6A2 revision plan – Christmas 2012

The Christmas holidays are here and with the holidays comes a great opportunity for revision for your Leaving Certificate. I suggest that you do around 45 minutes of work each day on English. The following plan covers most aspects of the course; but anything you don’t get covered we will come back to in January.

Remember that the mock exams take place around three weeks after we return from the Christmas holidays – this will help provide some extra motivation!

Here is a list of the topics that you should revise over the holidays:

Paper 1
Be sure that you can recognise and write in each of the five uses of language – language of information, language of argument, language of persuasion, language of narration and aesthetic use of language.
Revise the various type of Question Bs that may arise, such as a letter, review, talk, speech, interview, diary, report and so on.

Paper 2
As your Single Study text, you must be very familiar with all aspects of ‘Macbeth’ – character, style, imagery, themes etc.
Know your three Modes of Comparison well – Literary Genre, Cultural Context and Theme or Issue.
Ensure you are very familiar with your three comparative texts – ‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’, ‘Sive’ and ‘The Constant Gardener’.
Remember that we have done six out of eight poets in class. You should revise a minimum of five.

The following is a suggestion as to how you might cover all of this material. Feel free to adjust it according to your needs and your time.

  • Sat 22nd Dec – Language of Narration – know how to recognise it when you read it and what is required when you are asked to write using this type of language. Practise writing narrative paragraphs.
  • Sun 23rd Dec – the poetry of Derek Mahon – themes, techniques, imagery, key quotes etc. Add to the notes that you already have.
  • Mon 24th Dec – Diary entry and report writing – what are the conventions required for each of these pieces of writing? Can you recognise the language used in these formats and can you write one of these? Practice. Use your ‘Language in Focus’ to help.
  • Wed 26th Dec – ‘Macbeth’ – the major characters. Add to the notes you have already made. Find a quotation to support every point you believe to be true.
  • Thurs 27th Dec – Letter writing and reviews. Practice.
  • Fri 28th Dec – ‘Macbeth’ – minor characters, style, imagery. Add to the notes you already have.  Find quotes.
  • Sat 29th Dec – the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop – themes, techniques, imagery, key quotes etc. Add to the notes you already have.
  • Sun 30th Dec – language of information and aesthetic use of language – how would you recognise each of these uses of language? With aesthetic use of language, be sure to revise literary techniques.
  • Mon 31st Dec – ‘Macbeth’ – themes. Add to your own notes.
  • Wed 2nd Jan – talk and speech. Practise. What techniques would we expect to see in such writing? Also revise the language of Argument and the language of Persuasion. These two have many similarities, yet are quite distinct. Can you identify the distinctions?
  • Thurs 3rd Jan – Literary Genre – what does this mode entail? Examples: use of dialogue, flashback, chronological order, suspense, imagery, conclusion of the story etc. How do each of the above aspects relate to our three texts? Start planning essays and writing sample paragraphs.
  • Fri 4th Jan – the poetry of Adrienne Rich – add to your notes.
  • Sat 5th Jan – Cultural Context – what does this mode entail? How does it relate to our three texts? Start planning essays and writing sample paragraphs.
  • Sun 6th Jan – the poetry of Sylvia Plath – add to your notes.

If you have any questions, queries or concerns please contact my by posting a comment here or by emailing me.

Best of luck with the revision!

Your hard work now will reap rewards later!

Exam style questions on Wordsworth

Wordsworth has not been examined in the Leaving Certificate since 1996 – at that time the syllabus and exam were different and so the format of the question does not apply to us. However, the following are the types of questions that could be asked in the exam about Wordsworth.

  1. ‘The poetry of William Wordsworth is memorable for the imagery created by him.’ Discuss this view of the poetry of William Wordsworth as studied by you for the Leaving Certificate.
  2. ‘In William Wordsworth’s poetry there is a vivid evocation of both the natural world and the mind of the poet.’ Do you agree with this view of Wordsworth’s poetry? Support the points you make with suitable reference to the poetry of Wordsworth on your course.
  3. ‘The poetry of William Wordsworth has much to offer the modern reader.’ Discuss the relevance of Wordsworth’s themes and language in today’s world. Support your points by reference and quotation.
  4. Wordsworth’s stated aim was to make poetry easily understood by the common reader. From studying his themes and language, do you feel he succeeded? Discuss your view supporting all points made by reference to the poems of Wordsworth on your course.
  5. ‘Introducing William Wordsworth.’ Write out the text of a short presentation you would make to 6th year students under the above title. Support your point of view by reference to or quotation from the poetry of William Wordsworth that you have studied.
  6. ‘For Wordsworth, memories of nature and of the people he loved both refresh and inspire him.’ Do you agree with this assessment of his poetry? Your answer should focus on both themes and stylistic features. Support your points with the aid of suitable reference to the poems you have studied.
William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

‘Macbeth’ by Boil in the Bag

Senior students in the college were given a treat today – we welcomed Boil in the Bag productions to the College to perform scenes from ‘Macbeth’. The scenes were performed in a classical Shakespearean manner but were also given a modern twist. It is easy to see from their production why ‘Macbeth’ is a timeless classic.

The focus of the production was the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and it was clear how that relationship deteriorated as the play progressed. The modern twist helped us to fully understand that Shakespeare’s characters and themes are just as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. The actors were outstanding. It was a pleasure to watch them combine humour, ambition, superstition, grief and tragedy into a show that was truly spellbinding.

For more information about the production see: