Tuesday, June 09, 2009

ENA6 - the topics so far

It's always a fun way to pass an evening, guessing which topic will be on ENA6, but this year will be the last chance we have as it's the end of the AQA A spec as we know it. Here's what's been featured so far...

June 2008

Political correctness and slang

1c. Zoe Williams Guardian article on slang that demeans women

2a. Article for online newspaper responding to Zoe Williams


June 2007

Attitudes to Language Change

1c. Kate Burridge article

2a. Broadsheet editorial on views about Language Change


June 2006

Male/female conversation

1c. John and Barbara Pease self-help book

2a. Radio script on male female conversation


June 2005

Child Language Acquisition

1c. Baby and You magazine article

2a.Magazine article


Feb 2005

Language and Representation

1c. George Orwell extract from Politics and the English Language

2a. Broadsheet feature article on language and its effect on attitudes


June 2004

Development of new accents

1c. Daily Telegraph article

2a. Broadsheet feature article on high rising intonation


Jan 2004

Language of texting and emails

1c. Guardian article Cn u txt?

2a. Radio script on texting and email language and attitudes to these forms


June 2003

Political Correctness in Language

1c. Terry Deary extract from Wicked Words kids book

2a. Broadsheet editorial on PC and attitudes to it


Jan 2003

Child Language Acquisition - interaction

1c. extract from Baby Talk advice book

2a. Magazine article on role of verbal interaction


June 2002

Male/female conversation

1c. Extract from John Gray Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus

2a.Broadsheet newspaper article on male/female conversation styles


My guesses for this year’s paper:

Language Varieties and Slang - perhaps something looking at the changing face of Britain’s accents and dialects - Estuary English, MEYD, development of new slang, dialect levelling.

Language Change & Technology* - perhaps something about text messages, emails, social networking and language, and attitudes towards these forms.

Child Language* - hasn't turned up since 2005, but has been set twice before. I suspect it won't appear, but be ready just in case!

Form of question in 2a? Be ready for anything, but letters to the editor and website articles haven’t turned up yet and might do this year.

*Edited to change from my publishing last year's advice - sorry!

21 comments:

Rita Ellouise said...

wat does MEYD mean?

Dan said...

MEYD = "Multi-ethnic youth dialect" (also known as Multicultural London English/MLE or disparagingly as Jafaican)the sort of stuff Sue Fox has been looking at recently. Try here: http://englishlangsfx.blogspot.com/2006/11/slang-bare-swag-or-just-repping-your.html

Defi said...

So there is a higher chance of child acquistion than anything else? I know it's hard to say.

Is there also a chance that the ENA5 paper will be very similar to the ENA6 paper then? If they both discuss language change.

What do you reckon is the probability of something along the lines of language and gender surfacing?

Dan said...

I reckon it's most likely to be (in order): variation - accents and dialects, then technology and change, then CLA, but that's just an educated guess.

And yes, it could be an ENA5 topic like change, so lots of stuff for tomorrow's paper could be useful next week too.

Defi said...

I'm trying to list some distinctive features of Hiberno-English (Irish). It's not the most exciting one to pick :(

M said...

Hello Dan
I was just wondering if you could recommend any programmes, from Radio 4, to listen to in preperation for the ENA6 exam please?
Thanks in advance.

Dan said...

This one's not Radio 4, and on first impression it can appear pretty cheesy, but they do really good podcasts about language: http://www.waywordradio.org/

And this is Radio 4's Word 4 Word, which has got loads of good stuff: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/word4word.shtml

I'd recommend Word of Mouth, Michael Rosen's Radio 4 show, too but it's not available to listen to on i-player at the moment.

Hope these help

Anonymous said...

What's CLA? Also, I am confused as to exacly what we have to revise, i mean i know the topics, but do we have to pick out certain things from them? Or just revise the whole topic :S also, do we need to revise theories and stuff

Dan said...

CLA= Child Language Acquisition

Best thing is probably to check past papers online (follow AQA A old spec link on main blog page - go to assessment material when you get to the site) and then after that search for 1a, 1b advice in the search bar on the main blog page.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan, do you mind suggesting what possible things we should be revising for langauge variation- accents, dialects. Should we revise theories?

Anonymous said...

*I mean what specific things

Dan said...

Hi, I'd suggest looking at attitudes towards accents. Try a quick search on this blog for some links and then have a look at the BBC Voices link to accents: http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/yourvoice/accents.shtml

Then this New Scientist article is good on dialect levelling and the emergence of MEYD: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18825281.600

Anonymous said...

Hello,
For the the methodology section of ENA6 i was wondering what methods of data collecting are there?
For instance, primary spoken data using a tape recorder.
Thanks.

Dan said...

Yeah that would be one. If they're asking you for attitudes to language (e.g. "How would you go about investigating people's attitudes to different regional accents?") you might want to collect data in a questionnaire format, with a 1-5 scale (i.e. 1 = really dislike, 5 = really like).

Interviews are also useful for collecting qualitative data.

For other topics like last year's one abour language and representation, you could use written texts as data. For example, there were good answers where people collected magazine or newspaper articles about men and/or women from different time periods and explored things like use of nouns, adjectives, marked terms etc to explore representation.

If it's child language as a topic, longitudinal studies are good (i.e. collecting data over time) or apparent time (collecting data from children of different ages in an attempt to compare the development of a language feature over time).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your help. :)

Anonymous said...

I know it is only one day until the exam but could you possibly suggest some distinctive features of the form of a letter to the editor and a website? What would they be looking for?

Anonymous said...

Hello,
could you please tell me what observers paradox, demand characteristics, audience
response) and ethics are please.
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Hiya,
Sorry to be a pain but I was wondering int he textual analysis question 1 c... would it be wise to have an essay plan including lexis, syntax, grammar...? I'm really panicking about the textual analysis. As I don't know what to include and how to structure it.
Sorry and thank you.

Dan said...

I'll post some replies later tonight. Sorry, but been i've really busy today.

Dan said...

@ anon "observer's paradox, demand characteristics, audience
response and ethics"

Ok, to put it quickly (there are much better definitions on A level Psychology & Sociology websites, i'm sure)

observer's paradox - the weird ways in which people behave when they know they're being observed and how you minimise this to collect your data.

demand characteristics - how people feel they *should* respond to questions
e.g. Interviewer:"Are you a racist?"
Interviewee: "No, of course not"...interviewee goes off and votes BNP when the interviewer has gone.

Ethics - your moral responsibilities as a researcher e.g. don't lie, don't set up research which endangers the mental health of the respondents, ask your respondents' permission.

Audience response - ?

Rita Ellouise said...

oh rite.. i think i asked again about meyd.. but now i no thankss