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A Level English Language Starters: Frameworks & Analysis

Beth Kemp | Sunday March 11, 2018

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Many of these suggestions can work as interesting ways to introduce a concept, with the actual name or ‘label’ of the idea brought in afterwards as a follow-up; or they can be effective starters to recap and consolidate terms learnt in a previous session.

All-purpose terminology revision starter: students have a fixed amount of time, e.g. one minute, to note down as many terms as they can recall within a particular linguistic ‘framework’ category. A level of challenge can be added by having students mark their own or each others’ lists, with marks deducted for ‘out of place’ terms [this is best achieved by providing a base list to mark from, covering all relevant terms taught so far - any additional ones students come up with are then discussed and assessed by the whole class. This allows for relevant terms learnt previously or elsewhere, and also addresses any shared misunderstandings.]

All-purpose terminology self-evaluation starter: students are reminded of the terms learnt so far, either with a total list or for a specific framework. Names of frameworks can also be used. They then rate them according to how confident they feel with them. This might be using traffic light colours or symbols such as ‘smiley’ and ‘sad faces’ or ticks, crosses and question marks, or for more challenge they can rank them, either in a strictly linear way or into a set number of levels of confidence.  [Note: this technique works for theoretical concepts and research studies too].

Recapping and consolidating terms can be accomplished as a starter activity in several different ways. These will work well to take on a single framework as a whole, or to revise terminology en masse, and most are also minimal in terms of preparation:

  • students can rank terms in order of how useful, interesting or important they think they are.  This can be followed up with a discussion, with students arguing for the relevance of different terms, or something more...

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