Blame the MTV age, not exam

29th June 2007 at 01:00
Marj Adams (TESS, June 15) takes me to task for my comments on this year's Higher English exam. It was hardly the analysis she labels it, and it is a huge jump from my reported comments to the view that she rather harshly attributes to me.

Pupils do have difficulty in answering questions on imagery. This has been recognised in the most recent report from the principal assessor, who notes: "Some answers to analysis questions in general continue to be vague and rather unanalytical. There is evidence that the approach to this aspect of close reading varies significantly from centre to centre."

Well, our results at Higher have been good and buck the trend at local and national level. We teach pupils to deconstruct an image, show an understanding of the image and then explore how the writer is extending it figuratively.

Youth culture and modern media entertainment have given the MTV generation a limited ability to see past the literal, but there has been no dumbing down of Higher English.

Like the librarians praised in the close reading passages, English teachers are custodians of literature and language. Our department is a citadel. And yes, I'm confident our pupils could successfully analyse these images.

Derek Hotchkiss

PT English

Caldervale High

Airdrie

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now