Monday, June 13, 2016

ENGA3 - Accent & Dialect revision

Accent and Dialect is one of the topics that could appear in Section A for Language Variation but also in Section B for Language Discourses. Over the last few months, I've added lots of links for this topic for the students taking the new A-level (where the topic appears in the 1st year of the course) but all of these are relevant (and some are really excellent) for your work on ENGA3. Here's a selection of useful posts and links:




Sunday, June 12, 2016

ENGA3 - Language Discourses revision

Language Discourses

  • This Word of Mouth episode featuring Oliver Kamm (who we talked about recently) is useful for debates about pedantry and 'proper' English.
  • This Salon article about online communication making us more stupid is a good read and offers some opinions about language change that could be explored (thanks to @QEEnglish for the link).
  • These articles (this one and this one) by Robert Lane Greene focus on arguments about language and offer a linguistically descriptive perspective on such changes. Ideal for exam revision.
  • Jean Aitchison's original Reith Lectures about language can be found here. If you want to hear what she really said about crumbling castles, damp spoons and infectious diseases, go no further than A Web of Worries.
  • An old blog post from here about the prescriptive - descriptive debate is worth a read, especially if you're interested in exploring arguments about views belong along a continuum.
  • Finally for today, Stan Carey has written an excellent article about why slang is not a broken down form of 'proper' English and you can find it here.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

ENGA3 - World Englishes revision

Sorry to neglect you ENGA3ers out there. I've been busy with the new AS level, so put the A2 stuff on the backburner a bit. Here are some things that I hope will help...

World Englishes

  • Have a listen to this Word of Mouth episode about English as a Lingua Franca to get a grasp of what's going on with English around the world.
  • Think about the ideas in this article which suggests native English speakers are often the problem in international conversations using English.
  • This article is also interesting about the ways English is used around the world.
  • David Crystal talks in this clip about the future of English around the world.




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Paper 2 today - good luck

Hope it all goes well today. Plenty of revision tips on the blog should you want to do any more!


Monday, June 06, 2016

Paper 2: last few revision pointers

Paper 2 is on Wednesday, so good luck with it to everyone. I won't be blogging or tweeting about the AS for a while after then as I'll be marking it and will need to keep my head down and prime my red pen for lots of (I hope) ticks.

I've posted loads of stuff about Paper 2 here and via the Twitter feed, but if you're looking for a few last-minute ideas, why not have a look at the following?

Accent and dialect: Paul Kerswill and Alex Barrata were interviewed on Radio 4 last week and if you listen from 14 minutes in to this link, you'll get a nice overview of some of the attitudes to different accents.

There's been some interesting material emerge from the team behind the English Dialects app and if you want to see how some of their work has been reported have a look here and here.

The area of social groups is perhaps a bit more slippery than that of accents and dialects, so you might want to look at some ideas around social class here and about slang and young people here. Julie Coleman's The Life of Slang is a great book about slang and how it emerges, so a look at some of the reviews of it might help with your revision. Here's one.

There's already a lot about gender out there, but reading and referring to recent posts by Deborah Cameron on her fantastic blog are a great way of showing your examiner (maybe even me!) that you've gone beyond the usual reading that everyone else will be name-checking. This article is great for interaction and gender, while this takes a different tack by looking at gender representation (both of which could appear on Paper 2 for AS and/or A level).

For occupation, have a look at some of the tweets from the last month or two, including this one and this one.

Anyway, good luck; I'm looking forward to reading and marking lots of ace answers.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Revising AO1 terminology

If you're revising for Paper 1 and want to do some last-minute terminology work, these are good places to look.

The Internet Grammar of English
The Interactive Grammar of English


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Attitudes to accents

If you're revising Paper 2 of the new AS level, there have been some really helpful articles about some of the topics covered, over the last few days.

This piece from The Guardian on Friday (thanks to @ENSFCEnglish) looks at research carried out by Dr Alexander Baratta into accent prejudice in education and quotes some staggeringly ill-informed views about how trainee teachers should speak. The story is also covered in The Sun (thanks to @paulkerswill).

A couple of years ago, this story about a teacher made news when it was suggested she had been told to 'tone down' her northern accent while working in a soft, southern, shandy-drinking school (thanks to @Lisa7Pettifer for that link).

Elsewhere, Rob Drummond at MMU kindly posted the results of a short survey he had carried out into attitudes towards young people's language and you can find them here.

All of this material is useful for both sections of the new Paper 2 (AS and A level) where you might see examples of texts that represent regional and social varieties, along with debates and arguments about the same topics. The sample paper has a Directed Writing task on issues around people changing their accents and these texts give you some handy, up to date reference points for questions like that.

We've covered lots of pieces about accent prejudice on this blog in the past and you can find plenty of links through this page.