Our class have just finished our mock GCSE English Language exams. Perhaps predictably, our results for the tough language comparison question (question 4) were all lower than we would have hoped. However, there is no need for us to despair. We still have 6 months to prepare for the real exam and we have a clear idea of where we need to improve.
Additionally, we are very fortunate that Rikesh (who performed well in the mock exam) has typed up his answer to question 4. This was graded as a Band 4 response and helped him to achieve an overall A* in his mock. Please use this resource to help you with revising for the exam yourselves: it is a response to the June 2015 exam.
Source 3 begins with the fact that there are “starving millions in India.” The use of the vague figure “millions” is very powerful due to the fact that there is no real number on the number of starving people there. Alternatively, the word “millions” could suggest that we are just assuming how many people starve and the situation may be much worse, but Anne does not want to face the facts. Similarly, source 1 uses the facts to give us an indicator of how many child labourers there are and “in eight years’ time” there will be “190 million” child labourers. This too gives us an insight of how many people are not really living their lives. However, due to the fact that this figure comes from an article, it may be more reliable since it tells us directly “190 million” and not a vague number as seen in source 3. The use of “eight” years may make readers feel that that is not good enough as that indicates that there are people who are working for the same low pay for a very long time.
Source 3 uses a simile to describe how the big cities “draw the poor like a magnet from the countryside.” The use of the word “magnet” implies that it gives the people false hope since they will still live in bad conditions, but the sheer thought of a successful life attracts them there. On the other hand, it could communicate to us that they have no choice but to move there as it couldn’t be any worse than it is for them currently. This may make readers sympathise for them as it is false hope that they cannot resist. Likewise, source 1 uses the metaphor “mining is like a magnet for child labour.” Once again, the figurative language includes a “magnet” which shows how the children cannot resist the temptation of earning money for their families. On the other hand, “mining” could suggest that it is the only job for them as they are small enough to work there, but this also adds to the temptation. This also makes the reader sympathise as it is false hope.
Source 3 is describes a “sliver of new moon” which could represent light which is a connotation for hope. However, the use of “sliver” could convey that there is only a little hope. However for the purpose of the source, which is about Anne’s experiences in India, a little hope is all the poor people could even dream of. This makes the reader feel happy for the people as it gives them something to hang on to and strive towards. In contrast, source 1 leaves the child workers with absolutely no hope at all, especially when “international agencies and aid donors” choose to “turn a blind eye.” The use of “blind” could show that the elimination of child labour is very possible, but it is not helped by the fact that no one wants to help. This makes the readers lose faith in humanity since we are not willing to help each other when in need.
Lastly, both sources use emotive language for effect. Source 3 indicates to us that there are “starvelings without hope.” The sheer use of the name “starveling” implies that they are seen as different compared to everyone else in society, and therefore should be treated differently. Alternatively, it could be to target those who are homeless as it makes it easy for some to understand. This could potentially make readers feel that there is inequality taking place and therefore despise those that refer to them as “starvelings’.” Similarly, source 1 uses emotive language when Gordon Brown describes child labour as the ““new slavery” for our age.” This shows that he has a powerful opinion that makes people upset to think that “slavery” is taking place in this time. The use of the phrase “new slavery” could suggest that it will last for a long time until eradication. This also makes readers annoyed as slavery is seen as a thing of the past – so we thought.