Close Reading Starter 2 – ‘Language’ (analysis)

Starter 2 – ‘language’ (analysis)

Such attitudes continue to shape thinking about the city. Yet, like it or not, at some point in 2008, the city finally swallowed the world. The number of people living in cities overtook those left behind in the fields. It’s a statistic that seems to suggest some sort of fundamental species change, like the moment when mankind stopped being hunter gatherers and took up agriculture.

Q. In the lines above, the writer tells us that for the first time in history more people are now living in cities than in the countryside. Show how the writer’s use of language in this paragraph emphasises the momentous nature of this change. 2 A

Starter 2 – ‘language’ (analysis) possible answers
Single insightful comment worth up to 2 marks; more basic comments worth up to 1 mark each.
1. “finally” suggests this moment was one the world had been waiting for impatiently
2. “swallowed the world” (use of personification) presents “the city” as some kind of all-conquering monster: brutal, ravenous, insatiable, greedy, unstoppable, …
3. “swallowed” suggests an all-engulfing consumption; the change is abrupt, final and irreversible
4. “the world” hyperbole stresses the huge scale of the change
5. “overtook” suggests a race in which those in the city are moving forward at pace, leaving their rivals trailing behind
6. “left behind” (continuation of “race” imagery) suggests people in the country are not making progress, inferior
7. “in the fields” associates people living in the country with a very basic, almost primitive way of life
8. “fundamental” stresses essential, primary nature of the change
9. “species change” suggests an evolutionary shift
10. “like … agriculture” use of comparison to another fundamental moment in man’s evolution to stress great importance

Close Reading Starter 1 – Link Question

Starter 1: Link

…So the student question must be addressed on its own merits, not thrown into a demagogic hotpot marked “immigration” (aka “bloody foreigners”). Obviously, hosting foreign students has a cost. Many do stay on, even now. And we have a lot of them. In 2008 Britain had the second largest cohort of foreign students of any OECD country. There are good reasons for this. We have the best universities in Europe, as well as some good further education institutions and language schools. We have historic worldwide connections. We speak English, the global language.

This brings a cost, but a larger benefit. In 2011/12 international students spent an estimated £10.2bn on tuition fees and living expenses. The gains in terms of human connections, ways of thinking, cultural affinities and international goodwill are incalculable. A study done last year for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that 84% of former students retained links with Britain and 90% had their perception of this country changed – for the better. Imagine if sometime Oxford students Bill Clinton, Benazir Bhutto, Aung San Suu Kyi and Manmohan Singh had all been thoroughly alienated by the kind of treatment that my foreign students are now routinely experiencing.

Q. Referring to specific words and/or phrases, Show how the sentence “This brings a cost, but a larger benefit.” acts as a link in the writer’s argument.(2 U)

***edit*** Answer to today’s starter

“This brings a cost” refers to the idea in the previous paragraph that there is an economic cost to having so many foreign students living in the UK (1)
“But a larger benefit” introduces the idea of the following paragraph which focuses on the cultural, economic and intellectual benefits of having foreign students staying on in the UK. (1)