Get ready!The last cohort to be examined under the old A Level English Lit. specifications is now madly revising to prepare for exams, which will start in around a month’s time.
When you have hardly looked at a text which may be the first one studied back in 2014, you probably need some help in getting your head around it again. Step forward a new launch of worksheets based on two texts:
- The White Devil, by John Webster
- Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Help with revision – in school and at homeNow teachers can issue students with a set of downloadable question sheets which cover every scene or chapter of the above works, helping students explore aspects such as structure, characterisation, language, imagery and themes.
If students are wanting a thorough way of building up their revision notes at home, they can access these worksheets for themselves in the Crossref-it.info website here and here.
Accessibility of the textsPersuasion is fairly accessible, via myriad TV and film adaptations which have familiarised audiences with Jane Austen’s world. However, the experience of being a woman in those times is still a world away from life for girls in the UK today, so the Crossref-it.info text-guide offers detailed insight into the cultural expectations on characters like the Elliot sisters. There are also handy sections on how the novel is structured and how characters are judged, for example.
Webster’s play is far trickier. The White Devil is set in a different country, in a different religious culture and is part of a specific dramatic genre, the Jacobean revenge tragedy.
Students need to understand not just which character does what (and the plot is pretty complex) but how their worldview has shaped the way in which they think and behave.
The Crossref-it.info text-guide sets the play within its times, and the way in which English audiences of the time perceived Italian behaviour. It outlines the expectations of the dramatic revenge genre and how far the play fulfills them.
Successful studyAs students start to think about how to improve their exam technique, they will find lots of advice in each text-guide to help them, as well as sample essay questions to approach.
Test yourselfSign in to the Chrome app at http://chrome.crossref-it.info and students can also test themselves on memory questions for every scene and chapter in The White Devil and Persuasion. Furthermore they can plan out answers to sample exam questions and check how well they score compared to the site’s suggestions.
It’s time to crack on, so good luck everybody!