Whether you’re an experienced teacher who has taught literature and film before, or a ‘novice’ somewhat daunted by the requirements of the new A Level languages specification, the Hodder Modern Languages Study Guides are a superb resource for teachers and students alike.
Hodder have produced a series of 16 guides, covering well-known texts and films which are on the prescribed list of all new specifications, and include titles in French, German and Spanish.
So why are they so good, I hear you ask? For me, there are several different reasons:
Firstly, each guide is designed in the same user-friendly format. After a brief synopsis of the book or film, sections cover the social and historical context, individual scene or chapter summaries, the major themes, the main characters and significant techniques used by the director or author in the work. Every aspect of the new specification has been taken into consideration to guide students towards the final goal of writing a critical and analytical response in the target language to the set questions in the examination.
Secondly, the guides are written partially in English and partially in the target language, ensuring that students can learn and use key vocabulary and structures they’ll need for the essays in Paper 2, but also allowing them to develop a deep understanding of the work they’re studying and the concepts involved.
Within each section of the guide, key vocabulary is highlighted and translated, activities aid comprehension and tasks encourage use of the specialist target language needed. Specific questions build critical skills, alongside tips for ‘grade boosters’ and key quotations relevant to the section being studied. Colourful mind maps provide a clear visual representation of the main points covered.
Finally, there are sections full of exam and essay-writing advice and sample essays with commentaries, explaining the AO4 criteria and how to reach the top band of the mark-scheme. Written by experienced teachers and examiners, these guides could provide an excellent basis for your schemes of learning for the literature or film element of the new A Level specification.
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