Questions about Audience

Authors are known to almost always write with an audience in mind
(People who they would like to read the book)

It is important to know who the intended audience is. This is so because it helps you to make informed comments on writers’ techniques and evaluate how effective they are if you are clear about the intended readership the author has in mind.

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A full study of any text involves a good understanding of what the content is about, an analysis of the way in which the writer goes about expressing these thoughts, and an evaluation of how effective the author is in conveying the said ideas to the reader.

To ensure that individuals are given opportunities to develop their reading skills, questions based on different aspects of the text are frequently explored. Some questions entail finding bits of information that you can easily locate within the text. Others involve a range of other types and levels of questions that require closer engagement with the text.

Readers’ responses will obviously be of different lengths. This all depends on what each question is asking for. It is important that one takes time to carefully interpret each question. Some questions have more than one part. Make sure that all responses address each part of the question. If not, the answer would most certainly be incomplete.

So when answering a question, ensure that each point you make is supported by evidence from the text. Your evidence can be a quotation, which should not be long. Alternatively, you can simply make reference to a part of the text. Having done this, you need to explain in what way or ways your evidence supports the point you are making. Follow the structure, Point, Evidence and Explain (PEE)

You will find yourself producing some very impressive answers!

IMPORTANT!
Remember that your best will always do!

Here is a selection of literary terms that writers frequently use.
A good level of knowledge and understanding of these technical terms will prove to be very useful when studying a text.

GLOSSARY

Imagery– It is a literary device used to appeal to the reader’s five senses: touch, taste, smell, feeling and hearing. Imagery influences imagination and help to build clear mental pictures of something or someone. In other words, it is the picture that is formed of a place, person, object, texture…feeling, as it is being described.

Metaphor – It is a device used for comparison to give a vivid description of anything or anyone, in order to assist the reader to understand the thought that is being conveyed. For example, the metaphor, ‘The woman is a lion’ does not really mean that she is a lion in the true sense of the word but the expression is used to describe the nature of the person. In this case, the writer is hoping that the reader will make the connection between the characteristics of the lion and that of the woman.

Alliteration – It the repetition of initial sounds. Sometimes, writers use three or more words beginning with the same sound. For example, ‘phone, funny fellow floated’ Observe that each of these words starts with the same sound. The words could be slightly separated, and do not have to follow consecutively. Alliteration forces the reader to slow down and focus on the words. It encourages the reader to pay attention to the thought the writer is expressing.

Personification – This is when the writer uses human characteristics to describe inanimate objects

Onomatopoeia – When the word and what it is describing sounds alike. It is used to make writing realistic.

Tone – Is the feelings and attitude of the writer

Mood – The mood is the emotions the reader experiences

Repetition -The repeat of word/words, sentence/sentences and line/ lines. It slows down the reader and engages their attention with the words that are being repeated.

Connotation – Something is written or said that is not clearly stated but implied

Analogy – This is a comparison to show similarity of one thing to the other. For example, ‘Getting a slice of Mary’s cake is like hoping to see a blue donkey’

Language – This is the use of words and phrases

Sensory – Language has to do with the use of the five senses. It is when words and phrases are meant to affect the five senses (touch, smell, hearing, feel, taste)

Simple sentence is a sentence with one main clause

Compound sentence is a sentence with two main clauses, joined by a conjunction

Complex Sentence is a sentence with one main clause and a subordinate clause.

Structure is the order in which ideas in the text are arranged.

Style is the way in which the writer creates the text.

Chronological Structure is a structure that tells a story in the sequence of events that they occur.

Linear Structure is another way of saying chronological structure. The events are told in sequence.

Non- Linear Structure is one in which the story is not told in sequence

Cinematic Structure moves from one focus to another in a way that makes the reader feels as though they are watching a movie.

Context has to do with when and where the text is written. Context is historical and cultural and influences the way a writer approached the creation of text.

