In the preparation for the exam you will be given a topic. Try to connect the topic to the work you have done throughout the year.
Important notice: The examples in this resource are based on the exam paper from H2010. An updated version of this resource will be published in accordance with the new and revised English curriculum, that is to be implemented from August 2020.
First and foremost - consider yourself lucky.
- You are given a topic in advance.
- The preparation sheet also provides several clues.
- Unlike other courses in written English you have got one day of preparation.
- And do not forget - your teacher can give you some guidance (but not teach!)
The Topic: Social Equality
So how should you go about preparing for the given topic?
What is Social Equality?
Look at the preparation sheet. Which clues are given? What approaches are suggested? Social equality is a complex concept and many aspects have been suggested:
- Wheelchair users still barred from many jobs
- Pupils from top private schools still get the best jobs
- Not enough working-class students at university
- Rich still getting richer, poor stay poor
- Garbage collector was refused membership by posh golf club
- Glass ceiling still prevents women from reaching top jobs
- Name stops family from getting flat
(Extracted from exam paper, Utdanningsdirektoratet)
Ask yourself what aspects are involved here. Obviously, physical disabilities (wheelchairs), economy (rich vs. poor), social privileges (private school students), class distinctions (working-class students), gender gaps (women) and ethnicity (name) are all present.
Learn useful words and expressions related to these clues, e.g. by using a dictionary.
physical disabilities= fysiske funksjonshemminger/-hemmingar
social privileges=sosiale privilegier/privilegium
class distinctions = klasseskiller/klasseskilje
gender gap= kjønnsskille/-skilje
Use Encyclopedia and Sources
It might also be a good idea to look up "social equality" in an encyclopedia (oppslagsverk). Remember that you may download everything on a memory stick. But beware – ask yourself if the sources are reliable! Can you trust them? Remember to note down their addresses. You will find a lot of information about the use of sources and citing of references here Kildebruk here Kildehenvisninger
Approaches to Social Equality
The next step is to ponder and revise the texts you have read (both fact and fiction), which films you have seen (in class or out) and consider personal experiences related to social equality. Then ask yourself the following questions:
Is there anything that highlights this topic in
- a novel you have read?
- a short story?
- a factual text?
- news in the media?
- a film or documentary?
You should then spend some time collecting relevant material from your text book or learning platform, go online and jot down key words (remember sources once again).
Let's take a look at one of the essay questions:
TASK 2 in the exam paper goes like this:
"Life isn't always fair, but you've got to do the best with what you've got."
Write an article in which you discuss whether you think this statement is true or not. Use two or more literary and/or real-life figures to illustrate your views.
Your text should include the following:
- An introduction
- Presentations of the literary characters and/or real-life figures and their situation
- A discussion of how they coped with the situation
- A suitable conclusion
Give your article a suitable title
(Extracted from exam paper, Utdanningsdirektoratet)
An Example Approach to TASK 2
As you can see above, there may be many approaches to TASK 2 and social equality. If you want to prove that you are familiar with curricular topics in your English course, one approach you could choose is African Americans. Even if the American Declaration of Independence states that "All men are created equal", this does not always apply for every American citizen.
Watch the video Homeless Teenagers (NDLA) where young people (four out of five are African Americans) give their authentic stories about why they are homeless in today's USA. All of them are examples of characters that prove that "they do the best with what they've got". Focus on one of the characters in your article.
To shed further light on characters that "do the best with what they've got", you could use Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help, about black maids as an illustration. The setting is Jackson, Mississippi right in the middle of the fight for Civil Rights in 1962. You can watch a trailer from the film version on YouTube and you can read about the novel and an extract here A Study of The Help. Portray one of the characters.
If you are able to draw some historical lines from slavery and the Civil War (1861 - 1865) via the Civil Rights Movement (in the 1960s) up to today's situation, to present facts about African Americans and social equality, you will demonstrate that you have a good knowledge of this subject.
Remember to wind it all up in a conclusion with your thoughts regarding social equality and people who "do the best with what they've got".
How to Write an Article
You will find past exam papers, assessments guides and good advice here.
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