Monday, May 21, 2018

Revision round-up 4: reading that works

You've still got over 2 weeks before you sit Paper 2 so there's still time to do some reading. In the last post I mentioned how it's important to read plenty of articles about language, but there's even time to read around the subject (or listen if that's what you prefer).

I posted these suggestions earlier in the year, but there's still time to dip in and out and these are all accessible for students if you've got a bit of time and patience.

My top tips are:

  • Deborah Cameron, The Myth of Mars and Venus - a brilliant, dry take on how women and men use language and the myths around it.
  • Henry Hitchings, The Language Wars - a readable and comprehensive overview of some of the ways in which English has been debated about and argued over ever since it came to be.
  • Jean Aitchison, Language Change: Progress or Decay? - excellent for how language changes and what people think about it. Essential reading for Paper 2.
  • Annabelle Mooney and Betsy Evans, Language, Society and Power (4th edition) - almost as useful as a 3rd textbook for this course.
  • English & Media Centre, Language: a Student Handbook of Key Topics and Theories (aka the little red book) - put together for you to offer new angles and key ideas for most of the main areas you cover. Buy it or my husky starves.
  • Susie Dent, Modern Tribes - a very accessible and readable book with lots of great examples for work you will do on social groups.Worth dipping in and out of.
  • Julie Coleman, The Life of Slang - while the slang material is really good in its own right, the discussion of how new language gets generated, how it spreads and why it gets picked up (or not) is very insightful.
For listening revision (always good for those tedious bus or train journeys, or Maths lessons):

Michael Rosen's Word of Mouth
Talk the Talk
The Vocal Fries
Lexicon Valley

And finally, the Cambridge Topics in English Language series that Marcello Giovanelli and I edited are all out now. We're chuffed with how they've come out and they seem to have been going down well. You can see more about them here.

If you have any suggestions for things you've read or listened to recently that have been helpful, please add them to the discussion on Twitter here.

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