Homework – for some the mere mention of the word brings fear, dread and lethargy. ‘We spend 6 hours at school, five days a week – WHY do I have to do homework?’
Great question and the answer is NOT – because you have to.
One answer is that Homework is a consolidation of the work done at school/ college or with a tutor. As a minimum, it’s an opportunity to review and put into practice what you have just learnt. It also offers you the chance to extend your knowledge – do some research, add this to the pot of information you gained during lessons and potential take your understanding to the next level.
Being able to do simultaneous equations on your own after the lesson, with only the encouraging voice of your tutor in your ear to guide you, means you can REALLY do it! Tick!
Reviewing the article we have analysed, reading a couple of other articles and writing your own, using the model phrases and useful language we have highlighted, is likely to result in a well organised piece, in an appropriate style which attains higher grades than if you write it last minute the night before the next lesson.
The lessons are designed to coach you through the work, mining your ideas for you to shape for homework. Last academic year I set clear objectives for homework and this year I will make it really clear what I will be expecting to see in your writing e.g. you will need to use THREE of these phrases.
So, with this in mind, and the technology that we have nowadays, I am going to trial using Google docs for people doing IELTS with me or (pre-) GSCE English. It means that you can you can type up your ideas and edit as you go along, send me your writing homework before the next lesson so I can give you feedback more quickly, especially if I see you fortnightly.
You will need to create a google docs account with an email address – you can use one that already exists. All documents are saved to the cloud. You can work on any device and you don’t need Microsoft Word or a computer – an iPad is sufficient. You can share this with me through my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and give me permission to edit it. I can add comments for you to improve it further. If you need help setting this up, please ask.
The crucial thing here is that I’d like to see a first draft within 3-5 days of the lesson. That way your ideas from the lesson are still fresh and you have had time to review them (and do some further research if appropriate).
“I don’t have time for this!” I can hear you cry! I know your agenda is packed – school, after school clubs, friends or work, second job, family, bills and studying!
Remember – everything we do is relevant to your ultimate goal of improving your English and, for most of you, achieving the grades you need in your exams.