Jul 17

July 29, 2017

Critical Language Analysis Tricks

By Sonia

VCE English students often find language analysis’ the most tedious and difficult part of the study design. Language analysis’ aim to assess students abilities in identifying arguments and the use of persuasive arguments in external texts. Below are a few small but highly important tips to boost your marks and quality of your analysis!



The easy part of a language analysis is finding the arguments and identifying the techniques. However, what examiners use to differentiate an A student with an A+ student is their analysis on the likely reader reaction. Ask yourself – who is the target audience? Using the techniques, what reaction do you think the author wants to instil in readers?



When student list techniques and the likely reader reaction, words such as ‘instill’, ‘evokes’, ‘argues’ are all great but only in small quantities. Go and search online at theseaurus.com and create a list of synonyms and remember a few. The variety of vocabulary will add that touch of sophistication in your piece. Check out here, here or here for a quick and easy word bank! 


Source: Herald Sun



VCE English requires students to write three pieces. We recommend in your 15 minute reading time is to read the excerpt first, then in between plan and look at the other two pieces, then in the last 5 minutes, go back to the language analysis and start searching for techniques and arguments. Once reading time is over, we highly recommend you start the language analysis first as the reading is fresh in your mind and you can immediately note/highlight techniques before you forget them.

These are just some of the many simple tips, we at Bright Spark emphasize to our students. For more information on how we can help you excel in your English exams, please refer to our site information to book a trial with us with your qualified Academic tutors at Bright Spark Watsonia!  


Jun 17

June 10, 2017

Congratulations Bella on receiving your Ivanhoe Grammar- F O Watts Scholarship!

By lorence

We are proud to announce the that one of our students, Bella, is this year’s proud recipient of the F. O. Watts General Excellence Scholarship at Ivanhoe Grammar School at the Ridgeway Campus. For more information about this scholarship, please click here.

This scholarship is primarily interview based. To help her prepare for this, we ran a highly specialised interview preparation session with her and her mother.

For Bella, we tried to address some of the common feelings of anxiousness anyone going into a scholarship interview setting are likely to feel, then we presented her with some of the questions she is likely to get (after all, schools have a tendency to ask the same, or very similar questions in these particular scholarship-based interviews. We have collected many of them over the years.). Then we practiced having a mock interview, simulating the exact conditions of the real scholarship interview.

For Bella’s mother, we had her prepare a display folder demonstrating all of Bella’s achievements. We gave her hints and tips on how to improve upon this display. We taught Bella how to use the display book as a tool to help her “sell herself” in the interview.

We gave her lots of resources which helped her to practice and prepare for the interview.

On the day, Bella’s mum was proud to report that Bella felt free of anxiety and confident in the belief that she could seriously walk out of that interview with a scholarship offer.

Which, in fact, she did.


Oct 16

October 7, 2016

How to Improve a Student’s Reading Comprehension- Part 3

By lorence


Finally, the VCE curriculum has recently incorporated creative writing skills into its assessments. Right now, creative writing skills are optional for VCE student, however, the new VCE English study design is making it compulsory for students to write creatively. It makes sense to encourage creative thinking skills in students as, in no matter which industry they choose to get involved in, being able to respond with novel and innovative solutions to traditional problems is a skill which would benefit any workforce.


So how do we encourage students in the younger year levels to develop the necessary creative thinking skills which will aid them in older years?


Having students predict what happens next after the passage has finished might help to make them broaden and deepen their creative writing skills. An example of this might be “What do think Peter Rabbit did after he escaped?” Questions like this do require the student to have regard to what has happened in the story, and to use that information in a way that is logically consistent with everything the student has already read. Being able to remain faithful to what has already happened in the story, but take the story somewhere fun and interesting is a very useful skill which is likely to assist the student later on.


Of course, there is no one way to foster such skills in students. And also, what works for some students, may not always work for others, however, when it comes to improving the standard of education in a child, a general rule of thumb is to experiment with different techniques until you find something that “sticks”. Hopefully, some of the hints in this article can help you to brainstorm different ways of assisting young people with the development of their literacy skills. These same skills fostered at an early age, will be emphasised straight throughout their secondary education, tertiary education and probably be used well and truly beyond that. It is for this reason that nailing down the basics in the early years critical to the future academic success a child experiences in later life.

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