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October 16, 2021, 08:30:27 pm

Author Topic: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.  (Read 50671 times)  Share 

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Yang Li

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50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« on: April 24, 2013, 11:26:16 pm »
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Having graduated in 2008 with an ATAR of 99.75 and an English score of 50, I have tutored English and ESL (now EAL) students for 4 years, with many students achieving over 40.

I found this forum and thought it would be a great place to share some of my expertise in my spare time.

Please feel free to drop a question or two and I will be happy to give you some guidance.

I have attached some of my notes, namely the section on language analysis. The guide is for private use.

You can also find more information on http://www.aimandachieve.com.au

bopbopbop

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 09:41:28 am »
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Congrats on your achievements. Could you possibly give me some advice on what is required to achieve full marks on my context SACs and the context portion of the exam using an expository style? I'm not completely sure on how to achieve that at the moment, although I've only just started context so I still have a while to learn it. My context is encountering conflict if that helps. Thank you.

jeanweasley

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 12:37:30 pm »
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Just curious, what marks did you get for your SACs and your exam?
Also, how do you write a compelling context piece?

Congrats on your achievements :D
2014: BA @ Monash University
2015: LLB(Hons)/BA @ Monash University

Yang Li

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 01:43:25 pm »
+6
Hey guys,

It is important to do well in SACs, although they are no guarantee of good results in the end, as they can be adjusted according to your exam results and the results of your cohort. I remember getting full marks for almost all my SACs, but I did drop four or five marks overall.

In terms of context essays, I always encourage my students to write in the expository form, as this is the safest and most consistent format to present your essay in the exam. Different examiners simply respond differently to creative pieces, and the effect my not be properly mitigated by cross-marking. Persuasive pieces tend to limit how much you can explore a context.

In context essays, you should think of yourself as a philosopher, as opposed to an analyst. Always acknowledge the truth in the prompt, but be sure to also explore the opposite contention (e.g. Conflict has destructive consequences; but it can also be a catalyst for progression).

In conflict, you are going to come across these topics (or variations of these):
1) What causes conflict?
2) How do people deal with conflict?
3) How does one's internal conflict relate to external conflict?
4) Is conflict always destructive/negative?

If you want more advice on how to write the essay in particular, throw me an email.

Lolly

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 02:12:49 pm »
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What is your style of tutoring like? How do you get people to learn?

Yang Li

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 02:18:57 pm »
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I believe in practice based learning. Apply your skills and knowledge. It has worked for the vast majority of my students, given they follow my instructions and do not slack off.

Students should practice writing paragraphs to maximise the amount of feedback they get.

See http://www.aimandachieve.com.au
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 02:21:09 pm by Yang Li »

shadows

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 02:29:00 pm »
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Hi I have a question :D

So I am not that great at English. (Vocab, language expression+ sophistication is not that great)
I'm only in Year 11 and I really need to improve. (Many problems I've had are structuring in my essays and keeping my language concise)

What do suggest I do in the meantime?


Do practice essays? Keep reading example essays? learn the ins and outs of structuring? 

Teacher suggested just to read for fun... is this time well spent? Or do jump into the the analytics of essay writing. (persuasive, expostitory, creative)

Yang Li

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 09:49:20 pm »
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Hi Shadow,

Let's start with structure. If you are iffy on structure, practise a solid standard form for that essay to begin with (like the ones on my guides for example). After you become very comfortable with that form, you can then play around with the different elements and make the essay more interesting.

For other elements like vocab, syntax and sentence structures, the best thing to do is to emulate. Definitely read more. That includes more novels, articles and good past papers. Don't stop there though, underline/highlight words, phrases and even ideas that you like, and try and use them in your own writing during practice.

Again, keep writing paragraphs and asking your teacher/tutor to have a read. Constant feedback = constant improvement.


featheredbirds

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 01:05:33 pm »
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Hi Yang,

Just with what you were saying about the expository format being the best choice, lately I've been employing a persuasive/creative hybrid like style... it worked well for my first SAC, but would it be best to shift to a more expository style for the exam?

Do many people who deviate from the expository style score highly (as in 9/10)?

Thanks!  :D
2012: Psychology, Drama
2013: English, Literature, Revolutions, Further Maths, Art, Theatre Studies


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Limista

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 02:06:25 pm »
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Hey guys,

 but I did drop four or five marks overall.


How many marks did you drop on the exam, if you don't mind me asking?

Also, in context essays which one is writing from an expository perspective, would you recommend discussing three texts simultaneously in body paragraphs, or is it ok to focus only on one text in the essays, and leaving the rest of the body paragraphs for philosophical discussion of the topic?
Bachelor of Biomedicine @ The University of Melbourne (II) 2014-2016
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Yang Li

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 02:10:21 pm »
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Hi Starfish,

I did not drop any marks in the exam; hence the 50 :)

For your context essay, be careful not to make it look like a text response. Keep your discussions of the text brief, and refer to other sources as well (news, world events etc.) in your paragraphs. Avoid writing about the text for all three body paragraphs, unless you also include other sources and substantial discussion of the actual context.

All the best,

Yang

Yang Li

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2013, 02:13:59 pm »
+1
Hi featheredbirds,

I would suggest an expository for the exam. It is the format that incorporates the least amount of risk. Different examiners simply mark papers differently. Given that creative pieces call for the most amount of discretion, I would stick with expository for the exam.

Persuasive pieces in my opinion are just stunted expository essays (for the English exam at least).

All the best,

Yang

acorn

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 04:36:48 pm »
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Hi, just wondering what your opinion is on hybrid pieces?
I've got a SAC coming up on the Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif and have tried experimenting with a few different styles, but am unsure whether I should just try writing an expository essay on my SAC or take the more riskier approach of an expository-creative piece such as a blog post. Recently, I wrote both an expository essay and a 'blog post' on the same prompt, and found that the blog post sounded a lot more natural, read a lot easier, had a more specific audience and form etc.
The thing is, sometimes it takes me awhile to think of a good/suitable concept (such as whether it should be an article, a speech etc.) when I receive a prompt, and time isn't something you really have when you're writing a SAC. And also, sometimes it's harder to directly address the ideas generated by the prompt and text when you're writing a hybrid piece.
So do you think I should take the riskier approach (which may or may not pay off) or stick to a expository essay?
Thanks in advance  :)

Limista

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 05:09:14 pm »
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Hi Starfish,


for all three body paragraphs

I thought having four body paragraphs is the optimum amount?


Also, is it okay if I only discuss one text, or should I discuss and find links to the context between 2-3 texts in my essay? It's just that my teacher would like me to draw connections between 2-3 texts, rather than refer to only one text in my expository essay. I would, therefore, like some guidance as to what I should do with regard to this aspect.
Bachelor of Biomedicine @ The University of Melbourne (II) 2014-2016
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brenden

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Re: 50 in English - Feel free to ask questions.
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2013, 05:54:15 pm »
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57/60 earned a 50 for rank 1 in 2012, at least.
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