Structured Essay Support: Literature and Films

For AQA A Level French, Spanish and German

A comprehensive introduction to the study of literary texts and films. Help students prepare effectively for essay writing in Paper 2 regardless of the work(s) studied!

An excellent resource... very useful both for specific set works and also in transition between GSCE and A Level

K Turney, Private Tutor and Peer Reviewer

PART 1: Before tackling essay writing, students are introduced to key concepts of literary texts and films to inform their understanding.

  • Includes: plot; themes; characters; cultural, social and political context; structure; narrative; symbols; and more! Carefully crafted activities consolidate understanding.

Exercises clearly build up a student's learning and ability to tackle the essays... I really liked the reminder sections on giving opinions and how to plan an essay, especially as some students struggle with this in English, never mind a foreign language!

K Spencer, Leader of German and Peer Reviewer

PARTS 2–5: Focus on the essential techniques needed to write an effective essay, including:

  • Planning an essay
  • Organising and developing ideas
  • Critical and analytical commentary
  • Justifying personal opinions
  • Model essays, and more!
Preparation is key!

Examination of a literary text or film at AS Level is new for the 2016 spec. Questions are now specific to the book or film, rather than generic, at both AS and A Level. Ideal for teachers who are new to cultural topics OR experienced teachers who want a clear breakdown of key features with helpful examples.

An effective introduction for students transitioning from GCSE who have never thoroughly studied literature or cinema. In-depth descriptions of key features enable more-capable students to learn important terminology.

With examples of literary texts by authors on the 2016 AQA AS and A Level specifications. Students familiarise themselves with the authors’ styles, techniques and genres while applying this knowledge to their own studied work(s).

Recommended for use in the classroom or as independent study and revision for students. For use prior to or in conjunction with our Getting to Know… range.

What do teachers say about this resource? (9805)

This resource provides really useful preparation for writing essays at A Level and at the same time, practising all language skills. I like the fact that the author chose not to include excerpts from the prescribed AQA works - pupils have to do their own thinking, making it a much more powerful resource than if it were partly done for them. It is also good to have excerpts from works by the same author / dramatist / film director as they will be studying as this enables pupils to spot styles and common themes. In turn, this broadens pupils’ knowledge of French literature / films which is a great way of increasing their cultural awareness. It might also inspire some pupils to read / watch these other works for their own enjoyment or even part of their IRP (for the speaking exam). I love the model answers given and these are so clear that it should make it easy for pupils to do the same for their chosen work. Also with the model answers, I like the way that pupils have to identify the different parts to the model answer (eg. the argument, the development, the opinion) so that they can then replicate this themselves. As a practising teacher, I appreciate the inclusion of the answers and transcripts as they save time having to do the answers myself.

J Briden, HoD & Peer Reviewer

This is a very detailed resource, the range of themes addressed and the activities themselves are excellent. I feel that this would not only help students but also maybe less experienced staff, finding themselves having to teach lit and media in French. I really liked the “different parts” layout. It is therefore easier to dip in and out of relevant areas, tailored to the particular needs of a student or a group of students. In particular, Part 2 (Analysing the book/film) is very well structured as to support students through the daunting process of writing an essay in the Target Language. Similarly, I believe Part 3 and 5 are equally useful.

I Rodriguez, Head of Languages and Peer Reviewer

'An excellent resource which would be very useful both for specific set works and also in a transition stage between GSCE and A Level to introduce the idea of studying films and texts. I like the variety of different texts and films it uses for examples as this would broaden the experience of the student. I like the answers section - very useful for busy teachers of A Level. The language specific sections e.g. synonyms are useful, likewise the detailed comments on AOs.'

K Turney, Private Tutor and Peer Reviewer

What do teachers say about this resource? (8706)

This is an excellent and very useful resource. Dealing with the book and film can be challenging – this resource gives both teacher and pupil a well structured and thorough approach to really get to know the works and how to write high quality essays.

I particularly liked that it uses the actual AQA mark scheme at the beginning –making pupils aware of the criteria. It also uses extracts from authentic sources, e.g Dürrenmatt. It uses the target language for questions – just like in the exam,. It adds links to useful websites for further research. Key terms are explained, e.g Protaganist v Antagonist v Nebenfiguren. The opinion phrases section has useful structures for pupils to build on. WAGOLLS – “what a good one looks like” examples are used so pupils can dissect it and look at what went well and what could be improved. The brain storming exercise page is great at helping pupils order thoughts = visual learning for quick retrieval and knowledge consolidation

This resource helps with vocab, is differentiated, and it is well scaffolded using a Bloom’s taxonomy approach e.g starting with fact building and leading up to pupils being able to analyse and evaluate themselves.

The presentation is generally clear, concise and easy to follow.

The vocab covered, works referred to and mark scheme included mean that this resource is very useful. It is comprehensive as it looks at all aspects of writing an essay – from knowing the work facts, to skills needed and even includes relevant essay examples.

It is structured so that pupils could even follow it independently for revision.

D Rawlings, Teacher & Peer Reviewer

I liked the clear and easy to understand guidance on how to structure an essay and also how to structure each paragraph. I feel that it gives students a very good introduction into how to write an essay in German for the first time. 

H Oberg, Head of German and Peer Reviewer

Helps students understand what is expected of them in their essays.

S Lemmetyinen, MFL Teacher and Peer Reviewer

Well put together and organised, and that the exercises are clearly supposed to build up a student's learning and ability to tackle the essays on the literary text/film.I really liked the reminder sections on giving opinions and how to plan an essay, especially as some students struggle with this in English, never mind a foreign language!

K Spencer, Leader of German and Peer Reviewer

What do teachers say about this resource? (7896)

This is an excellent teaching and learning resource which addresses many aspects in detail that can be useful to answer on the cultural topic for the A level Spanish specification.

J I Ermina, Teacher, Examiner & Peer Reviewer

It is a very well structured resource with a lot of interesting activities. I liked the support for students about how to structure an essay, how to write a good introduction and conclusion and the phrases that are useful for essay writing.

S Zammit, Head of MFL and Peer Reviewer

It’s a great resource to introduce students to how to write an essay for a novel or a film. It’s very comprehensive and covers everything students need to get started both for literature and film essays, from planning, structure, content, expressing opinions, providing analysis, and even spelling. Everything is explained really clearly, which will make it accessible to students in the first year as well as second year.

M Juarros, Spanish Teacher and Peer Reviewer