Thursday, April 10, 2008

ENA6 - Investigating Language Change

On the ENA6 A2 paper you're expected to answer a 5 mark question on your methodology for investigating a language issue. To help you revise and prepare for this, I'm going to set a question a week up, on a different topic each week, until the exam itself, asking you to explain how you'd investigate each topic.

The format I'd like you to follow in your answer is outlined here, so you need to give a 5 point answer which outlines your:

A packet of Haribo goes to the best answer each week.

So, to kick start it, this week's question is: How would you go about investigating people's attitudes to language change?

Useful for:
ENA6 - Language Debates


Anonymous said...

hey, iv jus come across this site and its really helpful.. i got a ena6 exam comin up.. i dont go college so everything iv learnt is basically from books and stuff.. i jus wanted to know if you could possibly write a list of what i should be revising for ena6..
so far i think iv covered for the first question..

: word formaton
: conversational styles

p.s child language acquistion?.. could this possibly be a feature spotting question?

im startin to panic.. a little.


Anonymous said...

ok hold on.. doing a bit more research i think i jus noticed.. that you get told what topic it is and get taught it..


Dan said...

Yep, basically the whole of ENA6 is on one topic, any out of: Child Language; Language & Representation; Male/female convo styles; a more general one on spoken English; Language Change; Language Varieties.

Sometimes there's a bit of crossover between topics, so there has been one on political correctness and language change on the same paper, but usually it's fairly clear cut.

Doing well on the paper depends on getting used to the types of questions - always the same format which is outlined on the link to the top tips post from last year and year before.

Any other questions just ask, but i'm away for a bit next week so answers may take a little while.

Dessy said...

sir can you please say what you mean by frameworks for analysis, i know you went through it in class, but i've forgotten so could you please give us that lsit again, grammar, lexis...what else?

florence said...

hi sir, this site is really heplful. fnk u so much. it's neva 2 late. just need extra help. flo

Dan said...

A framework could be lexical/semantic, or might be grammatical, phonological, etc.

It could also be a framework such as a quantitative approach: counting the number of times a feature appears.

Hope this helps. Sorry for delay- been away on holiday for a week

Dan said...

OK, so no takers so far? Maybe as the ENA6 exam draws ever closer you'll start to do some revision...

So the Haribo go to me this time.

Dessy said...

i've done mine you just happened to be on holiday for the week. i brought it in today i just forgot to shwo cs we had a mock exam i completely forgot about!

thanks sir, but you don't mind expanding on that could you? for example, what is a phonological frame work. i knw grammar is like verbs and nouns e.t.c but i still don't get it. so i'll hassle you 2mao morning

by the way, is 'if you wish...' a hedge, cos i think i said it was in the mock.

Dessy said...

would you mark an editorial if i wrote one?
the problem is though, i don't know how...
yes, "get some newspapers from the library and read the editorials"
but you must realise sir that reading an editorial and writing one are two completely different things.. bear in mind that i am 17 yrs old and have NEVER written an editorial in my life, whereas you and all the other teachers are about 40, and have written occasional article for our beloved e-magazine, plus you run a blog that requires you to write in an informative and entertaining way. i'm not sure i'm still making sense but my roiginal point was if my editorial is crap, would you tell me why it's crap, what an editorial that isn't crap looks like, and what i can do to make a crap editorial, a not crap editorial. rather than just saying, it's crap.
thank you.
i have one problem though... i dunno what to write an editorial about, it has to be linguistics related doesn't it?

Dan said...

Yep, I'd be happy to mark one if you write it.

I know reading editorials and writing them isn't the same, *but* you only really get a sense of what they are if you read a few. You don't have to read them in massive detail; just get a sense of how arguments are constructed and ideas presented. Treat the ones you read as style models. After all, you don't get to learn how to use a particular form without seeing it done by someone else.

Finally, to your most upsetting point.... "you teachers are all about 40". That is very unfair. I am not 40 and won't be for 40 at least err...18 months. Curses.

Dan said...

A phonological framework would be based around examining features such as how accents vary (listening for different vowel sounds or th-fronting etc.).

And grammar is about word classes yes, but it's also about syntax, so if you were investigating regional varieties you might find that double negation or subject verb agreement (e.g. we was rather than we were), were grammatical features .
With (say) child language, grammar could be about morphology - endings of nouns like in the wugs test.

Is that clearer?

Dessy said...

yup thank you!
is 'if you wish' a hedge if it's in an instruction book?

Dan said...

Hmm, that's tricky. Technically, I suppose it's in the form of a subordinate clause of condition, but it's functioning in a similar way to a hedge in some respects. I'd probably opt for calling it something like a qualifier, but if you describe it as a kind of hedge that would be ok, i think.

Anonymous said...


methodolgy.. this consists of? ?

and do u have to literally write down evERRRRRYYYYfin that you are gonna do. in great detail?

i think iv pretty covered for everything that might be relevant to ena6 apart from methdlgy.

Dan said...

Hi, have a quick look at Lisa's, Dessy's and Ufuoma's posts on the other ENA6 thread - that's what the examiners are after.

It's designed to be a quick (5-7 minute max) question worth 5 marks, so you're not giving loads of detail, just covering the 5 areas and giving an outline of how you would go about doing it.

Dan said...

And if you want an example of a real answer or two, go to the AQA A link on the blog links, click guidance then ENA6 response booklet. Worth a look

Anonymous said...

know it's late now but i was just wondering whether if we have to write an editorial, do we have to lay it out in columns or is that not important?

Dan said...

no, it's not important - just write it as normal.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, what are qualatative/quantative approaches? And if Language cariation came up, would I write something about collecting data from different religional areas and from people from different social classes?

Dan said...

Quantitative = counting or measuring things
e.g. count the number of tag questions in a transcript, or count how many times a child uses overgeneralisations in some data

Qualitative = not quantitative i.e. judgements are made, opinions are offered.

Wikipedia says:
A quantitative way to report a particular room temperature would be "the temperature in this room is 23 degrees Celsius."

A qualitative way to report room temperature would be to say "this room is warmer than it is outside".

A quantitative way to describe the tree would be to say "The tree is 30 feet tall."

A qualitative way to describe a tree would be to say "the tree is taller than the building."