Educational Advice

Ultimate English Resources

Time is ticking away until it is exam season and every minute of your time is precious. How can you access new English resources without even moving from your desk? Easy: explore the following online resources for English revision…

The internet is full of helpful material for study – there are sites to aid your work beyond Sparknotes! Try out some of the suggestions below to supplement your revision and give you confidence going into your exams.

In Our Time, BBC iPlayer Radio, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl

In Our Time is a weekly radio programme, lasting 45 minutes, where the host and his academic guests discuss a specific topic in literature, art, history, science and beyond. You can access the whole archive of past episodes on the website. Give yourself 45 minutes over lunch or in the evening to listen to an episode on Dickens, Christina Rossetti, Elizabethan revenge tragedy, Brave New World or Gothic literature. You could also use the episodes to bulk out your knowledge of historical context, by listening to an episode on slavery or twentieth-century warfare. Free and compact, this is an invaluable site – although keep a pen to hand and be prepared to rewind and replay as the guests can talk quite fast!

National Theatre Teaching Resources, http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/discover-more/digital-classroom/resource-packs

The National Theatre Teaching Resources website has links to packs for many of the company’s past productions. Browse resources for Shakespeare, Heroes, She Stoops to Conquer, All My Sons and A Streetcar Named Desire to explore background material about the plays’ contexts, playwrights and characters. Engage with various adaptations to uncover directorial choices, building on the assessment objective that encourages a balanced appreciation of a text, influenced by the interpretations of others. Access clips and interviews online to delve into the psyche of your text’s characters.

Twitter, https://twitter.com/

Twitter is full of the fake accounts of long-deceased playwrights, authors and poets (my particular favourite is @LeVostreGC, but there are also @DailyJaneAusten, @DickensSays and @GoldingWilliam). These accounts frequently tweet information related to the writer’s biography, context and works, or simply quote from their texts. Follow these accounts to top up your knowledge of your set authors. Many writers also have associated museums with their own Twitter accounts, so you could follow them too in order to read about the latest research related to your exam texts.

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/

YouTube exists beyond your daily fix of Bad Lip Reading videos or the most recent ‘Let It Go’ parody from Frozen. There are many documentaries uploaded to the site, which could improve your knowledge of context, alongside poetry readings or scenes from set plays, performed by the world’s leading theatre companies and amateur dramatic societies alike. Type in your set texts’ titles and authors and explore what’s out there – if nothing else, rap versions of Hamlet will liven up your revision sessions no end.

Student Websites

My newest discovery online are the fantastic websites created by classes at various British schools in order to consolidate their knowledge of their set texts. The enterprising students at The King’s School, Canterbury, have created this incredibly helpful site on Thomas Hardy, http://thedimofdawn.com/, which covers all the set poems for the Cambridge iGCSE syllabus, and another site on W B Yeats, http://aterriblebeautyisborn.com/, for OCR AS in English Literature. Have a look at the resources written for you by your peers to check your understanding of the content of your set texts.

Digital Theatre, http://www.digitaltheatre.com/

Digital Theatre is a wonderful website with a range of filmed stage productions accessible in an online library to rent or buy. Including the most recent West End hits, their collection includes exam favourites such as A Doll’s House, All My Sons, Far From the Madding Crowd and a selection of the most recent performances at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Buy some popcorn, download a play, and enjoy a night at the theatre without leaving your seat, in order to top up your knowledge of alternative interpretations, or simply get to know your set text better.

By Laura ClashA MyTutor English Tutor

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– See more at: https://www.mytutor.co.uk/blog/top-seven-ways-commemorate-centenary-world-war-one/

Other blogs by Laura:

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