Thursday, May 17, 2012

ENGA1: good luck

Good luck to anyone taking (or retaking) ENGA1 tomorrow.

If you have any last minute questions or worries that aren't addressed in the previous revision posts, post a comment here and I'll see if I can help. I can't promise an instant reply, but will try to respond today at some point.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you any predictions what the CLA question will be about?

Thanks.

Dan said...

Hmm, phonology (how children acquire sounds) hasn't turned up on this spec yet (but did on the old ENA1 paper a few years ago) so that's a possibility.

Likewise, there have been questions on interaction and innateness but not on imitation.

Then again, it might be one of those slightly trickier wordings like "creative experimentation" or "actively applying rules" which need a bit more unpicking.

My advice: revise the lot!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan,

:o Phonology! What are they key aspects for that!

Creative experiement - Virtous errors and Chomsky?

And imitation is a piece of cake!

Thanks.

Dan said...

Phonology can be a bit tricky because the theories aren't always easy to apply. I'd go for pre-verbal stages, features such as patterns in early mispronunciations (substitution, deletion of unstressed syllables, assimilation etc.), some focus on role of interaction, imitation, plus there's some interesting stuff about how children differentiate sounds of languages even at a very early age (or before they're born).

Trickier to see how nativist and cognitive models might be applied here - any ideas?

Creative experimentation - yes, those would work, plus perhaps think about trial and error (Roger Brown's regression curve might be useful) and how cognitive models might be applied (categorisation an analogy in word meanings/lexical development).

Dan said...

Sorry, meant to say "categorisation and analogy" i.e. how children often work out words' meanings by mapping new objects to existing networks of meanings and by thinking about how things work in similar ways. So overextension and underextension might be relevant here too. Worth looking at Leslie Rescorla's stuff (search blog for her but also in AQA A AS book) and Aitchison's labelling - packaging - network building model (in text book)

Anonymous said...

Oh so Phonology stuff like cooing and babbling too?

So dont you think innateness will come up?

Thanks again.

Dan said...

Yes, pre-verbal stages are worth a look for phonology if it comes up.

Innateness appeared on June 2011 paper, so unlikely tomorrow. Then again, you need to refer to relevance or otherwise of innateness theories on pretty much any question to access top bands.

Anonymous said...

Have you got any tips on exam structure?

Like for example, what to mention if Phonology or Creative Experiement comes up?

Dan said...

I always reckon attacking the question head-on in the first para is best, so I tell my students to define the terms of the question in the first few lines and then take it from there.

The structure for the rest of it really depends on the type of question. If it's a theory question (innateness, interaction, imitation, cognitive) I'd opt for an evidence and evaluation approach. Look at arguments for and against and then evaluate each one (e.g. if innateness question, look at how innateness accounts for syntax and morphology but not necessarily lexis, semantics, pragmatics or phonology).

If question is on a framework - grammar, words and meanings, sounds - you could opt for a features-style approach or even a chronological structure.

Whatever you do, there needs to be focus on the specific question (you'd be surprised how many all-purpose, generic answers markers see), evaluation of different case studies and theories and plenty of examples of child language.

Hope that's some help.

Anonymous said...

Ohright thank you, thats cleared it up.

Could I mention Chomsky/Skinner if I apply it to any question?

Dan said...

Yes, good idea to as they represent the main nature vs nurture argument. But definitely worth looking at Bruner, Piaget and Vygotsky at some point too for full evaluation of theories.

Check these if you're not sure (although you probably know them already):
http://t.co/4KN0m2CR
http://t.co/meZIj3TT
http://t.co/b4MFQR6T
http://t.co/ymYbTQtQ

Anonymous said...

So for example, for Phonology I can say that Protowords could be children attempting to imitate or just a biological process then continue from there?

Haha! I made some notes from them this morning :)

Dan said...

Yeah, sounds good to me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot! Life saver!

Anonymous said...

For the first part of the exam where we look at two pieces of texts, do we simply compare and contrast them and write about the mode of the text and the purpose?

Dan said...

Hi, you don't necessarily have to compare them (no comparison in the question's wording itself) but it can be helpful to. Have a look at the revision tips 1-4 for details on each AO and how to do it.

Basic idea is to look at how each text represents the subject matter, how their modes influence language and structure choices, and talk about the language choices and their effects on audience/listener.

Anonymous said...

Oh okay Thank you!
btw do you know what the main contextual features are? I tried searching on google but nothing would come up... thanks in advance!

Dan said...

Depends on the texts! But you could start with the mode continuum, eg if it's distant or close, planned or unplanned etc. Mode - you could argue - is just one part of a text's context.

Anonymous said...

how would you have answered the CLA question dan?

Dan said...

Ha! That's a tricky one to answer for a couple of reasons. First off, if I say something you didn't mention, you might think you've messed up (but your answer may well be perfectly valid and get plenty of marks) and secondly, seeing as I'm now officially marking the paper I can't really say anything about it (or AQA would order a drone strike on me).

But broadly...I'd probably have thought about the differences between nativist models of universal stages, universal grammar and that kind of approach, and the role of environment and interaction on creating individual language styles. There is a lot to talk about though, so I'm sure there'll have been many different ways to do well.

Anonymous said...

Hello! My exam is tomorrow and although this is extremely last- minute, I just would like a quick explanation of children's language acquisition in the post-telegraphic stage.

I'm freaking out!

Dan said...

Hi, this is ENGB3 right?

The main thing with the post-telegraphic stage is that all the things you don't see in the telegraphic stage (determiners, auxiliary verbs etc.) start to appear, plus you get more clause linking (e.g. a shift towards more complex syntax like subordination and clause embedding). It's closer to adult speech in those regards.