Figurative Language is words or descriptions that are not to be taken literary. It is used for effect. For example, ‘As I looked out my window, I saw a sea of people’ ‘a sea of people’ is simply saying that there were a great number of people.

Flashback occurs when the writer takes you from a present event to one in the past.

Pace has to do with the quickness with which the writer takes the reader through the text.

Inversion is used when the writer rearranges the normal order of words to achieve a desired effect.

Motif is when an idea or image keeps on presenting itself in a text.

Narrative is a piece of writing that tells a story or relates an experience

Empathy is when you imagine and connect with the feelings of others

Narrative Viewpoint is the perspective of the person who is writing. This can be determined by establishing whether the text is written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person.

Viewpoint has to do with the attitude and belief of the writer

Colloquial Language is language that is written informally. It normally takes the form of speech.

Normally, I would start my journey much earlier. But on this day I simply did not manage to do so. I therefore was not surprised when I found myself stuck in traffic which was at crawling pace, occasionally at stand- still.

People, no doubt on their way to work, bustled along the pavement, some holding dark coloured disposable coffee cups. Others strolled along numerous class windows of crowded cafeterias, diners seated, some tucking into their breakfasts, some waiting to be served, others still reading menus. I remained quietly uneasy as the time ticked away, drawing me closer to my appointment. But then, with no alternative, I continued my snail paced journey and inched my way along commercial buildings and infrequent dwelling houses.

As I drove, my attention was drawn to two little girls, maybe between the ages six and eight years old, who were lugging along the pavement. It was obvious that they were on their way to school, as they were dressed in their school uniforms- black leggings, grey skirts and white polo- neck jumpers.

A woman, with a mobile phone pressed against her ear, walked about three metres ahead of them.

My immediate thought was, ‘How wonderful it would be if alternatively, on the way to school, those two young children were having engaging conversations with their mother, maybe talking about the anticipated school day or anything at all. Instead, the children just walked behind, denied of the opportunity of rich chats and last minute assurances one could give to his or her child/children, just before one drops them off at the school gate- conversations that are invaluable and can hardly ever be forged by anyone else.

But, my concern was compounded when, during returning from my engagement, I spotted the very same woman. The scenario was the unchanged; the mobile phone was against the mother’s ear; the children towing behind her.

One would no doubt tend to understand why for me, this brought into question, the level of parent and child interaction that takes place in this home – very worrying when one considers that we are living at a time when, for reasons I need not mention, interaction with our children is of paramount importance. Equally worrying is the fact that this incident is representative of the far too many children who are advertently or inadvertently neglected by the obsessive uses of mobile phones.

Undoubtedly the mobile phone is one of our great modern day inventions but I believe that one needs to make a conscious effort to have a more balanced approach to the time spent on this time consuming device. This is especially important as verbal face to face conversations are on serious decline among friends, relatives, husbands and wives …young people and while some would dismiss this state of affair by pointing to the dynamics of modern technology, I remain adamant that it is an ideology that continues to undermine and erode cohesive relationships, interactions and interconnections amongst members of contemporary society.

I believe that here must be a balance that one consciously maintains. For, mobile phones become a liability when babies, toddlers, young children… parents find themselves in a place where they compete with this hugely ingenious and engaging device for a face to face conversation.

Enjoy your mobile phone!

We are at a stage where parents to a large extent are being held accountable for their children’s behaviour at schools and the community. Sometimes blame is shifted to teachers. Many take the view that the guidelines and principles that children are exposed to at home influence their behaviours both at home and outside of their family setting. Some would say that irrespective of the great efforts of parents and guardians to raise men and women, who will positively impact society, in so many instances there are disappointments about the path their children have taken.
So where exactly are things going wrong- a question frequently asked- a question that has no clear-cut response – a question to which we must find some answers if we are to preserve the moral values that make us decent human beings.

