house. It was a nice enough walk in summer but by God it seemed long enough during the cold, cruel winter. Some mornings I’d start work at six o’clock, which meant I’d have to leave our home at half past five in the morning. My teenage grandchildren give me incredulous looks when they hear this: to them half five is an alien time, suitable only for sleeping or possibly stumbling home at. But when I was their age I thought nothing of walking through fields crackly with dew, the milky-pale moon guiding my way.
 My days as a kitchen maid were fairly monotonous, washing, scrubbing pots and peeling mounds of potatoes. For a family of four the Hamptons produced an awful lot of work. I used to especially dread the tea-parties Lady Hampton would throw throughout the summer. Mounds of crustless cucumbers (something that still remains in my mind as the archetypal symbol of the gentry), endless pots of tea, tureens of strawberries. Maids dashing in and out, cursing to themselves about the arrogant fools outside. And oh! the overwhelming stench of stale sweat! We didn’t have the advantage of air conditioning in those stuffy kitchens, and anti-perspirants were still a thing of the future. My dress would be stuck to my shoulderblades with sweat, my face a shiny balloon. You’d be close to tears as all the dirty dishes piled up around you, dashing whatever hopes you might have had of an early reprieve. Sticky and smelly, I can’t say I especially enjoyed summer in the kitchen.
 Another thing I remember about Ardgillan Hall is that there always seemed to be dogs running around all over the place. Lady Hampton’s again of course. Every now and then the stinking articles would be handed over to some unfortunate maid to bathe. The yelps and whines of protest (from the dog, not the maid) during bathtime were enough to send us girls into convulsions of laughter. I think many a maid felt close to strangling darling Rover or Rex during these sessions. Certainly the dogs seemed to be having a better time of it than we did, always being petted and cosseted.
 A great day in Ardgillan Hall was the time the telephone arrived. People nowadays blabber on about e-mail, and fax machines and the like but back then communication was a lot slower. That gleaming black machine was viewed with much suspicion, as if it couldn’t really be relied on and was in some way prone to corruption. There was much speculation as to whether or not it would render Paddy Donoghue, the poor telegram boy, unemployed. I will never forget the screams of elderly Mrs. Dempsey one day as she was doing the dusting. The poor old lady had been polishing the gleaming telephone when it started its shrill ring. Totally at odds with the modern technology it was all too much for her. Memories such like this, along with myself, belong I fear to a different age, one which has all but disappeared.

[724 words, 3 pages of Department Examinations Booklet]

Some points noted in the writing

· A very successful narrative which makes great use of the visual stimulus, TEXT 4 – the dogs, the telephone.
· The opening sentence very cleverly resists the temptation to ‘tell the readers everything’, gives the impression that we are dipping into a memoir.
· Superb portrait of Lady Hampton, perfectly chosen detail and register.
· Tremendous sense of humour in the attention paid to the dogs and telephone.

Suggested teaching and learning points

· Work on some minor imperfections in expression e.g. Even entertaining guests with her lipstick and pearls she… or
Memories such like this, along with myself, belong I fear to a different age, one which has all but disappeared.
· A1


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