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A Teacher’s Guide to Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

Andrea Lewis | Tuesday October 23, 2012

Categories: Hot Entries, Prose, Analysing Prose, Enduring Love, Writing, Analytical Writing, Prose Analysis, AQA A Level English Literature B, LITB1, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level


The attached scheme of work and resources will be particularly useful to those teaching AQA Literature specification B Unit 1 Aspects of Narrative but also, I hope, to those teaching the novel elsewhere for either AS or A2 literature where the novel may appear as part of a coursework unit, as wider reading or as a specified text for The Modern Novel.

Teaching the novel has its own peculiar difficulties simply because of the size of the text and always seems to present a number of questions:

  • Should I ask the students to read the novel before we begin work on it in the classroom?
  • How much can we read together in class?  How much can I read aloud to them? Can I let them read any of it out loud???
  • How can I maintain some kind of momentum as it is obviously going to take a number of weeks to cover the book adequately?
  • How can I ensure that the students get to know the book really well?

I am afraid that this scheme of work will not provide any definitive answers to the above.  If the students have the novel before the course begins, some will read it, some will say they have read it and some will admit they have not even started it. Enduring Love is, in my opinion, a real page-turner and some of its impact could be spoiled by students giving the plot away too soon. Keen students are always going to read ahead but can, perhaps, be encouraged to keep any spoilers to themselves!

A good selection of resources helps to keep up the momentum and also provides processes through which the students begin to assimilate the text and familiarise themselves thoroughly with it. I have heard one chief examiner of a literature paper proclaim the need for AS students to read their modern novel text four times, asserting that it is only on the fourth reading that one begins to accumulate the extraordinary and fascinating detail that is necessary to support an excellent literary response. I can hear every literature A Level teacher muttering ‘some hope!’...

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