Treasure Island! Teaching Language Paper 2 with interesting extracts…(!)



The example extracts that AQA have released are not the most exciting and I was getting fed up with the wave of disappointed expressions at being faced with another text that didn’t quite capture anything unless I worked desperately hard at it. I appreciate that students need to be exposed to the ‘real deal’ so they aren’t surprised or unprepared when it comes to the actual exam, but I introduced the papers and questions with some slightly more familiar themes – like the ones attached above.

I have purposely chosen a text with some unfamiliar vocabulary and keep reminding/reassuring my wonderful colleagues that students do not need to know the meaning of every single word (which is ultimately impossible) so there is no point telling them, unless of course it’s a commonly used word that they really should know…

The skill that I have been cultivating in my students is to have the ability to work out what is happening in a text despite not knowing several (or many) of the word choices. This has been brilliant in terms of building the confidence of lower ability students as they feel that they can certainly discover something about a text and that will get them places rather than not bothering to try at all.

-On a side note, I have recently recommended Celia Rees’ novel Pirates! to a self-proclaimed “enemy of books” and she is loving it…




Author: myenglisheffects

Sharing ideas and resources for English secondary school and sixth form teaching.

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