English Drama Media

Professional journal for secondary teachers and everyone involved in the teaching of English, drama and media. Promotes dynamic approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, and keeps the profession in touch with national debates and developments.

Articles from No. 16, March

Apostrophobia ... N. an Expaggerated or Irrational Dislike of Misplaced Apostrophes: Hyper-Punctuation? Keith Davidson Considers the Pro(')s and Con(')s of Writing's Little Helper
From time to time we get little fits of this sort of thing: 'saddo' There have been few changes at Zippos, but though the excellent band is no more, I was strangely (because in the outside world it would drive me bonkers) heartened to see that...
A Regular Army of Hippopotami: Looking It Up in 'The' Dictionary: Julie Blake Explores the Idea of the Dictionary as a Fascinating Source for Language Investigation, Argues That the Complete Oxford English Dictionary (Available Free Online) Is a Vital Tool for Teaching English, and Demonstrates How It Can Be Used Effectively
A student in your class asks you the meaning of a word in a passage of text they are reading: what do you say? The first response that comes to mind might well be, "who do you think I am, Carol Vorderman?" but you're more likely to say "look it up...
A Revival of Talk: The Challenge for Oracy in Schools Now: Valerie Coultas Celebrates Recent Positive Developments in the Teaching of Speaking and Listening, Whilst Warning That Test and Surveillance Culture in Schools Can Inhibit Vital Experimentation with Pedagogy
'When you write it, you want to keep it short and brief because you don't like writing, but people like talking, so they give you more detail'. 11 year old (Brindley, 1994) At the heart of the new curriculum is the revised and much strengthened...
Coming of Age in Shakespeare: A-Levels to University: Carol Atherton Reports on a Discussion about Teaching Shakespeare at the British Shakespeare Association's Annual Conference
Panel Chair: Sean McEvoy (Varndean College, Brighton) Panellists: Carol Atherton (Bourne Grammar School), Ewan Fernie (Royal Holloway University of London), Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex), Michelle O'Callaghan (University of Reading), Luke...
GCSE New Specifications
Following the publication of new criteria for GCSE English in April, draft specifications for the new GCSE courses due to start in September 2010 were published in the summer by exam boards. Revised versions were accredited by QCDA in the Autumn and...
Making the Most of Talk: Dialogue in the Classroom: Neil Mercer and Lyn Dawes Explore Strategies for Achieving Effective Classroom Practice in Speaking and Listening, Drawing on Findings from the Influential Thinking Together Research Project
Classrooms are usually organised so that the teacher does most of the talking. This is essential if teachers are to organise, explain, question and generally promote learning. But there are other effective teaching strategies and ways of interacting...
New Resources for Shakespeare
NATE's new Shakespeare resource, The Complete Shakespearience by Peter Thomas, will be published in March. It provides an active, practical, classroom-based approach to Shakespeare's script-craft that is applicable to classroom-based work with students...
Speaking Up: Towards a More Oracy-Based Classroom: John Smith Examines Key Ideas and Issues in the Development of Oracy Education, and Explores Some Current Trends in and Methods of Approaching Oracy in the Classroom
The place of oracy in the British curriculum has never been secure but the present ought to be a time for great optimism. Two recent major curriculum reviews (DCSF, 2009; Alexander, 2009) have highlighted the need for a greater emphasis on oracy in...
Spoken English in English Drama Media
Aspects of spoken English study, and speaking and listening, have featured frequently in EDM. The following is a list of previous articles which may be useful (all available free to NATE members to download at www.nate.org.uk). The next issue of EDM...
Studying Spoken Language at GCSE: The Challenge of the New Specifications: Carol Atherton Outlines Some Possible Approaches to and Resources for the New Element of GCSE English
Language--from A Level into GCSE There are some aspects of English that hold a particular appeal for those of us who are a little bit ... um ... nosy. For a number of years now, I've told prospective A Level English Language students that the course...
The Dangers of Dictionaries, and Other Hazards of English
Topicality: journalists thrive on it, apparently. Yet for a a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles it means that although as I write this on February the 14th, the media is awash with pink - love hearts and roses--you, dear reader, will most likely be...
The Value of Talk: Understanding Classroom Discussion: Should Classroom Talk Be Valued Primarily for Its Cognitive or Its Affective Functions? Paul Thompson Examines What Can Be Learnt from Formal and Informal Talk between Students in the Classroom
Cognitive? Affective? According to Robin Alexander, Director of the recent Cambridge Primary Review, there has long been a tendency in English primary education to over-emphasise the social rather than cognitive value of classroom talk. Educators...