I strongly believe that one of the biggest problems is lack of respect for those in authority. We must remember that children from a very young age exercise defiance; it is a trait that is inherent. Interestingly, one of the first words uttered by our toddlers is, ‘No’. Fair enough, sometimes we find this rather cute, we laugh and we often utter, ‘This child has a strong will’. However, while having a strong will is good, it is important that this strong will is not something we allow to override parental instructions and guidance.

It goes without saying, that the first line of authority the child encounters is that of the parents. Parents nurturing of moral values is a god given responsibility and must begin at home. If this line of authority gives in, or falls apart then it becomes so much more difficult to address problems resulting from defiance and disrespect in the home, let alone the school and wider society.

Let me give you a simple example. Waiting for my connecting flight in the departure lounge at Euston USA, the reasonably quiet atmosphere was interrupted by the echoing shouts of a mother, who was instructing a young child to stop running around the waiting area. The child seemed to be just about five to six years old. She simply paid no attention to her mother and within a short time; they both became the focus of attention. There was a very embarrassing show of defiance which the mother seemed unable to handle. The child only gave in, when she was offered a packet of crisps. This followed a bribery of hugs and kisses. Some might probably think that was just an insignificant example, but I chose to use this experience because it is the simple things we let slip that cumulate to have serious repercussions at a later stage.

But it is so important that one establishes rules and sets limits when bringing up children. They must also be clear of the consequences of overriding structure and breaking rules. Having done so, one must be careful not to compromise those rules to accommodate the mood of the child, for it is this same response they are likely to expect from their teachers, members of society and the legal system.

Parenting is an important job and it’s key that we discipline in a way that teaches responsibility by motivating our children internally, to build their self-esteem and make them feel loved. If our children are disciplined in this respect, they will not have a need to turn to gangs, drugs, or sex to feel powerful or belong.

The following ten keys will help parents use methods that have been proven to provide children with a sense of well-being and security.

1 – Use Genuine Encounter Moments (GEMS)
Your child’s self-esteem is greatly influenced by the quality of time you spend with him-not the amount of time that you spend. With our busy lives, we are often thinking about the next thing that we have to do, instead of putting 100% focused attention on what our child is saying to us. We often pretend to listen or ignore our child’s attempts to communicate with us. If we don’t give our child GEMS throughout the day, he will often start to misbehave. Negative attention in a child’s mind is better than being ignored.

It is also important to recognize that feelings are neither right nor wrong. They just are. So when your child says to you, “Mommy, you never spend time with me” (even though you just played with her) she is expressing what she feels. It is best at these times just to validate her feelings by saying, “Yeah, I bet it does feel like a long time since we spent time together.”

2 – Use Action, Not Words
Statistics say that we give our children over 2000 compliance requests a day! No wonder our children become “parent deaf!” Instead of nagging or yelling, ask yourself, “What action could I take?” For example, if you have nagged your child about unrolling his socks when he takes them off, then only wash socks that are unrolled. Action speaks louder than words.

3 – Give Children Appropriate Ways to Feel Powerful
If you don’t, they will find inappropriate ways to feel their power. Ways to help them feel powerful and valuable are to ask their advice, give them choices, let them help you balance your check book, cook all our part of a meal, or help you shop. A two-year-old can wash plastic dishes, wash vegetables, or put silverware away. Often we do the job for them because we can do it with less hassle, but the result is they feel unimportant.

4 – Use Natural Consequences
Ask yourself what would happen if I didn’t interfere in this situation? If we interfere when we don’t need to, we rob children of the chance to learn from the consequences of their actions. By allowing consequences to do the talking, we avoid disturbing our relationships by nagging or reminding too much. For example, if your child forgets her lunch, you don’t bring it to her. Allow her to find a solution and learn the importance of remembering.

