Studying from home for the Leaving Cert and not sure where to start? We got expert advice from a teacher about the best online resources for Leaving Cert English.
Do you feel like your ‘plank in reason’ is at breaking point? Do you question what you should ‘to be or not to be’ doing (grammatically, horrendous but shows my dedication to a relevant allusion!) in terms of prep for your English exam? Well, look no further ‘Child of Our Time’ and ‘Out, Out-’ with the worries! Here’s some ideas as to what you can do from home to prepare for Leaving Cert English 2020.
Improve your ‘language’ mark by varying your vocabulary! The nerd in me loves the Word of the Day on dictionary.com. There’s also a thesaurus section that will enable you to expand your vocabulary further. This will not only help you for Paper One, but for Paper Two, too.
The Five Language Genres
Paper One is often overlooked when it comes to revising. How can I revise for an unseen paper, I hear you ask? One way of doing this is by reviewing the features of the five language genres—language of narration, information, persuasion, argument and aesthetic use of language. Once you have this sorted, you can answer attempt and tricky Question B or Composition question.
For a great overview of these, head over to Aoifesnotes.com! Whoever this Aoife is, you’ll definitely want to buy her a coffee after the exam!
If you’re looking for some sample essays before you start writing your own, 625points.com is a great website to have bookmarked. It has everything: from essays on the comparative, to ‘Hamlet’, to poetry, to Paper One. You won’t be short of model answers! Also, 625points covers other Leaving Cert subjects too.
Didn’t have enough space in your bag for your exam papers? Look no further than Studyclix! This website is amazing because each section is divided into topics so it takes less time than trawling through the exam papers on examinations.ie. Accompanying each question is the full mark scheme too which is really handy for self-assessment purposes. As with 625points, Studyclix can be used for other subjects too.
Those of you who enjoy a good flashcard will undoubtedly be familiar with this gem of a resource! The great thing about Quizlet is that you can make your own flashcards or use ready-made sets by just searching the topic that you wish to revise. There are some great sets on ‘Hamlet’ themes, characters and quotations. You can also decide how to use these flashcards, depending on how learn best. Even more impressively, Quizlet isn’t just beneficial for English revision! It has revision flashcards for lots of other subjects too!
If you’re like me, and you can’t start an essay without a decent mind map, miro.com could be helpful! This is a great website that has pre-made templates and you just fill in your information. This would work well for Poetry, Single Text and Comparative revision. One of the great attributes of this website is that you can collaborate with your friends remotely to make these mind maps. Even better still, it’s a completely free sign up!
Good, Old-Fashioned Pen and Paper!
Eyes burning from looking at a screen all day? Maybe it’s time to get some mind mapping down on paper rather than online. Make character profiles for the main people in ‘Hamlet’ and under the headings of ‘Cultural Context’, ‘Literary Genre’ and ‘Theme’ organise your thoughts for the Comparative Study.
For Poetry, make A.L.I.S.T.
Remember, for Higher Level you will be given a choice of four poets and you do one question. My advice is to know five poets. How can you manage that, you ask? Well, the A.L.I.S.T technique can be utilised with great effect whether you’re doing Higher or Ordinary Level English. Choose your poet/poem and make a list of these features with corresponding quotes:
Shakespeare – Don’t fear the great Bard!
So, you’re at home now and you’re trying to remember what Hamlet’s soliloquy actually meant or what the point of the Mousetrap scene was! A great little website to compare the Shakespearean language to modern English is No Fear Shakespeare on Sparknotes.com. This website goes through the play line by line so by the end of it, you’ll feel happier than Polonius does when he’s spying on people! Similar to this, is Opensourceshakespeare.org, which focuses more on who said what and when. Both are invaluable tools for deciphering your Single Text!
Shakespeare on RTÉ
Some of you may have been fortunate enough to see a production of the single text, ‘Hamlet’. If you haven’t, don’t start lamenting that this ‘too solid flesh would melt’! RTÉ have decided to air a production of ‘Hamlet’ on Saturday April 11th at 11.25am. You will be able to refer to this production in your exam! So, grab the popcorn, make some notes and be transported to Denmark…in spite of the travel restrictions!
To conclude, (as any English essay should!) I will leave with a final, misappropriated quote from Dickinson: Try to remember that ‘’Hope’, is the thing with feathers’ and you can do this!
Are there any other online resources for Leaving Cert English that you would recommend?
Word by Cara Murphy