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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:28 pm 
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My son's weakest area is the English, particularly Comprehension of 19th Century texts. What books could I buy to help him with this over the Summer? He is only getting 88-96% when he does these tests, compared to 100% in Maths and VR tests. I have just got the Bond comprehension book, but I wondered if there was anything more targetted, and how to get him to be more concise, and less 'waffly' in his answers, and how to get him to focus on what answer the question is actually asking for IYSWIM.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:28 am 
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There is nothing on the market which mimics the Essex English paper.Get him to read texts which raise his level of vocabulary.Get him to look up unknown words and keep them in a jotter.Play synonym and antonym games of your own making e.g "give me a synonym for stubborn" - start easy and build up. Introduce rewards or prizes if needed.
I remember the word "insurrectionary" appearing in one of the questions in my eldest's 11+. It is important that they don't fear such words and realise they can infer meaning by context. Make sure he gets maximum marks in the punctuation section as every mark counts and these are easy to get.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:06 am 
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What's a synonym or an autonym?! :?

I am of the Thatcher generation that didn't get taught grammar at school - his ability in that area far outstrips my own! He reads the dictionary and thesaurus for fun?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:08 am 
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What books would be best for him to read over the holidays? At the moment, he is reading the Alex Rider series for fun...I was thinking some Dickens, maybe an abridged version? But which Dickens titles would be best for a boy?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:52 pm 
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As mentioned on the other thread, Visuteach are a good resource for Essex English.

Bond are also ok - the questions are not the same but we still thought useful.
The Bond how to do English will also teach you what synonyms etc are

I don't think you can expect a boy of 10/11 to read a whole Dickens book unless he is truly exceptional. 11 year olds should be reading Alex Rider! There are some abridged versions of classics but check it's definitely abridged not rewritten.

But borrow a few classics from the library and select a few passages that include vivid imagery - Try the start of Great Expectations, or Hard Times (the chapters about the school). Also try Christmas Carol, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. Also try Thomas Hardy eg the Mayor of Casterbridge - the description where the family enter the town early in the book and the husband starts to get drunk, or the bit of Tess of the D'urbevilles where the villagers are dancing round the maypole. Wuthering Heights eg the bit near the start where the author describes the trees as "craving alms of the sun". HG Wells and Jules Verne - if he is a confident reader, he might enjoy the complete book.
Bear in mind that they have also used modern texts (like Captain Corelli) and that the English text last year was specially written and seemed to focus on character and motivation so you can think about some more recent books as well.

Aside from the classics, there are some good books genuinely written for his age group but sufficiently grown up not to be one dimensional. The chances are you would enjoy these too and can discuss them with him - without wanting to spoil his enjoyment you could just discuss the characters and their motives. Somewhere on the forum is a thread with a list of books recommended, but try authors like Robert Westwell, Michael Morpurgo (the ones aimed at older kids such as Private Peaceful), Michelle Paver, Michelle Magorian, David Almond, Annabel Pitcher (My sister lives on the mantelpiece).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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We used Bond 11+ - 12+ english papers.

Freericehttp://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary can be fun for vocab.

Play scrabble or boggle.


Bookwise, in the run up DS read The Hobbit, Peter Pan, several of Nina Bawden's - Carries War etc and the 13 Series of Unfortunate events books. Typically though his year was the one time they used a non-fiction text. I think read widely is the best advise (with a dictionary to hand to check the meaning of any unknown word). I would think a Christmas Carol or Oliver Twist are most likely to appeal if you are thinking of Dickens.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:47 pm 
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I wrote my own using classic texts downloaded from the web.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
synonym = same meaning
antonym = opposite meaning
homophone = sounds the same

etc.

Follow this link for more:

http://www.worsleyschool.net/socialarts ... /page.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Quote:
Play scrabble or boggle.


allow the use of a dictionary, takes longer , but you come up with all sorts of new words


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:53 pm
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So far for reading over the holidays, he has read Edward Lear's complete nonsense poems, Treasure Island, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and has started on 20,000 Leauges under the sea. He has Oliver Twist on his 'want to read' list.

He has read the Hobbit and all 3 Lord of the Rings books in the past, all of the Harry Potter books, he has tried Michael Morpurgo but doesn't like his writing style (!), and a lot of other things.

It's speed that is the issue, I'm finding, he can be speedy or accurate when answering questions, but not both at once!


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