Persuasive Writing and the Elements of Eloquence

If someone asked you what the purpose of blogging was, what would you say? If you’re an education blogger, what label would you pick as the purpose of your craft? Is it writing to argue? Writing to persuade? Or, does it also contain information? Perhaps even, a little advice? Or, am I asking you to place an arbitrary…

Risking it with Rhetoric Part Two: Designed to be Spoken

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my experimentation with teaching rhetoric. The process marked a departure from what I had taught in previous years. My main justification for this was that if my students were going to analyse non-fiction, then certain speeches, packed full of fascinating language and steeped in our cultural history, would…

Is education in England too easy?

The title for this blog comes from a discussion I had with two girls (twins) who I teach in year 11. Despite being on track to achieve brilliantly in their English GCSEs, they don’t consider themselves to be fluent speakers of English. They are, however, fluent speakers of Italian and Portuguese. They joined the school about midway through…

Risking it with Rhetoric: Part One

This in the first in a series of three posts on a teaching experiment this year. The lessons described and the examples used all come from my mixed ability year 8 class. Risking it with Rhetoric The last time I taught a year 8 class was in my NQT year, two years ago. The particular topic…