The examinations in the British NC focus heavily on word and sentence level analysis. Analysing the connotations of individual word choices, for example, is a dominant focus on most of the current English language exam, and not to mention being useful (perhaps even allowing a pass?) for the English literature KS4 challenge at the moment.

My reading over the past few days (which needs to be turned into a 5000 essay draft in the next nine days) has happily found a rich seam of research into types of composition. For some reason, my own education has very much downplayed explicit teaching of argumentation (despite my personal interest and, of course, its apparent importance). Literature essays, if you are to read exemplars, often do not have clear argumentation; statements made link immediately to paragraph level analysis.

While there is not much room or practice or ethos in the British system for experiential learning (the NLS demonstrated the distrust of whole-text work and extended discussion and argumentation), understanding better theories and practice of composition is, I feel at this point, the most efficient way of enhancing practice across multiple schools of thought.

More importantly, successful practice here extends the very best students into the kind of conceptual narrative that can influence the world around them. And that, the heart and spirit of writing and communication, is the motivation for the classroom teacher.