Friday, May 30, 2014

ENGA3 June 2014 - revision tips part 4

To carry on the boring naming convention established earlier this week, this is part 4 of your ENGA3 June 2014 revision tips. So far we have looked at a bit of Section A Change and a bit of Section A variation, so now it's time for Section B Discourses.

One of the first things to remember is that Section B is different from Section A. In Section A the texts are based on language in use (language being used in different times and in different varieties) but in Section B the texts are about language. They will raise questions around how people feel about language and the way it changes and varies from time to time and person to person.

Last year's question was on Language and Gender, setting two extracts from a text which gave a very simplistic, difference model-style, interpretation of how women and men talk. It was there as a starting point for discussion, a springboard for offering a critique of such reductive models. If you 'd read Deborah Cameron's Myth of Mars and Venus, you'd have been laughing...

Back in January it was a question about American English and attitudes towards it. Again, the main text was provocative in its prescriptive outlook, giving students who knew their stuff a chance to argue against the author's anti-American views.

This time, it could be anything. All Change and Variation topics are fair game for this question, so make sure you have revised areas such as the following:
  • political correctness and language change: how "change from above" is implemented, theorised about and (sometimes) resisted
  • attitudes to different accents and dialects: the views people often have about different regional, social and national varieties
  • views about technology and language change: how people feel about social media and texting's influences upon language use
  • arguments about standard and non-standard English: what people say about slang, non-standard grammar and the social consequences of using non-standard forms
Of course, there could be plenty of others and we've covered a lot on this blog. Click here for all posts tagged as being to do with Language Discourses and you'll find plenty to mug up on.

The next post will offer a bit more focus on analytical frameworks for this question.

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