English Literature for Teachers
This assignment presents a sequence of five evaluated English lessons, aimed at Year 11 students, displaying Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD). The case study student is a Year 11 boy identified as ‘H’ for the purpose of this assignment. He has ADHD, Aspergers and mental health issues which required hospitalisation during the Year 9 Summer Term. This has resulted in an extensive amount of authorised absence affecting his grades across the curriculum. Despite these difficulties, his current English National Curriculum, writing level is a strong 5A and his predicted GCSE grade is currently D. With a reading age of 16 years and 6 months at the baseline tests carried out in April 2012, H does not struggle with reading, fluency or comprehension. He has a Statement of Educational Need which details his specific academic, social, emotional and behavioural requirements. Statement Objectives:
1. To promote the development of his social communication and social skills so he is able to express his feelings and develop and maintain effective and purposeful relationships with his peers and adults. He will be encouraged to join in group discussions, activities, and collaborative group work. 2. To promote the development of his attention and concentration skills so that he is able to follow group instructions and maximise his potential. Staff need to check his understanding of tasks and reframe if necessary. Tasks need to be broken down into component parts so he can attempt them independently. Alternative methods of recording are needed, such as access to a laptop for extended writing tasks (Cox, 2012).
H is keen to raise his current National Curriculum level and maximise his GCSE result. His writing target in the front of his English workbook indicates to him the requirements to move forward towards 6C. The assessment foci include technical accuracy, punctuation, cohesion within and between paragraphs and appropriate, effective vocabulary. The Wilfred Owen war poetry module commenced at the beginning of term, giving H seven weeks to comprehend the context and complete his GCSE controlled assessment task. My assignment will focus on a sequence of five lessons, within the poetry module, aimed to extend H’s communication and social skills and enable him to understand the concept of empathy. This is aimed at the achievement of statement objective 1. At the end of the five lessons H will be able to write a ‘letter home from the trenches’ using understanding, compassion and empathy.
The poem used for these five lessons is Dulce et Decorum est. The poem is a statutory piece of text required by the examination board for English GCSE. It is particularly suitable for teaching compassion and empathy. With a diagnosis of Aspergers, H may have difficulty in three main areas; social communication, social interaction and social imagination (The National Autistic Society, 2013). H is challenged when he is asked how he may feel in a situation that he has not experienced first-hand. Wilfred Owen uses powerful textual features to describe the horrors of war in which the suffering and futility about which Owen protests is depicted (Whitehead, 2012). The first stanza details the perspective of a battalion of soldiers who are supposedly marching to their rest. Owen uses many sound techniques such as sibilance and alliteration; in line 2 “knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,” this describes the physical impairments the soldiers were experiencing. The language used is disturbing as Owen describes in lines 5 and 6”Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, but limped on blood-shod. All went lame, all blind”. Whitehead, (2012) emphasises the barbaric nature of this as helpless men limping and staggering blindly try to find some shelter. The structural techniques used by Owen of rhyme and rhythm are broken up with enjambment so that the ‘marching’ soldiers...
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