Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Some more Language Change work in progress (or decay)...

Following on from the last post about how I'm approaching the topic of Language Change, here's a rough plan of the question I'm setting as a way to build up skills and knowledge for Paper 2 of the A level and a few ideas that one of my A level classes came up with this afternoon.

We're heading towards an essay question "Evaluate the idea that language change is either a process of evolution or of decay" and we're trying to build a range of different case studies and examples along the way. As well as that, I'm trying to kill two birds with one stone by looking at some examples of older texts in preparation for Paper 1.

What I'm hoping is that this allows us to do some close work on short texts, thinking about how they use language to convey ideas and represent their subject matter (all part of Paper 1's textual analysis focus) and then the same texts can be sources of examples and evidence for the bigger Paper 2 essay questions. One thing that's different between Paper 2 at AS and A level is the absence of any data prompt with the "Evaluate the idea..." cue, so I think it's important for students to have lots of examples and extracts of data that they can use to illustrate their points.

That's the plan... Any ideas/further suggestions/criticisms welcome.


Yasmin said...

Hi Dan,
Many thanks for this post! It is exactly what I was looking for! As there are no sample questions on language change for section A of paper B, I was struggling to come up with a potential question.
today we tried the question: Evaluate the idea that spoken language carries more prestige than written language.'- but it seemed too vague, without a specific language change focus.
Please could you let me know what other potential questions you have come up with for section A.

Simone said...

This post is really helpful for students sitting the new A2 paper. More examples and potential questions would be even better-looking at the AQA website there is not much. Model answers are not of grade A standard which is what we, as students, would benefit from.

Dan said...

We've thought about a few that just use the "Evaluate the idea that x..." formula, where x is ideas like: "technology is the main influence on language change" & "language change is a result of social change" etc. We've tried to think of a few crossover questions between diversity and change too as there's always a chance that the two could overlap in a question (a bit like the sample paper one on English fragmenting into different Englishes.

Simone said...

Thank you for the example questions. These are really helpful :)

Holly said...

This is my current list of questions for Language Change (including ones found from other sources)

• Evaluate the idea that language change is a process of evolution or decay.
• Evaluate the idea that technology is the main influence on language change.
• Evaluate the idea that standardisation in the 18th century has had the biggest influence on language change.
• Evaluate the idea that language change is a result of social change
• Evaluate the idea language change is more acceptable in a modern society compared with the Early Modern period.
• Evaluate the idea that English will always be a global language.
• Evaluate the idea that a speaker of English can understand all varieties of English.
• Evaluate the idea that young people are the drivers of language change in English.

Dan said...

Look good to me! I might nab a couple of these for use with my students.