i love english language

Advice for Unit 5

Posted in Uncategorized by aggslanguage on March 13, 2008

Unit 5 – Section A 

  • If “graphology is for losers” in Unit 1, then “orthography is for losers” in Unit 5

  • Section A is first and foremost a feature spotting exercise (AO3ii)

 ·         sentence types·         types of clauses/phrases·         types of adverbials·         specific word class  

  • Students need to know what features you would expect to see in any particular text


  • If AO3ii can be summed up by “feature spot” then AO5ii can be summed up by “engage with meaning”… students should be explicit in identifying semantic fields and other aspects of semantics to show engagement with texts meaning… also this is where feature spotting must be turned into analysis… linking the features spotted to the meaning of the text, its purpose, style, audience, effectiveness, context, etc.

 Language Variation 

  • Research? cf. Roxy Harris “Ethnicity, Race & Language Reader” – R Hewitt article. Also Emag & get pupils to google “multi-ethnic youth dialect” to research resurgence of dialects

  • As ever, need to show awareness of frameworks… phonological, grammatical, semantic…

 Language Change 

  • Can be broken down into three pronged approach 

          identifying processes of change

          giving reasons for change

          exploring attitudes to change 

  • Examples are very important, so pupils should have a bank of examples can use which illustrate each of the processes, as well as examples which will be useful in illustrating attitudes to language change and theories of language change 
  • Don’t need to explore theory / reasons of language change in any great depth – just have a few reasons in head to spit out in exam and tie to examples used… 

          social hierarchies

          positive and negative prestige

          technological change

  • … which speeds up change e.g. “chav”          youth culture, sub-cultures & communities of practice (skateboarding, music scene, gaming, etc.) – establishing alternative identity          political correctness          identify patterns of changes rather than posit theories 

  • Find original examples of new words, semantic change etc. e.g. Mcjob… which can make answer distinctive and interesting for examiner

  • Come up with opinions on language change issues. Is youth slang is dominated by criminality, sex and homophobia? What other contentious debates are raging about language change and variation?


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