5 – Use Logical Consequences
Often the consequences are too far in the future to practically use a natural consequence. When that is the case, logical consequences are effective. A consequence for the child must be logically related to the behavior in order for it to work. For example, if your child forgets to return his video and you ground him for a week, that punishment will only create resentment within your child. However, if you return the video for him and either deduct the amount from his allowance or allow him to work off the money owed, then your child can see the logic to your discipline.

6 – Withdraw from Conflict
If your child is testing you through a temper tantrum, or being angry or speaking disrespectfully to you, it is best if you leave the room or tell the child you will be in the next room if he wants to “Try again.” Do not leave in anger or defeat.

7 – Separate the Deed from the Doer
Never tell a child that he is bad. That tears at his self-esteem. Help your child recognize that it isn’t that you don’t like him, but it is his behavior that you are unwilling to tolerate. In order for a child to have healthy self-esteem, he must know that he is loved unconditionally no matter what he does. Do not motivate your child by withdrawing your love from him. When in doubt, ask yourself, did my discipline build my child’s self-esteem?

8 – Be Kind and Firm at the Same Time
Suppose you have told your five-year-old child that if she isn’t dressed by the time the timer goes off, you will pick her up and take her to the car. She has been told she can either get dressed either in the car or at school. Make sure that you are loving when you pick her up, yet firm by picking her up as soon as the timer goes off without any more nagging. If in doubt, ask yourself, did I motivate through love or fear?

9 – Parent with the End in Mind
Most of us parent with the mindset to get the situation under control as soon as possible. We are looking for the expedient solution. This often results in children who feel overpowered. But if we parent in a way that keeps in mind how we want our child to be as an adult, we will be more thoughtful in the way we parent. For example, if we spank our child, he will learn to use acts of aggression to get what he wants when he grows up.

10 – Be Consistent, Follow Through
If you have made an agreement that your child cannot buy candy when she gets to the store, do not give in to her pleas, tears, demands or pouting. Your child will learn to respect you more if you mean what you say.

This document is produced by the International Network for Children and Families and the 350 instructors of the “Redirecting Children’s Behavior” course.

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Children are one of the most precious gifts that we can receive. Whenever I see a new born baby in its totally dependent state, I often consider the divine responsibility of parenthood. There is this instinctual drive to love, provide for and nurture our little ones. It goes without saying that the majority of us strive to do our very best. We try to instil principles that will preserve and guide our children even in our absence.

As a parent and grandparent, I am conscious that the children under my charge are not just little people that I admire and enjoy but coupled with this is the awesome responsibility of raising individuals who will not just age but develop into human beings who will make a positive impact on society. I have often implanted in my son and my grandson, that a number of university degrees, good job… accomplishments, however great they are, will always be wanting, when placed on a scale with sound values on the opposite side of the balance.

As a matter of fact, my mother and father were believers that values such as honesty, respect, self-discipline, love…unselfishness were products of good parenting. I am ever so grateful to them for the impartation of their religious beliefs and moral values. Family devotions were always a focal part of our day, something I think might ne sadly lacking in today’s modern families. It was in these gatherings we understood that there was a supreme being called GOD whom we must honour and respect- who encourages us to live in harmony. This type of upbringing continues to influence the manner in which I go about parenting.

I don’t know if you have noticed how the majority of children tend to ask, ‘Why?’ when given instructions. I think that this is a very positive thing. After all we ourselves as adults are more enthusiastic about doing things when we understand why we are doing them. I think that there is the need to take time to talk, to explain, as I am often amazed at the positive responses that dialogue with our children and young people can bring. Needless to say, personally, I am keen to detect the difference between an invitation for dialogue and blatant or subtle confrontations.
When it comes to schooling, I believe that I have the responsibility of acquiring a working knowledge of how children learn. I need to understand the education system under which my child or grandchild is being taught so I can work in partnership with schools.

Also in a world that is being torn apart by selfishness, greed and intolerance, there is a sense of urgency to inculcate in our children, sound moral values, the desire to positively settle differences while one simultaneously encourages higher levels of creativity and self- expectations.