Thursday, June 07, 2012

ENGA3 June 2012 - revision pointers

There's plenty of material on this blog about how to approach the ENGA3 English Language exam, so I won't be putting much new material on here before Monday's paper. Instead, I'll link here to the previous posts and just add a couple more things about possible topics and what can be done to revise them between now and Monday.

Here's last June's post about Language Discourses. Since then, we've had two more ENGA3 papers.

  • June 2011: A problem page response by Virginia Ironside to a worry about class and accents, and an advertisement for an “accent reduction” company.
  • Jan 2012: Newspaper articles about Political Correctness.
Using last year's revision post as a starting point, here are the topics that are likely contenders, but remember that anything could appear - even a topic that's just been set - so it's always best to make sure you're covered on every topic!

World English/es. This hasn’t cropped up yet and could appear as it’s on the spec. What could be asked about this? Well, there have been quite big debates around the world about the role of Standard English and whether we should be imposing World English (one variety) or showing awareness and understanding of different varieties (World Englishes) and how English changes thanks to local language and culture. There are also several interesting historical angles about why English has spread and whether this will continue in the same way. A particular variety might be looked at – American English, Australian English etc. – so be prepared to discuss specifics too. World Englishes have cropped up in Section A - a South African newspaper, some Jamaican-influenced English and a Hinglish text - but not in Section B.

Gender and variation. This has appeared once, but only in a January paper (where the number of students sitting the paper is very small). The big debates recently have focused on those who argue men and women are hard-wired to use language in certain ways and those, like the mighty Deborah Cameron, who argue that gender is just one factor among many many others. We've covered this topic in detail on this blog, so try some of these links for help:

Changing varieties of English. There’s been quite a lot of discussion about how regional accents are thriving and local accents dying out, as well as new ones (like MLE/MEYD/”Jafaican”) emerging, and whether this is a good or a bad thing. Dialect Levelling might be an interesting one too, because there have been many articles about the supposed death of cockney and the rise of regional super-dialects.

Black British English vs MLE

The latest episode of Lexis is out and it features an interview with Ife Thompson about lots of issues connected to Black British English, i...