AQA · For Pupils · Language Paper 2 · Reading skills · Teaching Ideas · viewpoint · Writing

Language paper 2 – viewpoints: The Internet – good or a bad thing?

Following on from the idea of using images to practise paper 2 question 2, I dug up this little gem from some old resources that I used to use for media studies. It uses the old AOL adverts for the internet (voiced by the late John Hurt). At the time, I found them really useful because there were two films which were (a) relatively short and (b) offered opposing perspectives. Just right for paper 2, don’t you think?

You can use the clips for both question 2 and 4.
Firstly, get the students to reflect on their own feelings about the internet. I find using a continuum can help with coming up with more subtle responses (other than good/positive and bad/negative).

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 14.55.33

I also ask them to think about positives and negatives of the internet, moving them away from specifics (“you can go on games”) to more abstract concepts (“entertainment”). This helps with the writing activity because I prefer them to be more abstract with their ideas.

Then look at the script. Do some language/method work on this (good for Q4)

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 14.58.05

Then get them to write the script which would accompany the contrasting film (don’t tell them there is one yet). You can do this in one lesson – I did it with year 8s and the response was surprisingly effective (I’ll photograph some examples and add them later)

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 15.01.53

Of course, you can skip all this and just go straight to a paper 2 question:

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 14.58.22

Once again, the question has a particular focus – different things – but you can change this to suit yourself.

Get them to identify three things from each text and then try to make some inferences.

Source A presents the internet as “a place where your identity can be stolen” which suggests that we are vulnerable to hackers who steal information, abusing the openness that the internet provides. However, source B, presents the internet as a good thing. Rather than steal information, it says that we can “[preserve] our history” which suggests that it provides a useful service … 

Notice the emphasis is placed on the question – things about the internet. For Q2 we aren’t interesting in viewpoints or language techniques/methods.

Question 4

Now look at the two scripts and discuss the different viewpoints

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 14.58.39Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 14.58.50

I picked up this little idea from a colleague at a recent meeting (Michaela from Waseley, thank you!) I adapted it for my revision of paper 2.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 15.12.55

Using three quotes from each, students can then write about the different viewpoints. Get them to start with a viewpoint – we need to get them to think about their ‘word hoard’ – what can they say that is different to ‘good/bad’? So we can go back to the first activity:

“The writer in source A thinks that the internet is a pernicious influence…”

Staring with the viewpoint really gets the student into the mark scheme

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 15.19.54

That top bullet point, for me, is really important in helping the student differentiate between q2 and q4. It signals to the examiner that they have absorbed the requirements of the task. They can then develop their opening viewpoint sentence using whichever acronym you use.

  • Viewpoint – example – feature or method – intention
  • Viewpoint – example – zoom in on a word or method – effect

And so on…

I’ve put the PPT here (and the films):



One thought on “Language paper 2 – viewpoints: The Internet – good or a bad thing?

  1. hello, i am in year 10 and i have English Language Paper 2 on 24th April 2017 and i dont understand question 4, and 5. Question 4 is the same question as 2 i am really confused and i really need help
    Thank you


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