Thursday, March 19, 2020

Language topics quick writing tasks

A-Level English Language has an awful lot of content, and a quick way to revise a lot at a time  is to do some short writing tasks.  I use these questions and key word prompts with my students and suggest 15 minutes of writing as much as possible on each one.  I initially saw this idea from someone on Twitter, but I have no idea who - so thank you and sorry for the lack of acknowledgement!    Here are some on language change topics for now.



15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Text messaging is just the most recent focus of people's anxiety; what people are really worried about is a new generation gaining control of what they see as their language. (David Crystal)

Key Words: Prescriptivism, Aitchison, descriptivism




15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
“Language change is not a disease, any more than adolescence, or autumn are illnesses.” (Jean AitchisonLanguage Change: Progress or Decay?

Key Words: Prescriptivism, Aitchison, descriptivism




15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
I once met a very interesting guy from the OED who was fed up with people misunderstanding what a dictionary is. It's not a set of rules about how to use language, it's a set of observations about how it's used, which is why it needs to be constantly updated. Language changes, it is not fixed, and the only function it needs to perform is to be understood. (C. Higson)

Key Words: Prescriptivism, Aitchison, descriptivism


15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Defenders of politically correct language claim that such speech reduces offensive behaviour. (O’Neill)
Key Words:  determinism, reflectivism, Sapir Whorf, Deutscher, Aitchison, euphemism treadmill


15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Departures from the Queen's English do get noticed. The head of an online graduate recruitment agency wrote that they reject one third of all job applications from graduates with good degrees from good universities, because errors in English in their CVs and covering letters show ignorance, carelessness and a bad attitude.  (B.Lamb)

Key Words: Prescriptivism, Aitchison, declinism, descriptivism




15 minute writing task:  To what extent do you agree with this statement?
"You have too many words in English," said Jean-Paul Nerrière, a retired vice president of IBM USA, who is French. He has proposed his own version of Globish that would have just 15,000 simple words for use by non-native speakers.  "We are a majority," Nerrière said, "so our way of speaking English should be the official way of speaking English."

Key Words: Globish, linguistic imperialism, norm-dependent, norm developing, lingua franca, spread, power

Using the Lexis podcast to inspire Language Investigations

Here's a thread I did on Twitter about how you might want to use the Lexis podcast to help with your NEA Language Investigations. It...