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Teacher’s Guide to ELLA3 - Comparative Analysis & Text Adaptation

Beth Kemp | Monday September 06, 2010

Categories: Hot Entries, AQA A Level, AQA A Level English Language & Literature A, ELLA3


This guide is for the examination unit of A2 English Language and Literature AQA A, ‘Comparative Analysis and Text Adaptation’.

This demanding 2½ hours examination develops students’ analytical and productive skills acquired in the AS year.

It requires students to compare texts of different types, as well as to recast a given extract into a different set type of text and provide a commentary that explains their linguistic choices.

These tasks are assessed using all four Assessment Objectives:


Structuring the Teaching

The journalistic text for the recasting task (currently Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs or A House Somewhere) can take up a lot of class time; but it’s important to remember that, while students may feel reassured by covering the extracts in depth in class, what they actually have to do with them is use them as source material, and they therefore only really need to understand them.

Covering different styles of writing and possible features to use in a range of texts (thinking about and discussing the many and various implications of ‘G-CAP’: genre, context, audience and purpose) is an extremely valuable use of time that it is dangerously easy to overlook.

That said, the texts are of such intrinsic interest that it seems a shame to treat them too cursorily, as they can spawn interesting discussion and enable a lot of learning that is of wider value to the students.  The analytical comparison is best approached in a ‘little and often’ manner, with occasional short blocks of class time.

For those teachers familiar with the older legacy specification, the key points to bear in mind are:

  • The texts for the analytical comparison are shorter than on the old NTA6 papers.
  • There is no evaluation question about the frameworks used for analysis.
  • The recasting task is now based on a single text, and one the board will assume the students are familiar with.
  • The commentary on the recasting task is no longer...

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