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English isn’t a Real Subject

(44 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 30-Aug-19 15:19:59

Just saw this on twitter and thought it was interesting. As a maths teacher, I teach what is on the syllabus, and that’s what the exam is on. They won’t need matrices (not taught at GCSE but appears on Further Maths) to answer anything on the GCSE paper and they won’t get any more marks if they do use matrices.

From the twitter thread: “It’s just mad to expect English teachers to cover the whole of anglocentric knowledge, which they need to do for kids who are new to it.”

So you can’t get high level success in English unless you have a huge range of general knowledge?

What do English teachers think?

OP’s posts: |
NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 30-Aug-19 15:25:58

Errr you won't get a qualification in well anything without English (If your in an an English speaking country) so by your own flawed logic it's every other subject that's not a real subject and English that's the purist subject.

Because you don't actually need any thing to teach English or learn it. You do need English to teach and learn maths.

What do you teach your mathematics in? Runes? Or do you use English

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 30-Aug-19 15:26:56

Ahh the underline was want to e a strike through

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Aug-19 15:29:55

Sorry, forgot to link to the twitter thread. English isn’t a Real Subject is their title, not mine!

OP’s posts: |
EBearhug Fri 30-Aug-19 15:34:13

It’s just mad to expect English teachers to coverthe whole of anglocentric knowledge, which they need to do for kids who are new to it.

This would be true, but they don't teach everything - like maths, they teach what's on the syllabus. Having a wide general knowledge may be helpful to any subject, but it's not a necessity. Also, you can take GCSE English as a second language.

(I am not an English teacher, though.)

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 30-Aug-19 15:37:29

Sorry you think English teachers teach loads of stuff that's not on the syllabus??
Where do they get the time to do that??

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Aug-19 15:38:43

No, Naught, the examiner’s report seems to be suggesting that you will do better in the exam if you know loads of stuff that isn’t on the syllabus. Which seems a bit unfair.

I guess it’s why English isn’t generally taken early by geniuses in the same way that maths is.

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Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 15:43:12

Isn't that just the whole knowledge curriculum and cultural capital thing again?

Yes, you do better in English if you know stuff, definitely. But, as I am always saying to my whiny year 10 girls, I know so much stuff BECAUSE I read books!

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 15:43:48

But, yeah, it's why maths is easier wink

don't kill me noble

Babdoc Fri 30-Aug-19 15:43:56

NaughtToThree, on a point of English, it should be “you’re” in an English speaking country, not “your”, in your post!
Pedantic? Hell, yes! (Autistic ex grammar school pupil...)

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 15:46:33

I can't actually be bothered to look up the Teach First Arsewipe who wrote the Tweet : what is his subject?

I do think AQA are trying to desperately to please the Knowledge crowd and sound all trendy with that bit of the report. backfires slightly when they start banging on about not using long words (or even quite short ones)

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Aug-19 15:47:20

So English is an exam in cultural capital?
I haven’t seen any English papers since I sat them, how does this manifest itself?

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 15:47:56

He taught at Michaela!!

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Aug-19 15:53:09

Oh he’s now involved with this outfit

Wonder if he is pissed off that AI and neuroscience can’t beat reading a lot of books to get you an A* in English?

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DaydreamInBlue Fri 30-Aug-19 15:57:09

I couldn’t believe it when looking at A levels, entry requirements for Maths A level is usually at least a 7 at gcse (occasionally 6) , for English it’s a 4.
I was stunned.

gwilt Fri 30-Aug-19 15:57:38

This does have some truth in it, e.g. the assumption that all Y11 students understand all references to archaic items/vocabulary, particularly in 19th century and early 20th century texts (Language or Literature).

An example might be intertextual references or biblical allusions in 19th century novels and non-fiction.

This can affect their ability to understand and/or see the subtleties or implications in a text.

Some people refer to this as 'cultural capital', i.e. the body of Anglocentric general knowledge which people acquire to different degrees as they grow up.

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 15:58:16

But (despite what is said I have now looked at his feed) , looking back it is possible he is actually an English teacher, or maybe history.

Seriously, though, who puts on their Twitter bio the schools they went to when they were 5??

This THIS is why I can't stand that bunch of supercilious know alls. (although he seems the be saying something about not knowing all,; I have to say I think his point is unclear, if he has one)

AQA are cracking me up, though, with their suggestion hat some year 11s had a grasp of aesthetics, which they evidenced somehow in a comprehension paper. In other words, they liked the show offs!

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 16:00:36

Oh dear, that AI stuff is proper neurobollocks.

Musmerian Fri 30-Aug-19 16:09:29

I recently got involved in a twitter thread where an English teacher said she hated reading, found it really boring and only read one or two books a year. She then got very indignant when I challenged this and claimed it wouldn’t improve her teaching if she read more books! I’ve been an English teacher for 25 years as PPs have said there’s a new breed of teachers who are pretty bullish about their views. English is very different to teach than a subject about which some pupils will have very little previous info or knowledge- that’s why I love it. It is then also problematic because articulate well read students will do better.

Musmerian Fri 30-Aug-19 16:11:17

@DaydreamInBlue at our school we would be reluctant to let someone do A level without a 7. It’s a huge leap up and I just don’t see how you would cope with a four.

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 16:13:22

4 is very low but it's the uni benchmark. Most comps say 5.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 30-Aug-19 16:16:25

Oh babdoc this a form of social media where it's perfectly acceptable to use acronyms and abbreviations like FWIW, BTW, DH AND even ones that are more forum specific ones like AIBU and in a wider context even words that don't even exist like "woded' (means rich apparently) not an Oxbridge disatation in middle English.

Also being autistic isn't an excuse to be a sick and humiliate and bully someone. Maybe being a grammar school kid with a superiority complex is. But I wouldn't know about that. What I do know is being an autistic dyslexic what it's like to put with bullying undermining remarks like yours so do one will ya! Oh sorry in proper English "please decrease from your bigotry will you" is that better

LoveGrowsWhere Fri 30-Aug-19 16:18:26

Friend teaches English to young people resitting. Her example of this was a question which involved a newspaper (I think Guardian) article on Glastonbury. She said at age 16 they hadn't heard of it & wouldn't have the money to even be thinking about festivals.

bamboocat Fri 30-Aug-19 16:22:27

A little general knowledge goes a long way, and teaching every subject to the syllabus (and only the syllabus) means that millions of young people leave school knowing fuck all about anything else.

Piggywaspushed Fri 30-Aug-19 18:06:48

To be fair that Glastonbury article compares with a Victorian description of some kind of fair (which they definitely won't have been to!) and it's really, really clear what Glastonbury is in the article. That's a sample paper and the source material has become MUCH harder since then.

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