Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ENGA3 June 2014 - revision tips part 3

So... here's a post to help you revise for ENGA3 Section A Language Variation. And if you're wondering why I'm starting this post with so, starting everything with so is apparently undergoing a boom. Just look here for something on this from 2010 and here for something even more recent.

And how is this relevant to your ENGA3 exam? Well, the questions on Language Variation don't have to be about regional or national variation - or even variation according to class, ethnicity or gender - as they have been in the last few years; they can also be about the ways in which language varies in other ways, like rising intonation (uptalk or HRT), the use of vocal fry or even something like so, or innit, or this is me. All of these are recent variations in the ways people use language to communicate and what's interesting about them is that they represent the intersection between so many different factors.

We're no longer in a world of language study where we say that x speaks y because she's z, but that x speaks y in one situation because she's sometimes like z, but often like a, b or c, but might also want to sound a bit like d, e or f. But never u, k, i  or p. many ways, with Language Variation, what makes a good answer is an awareness that people don't just use language because of some accident of birth (born male/female, white/black/Asian, to poor/rich parents in Birmingham/Bermondsey/Jaywick) but that language identity is so much more fluid. Good answers to questions on Language Variation will always acknowledge this.

There'll be more on Language Variation tomorrow, including the topic as a Language Discourses question for Section B.

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