A2 English Language ExamWatch
hey does anyone know how likely it is for a person who got a grade D in AS to get a B overall in Eng Language?
And OP: Anybody who did this exam did it before it was changed*. Last year there were 2 exams and a coursework for A2 (or at least there was for English Language A, which is the course our school does)
Our school hasn't been given any model answers either but we're still managing high grades by looking at the Assessment Objectives and like breaking them down, then writing essays/class essays and marking them ourselves and discussing it.
This should help. Look at the key materials section, there's a 'specification' which might help. It'll have all the AOs on it. I'd be happy to discuss any queries you have with the AOs-we work with them a lot at school.
*EDIT: Unless people did in in January? I forgot that people take exams then too. We do all ours at the end of the year.
Thankyou once again!
Thanks that s really helpfull! Ye we do loads of practice in school but the teacher never marks tham properly he just puts 'promising' on them. He did the same last year and we all came out with 'c's. The mark schemes really helpfull, and if it's ok I might ask some questions about the AO's after I've had a chance to look at them properly!
Thankyou once again!
could anyone give me any advice on what to concentrate my revision mostly on for the A2 exam and what techniques or methods i could use to get a B or an A in the exam?
Key things are understanding of social contexts with both change and acquisition: what was happening around the time of the text/ what was happening in the immediate contexts of the conversational participants in the CLA data? Mug up on terminology for child language (the standard stages, ages, overextension, underextension, overgeneralisation, phonological processes etc) plus some well selected theory and case studies.
There's lots of stuff on child language on our A spec Language blog that could easily be used on the B spec if you disregard the stuff about specific A spec AS questions.
I thought there were also extracts of model answers in the B spec textbook, but haven't checked recently. Good luck anyway.
It has a couple of sample answers and it covers all the topics you need to know.
For Language Change:
I had a great teacher, the way I was taught is follows this plan:
Introduction - PAF - Purpose, audience, form, if more than one text compare and contrast them, relate to genre today if possible
- Contextual factors - the time that the text was written, any information about the author, the social context (e.g. post war period, women's restricted role in society), writing conventions at that time, compare to today,
- What do you expect from the texts, what will you investigate,
Next go through the frameworks systematically in this order.
Lexis - analyse the word/ terminology choices, identify any archaic/obsolete words, lexical/semantical change, neologisms, any perjoration/ amelioration, use specific language change terminology, how did the words come to be - borrowing/ loan word, eponym, invasions, the social/historical context, etymology - word origin, orthography, political correctness, Americanisation, globalisation,
Semantics/Pragmatics - describe the meaning of the text/ words whilst being tentative and open-minded (with alternative meanings as well), have meanings changed (if so why?), always quote the text, why do you think this is what it means, what the author's intention was, the effect that it has on the reader/ intended reader, always bring in historical knowledge but make sure its relevant and focuses on the actual text, social context, accessibility to the modern reader, political correctness,
Grammar - any differences in grammar, sentence length, punctuation, use personal pronouns to address the reader, word order, imperatives, context -standardisation etc
Phonology -accents - their popularity, social and cultural developments (RP, BBC English Queens English), long ans short 's', great vowel shift,
Discourse - link to genre
Graphology - accessibility to reader, layout, link to genre and compare to that of today, context, handwriting, print conventions,
Conclusion - sum up what you have found, if what you expected from the text came to be e.g. lexical choices overtime are evident in the text...
When I did this paper it was synoptic, I don't know if it still is, if it is then link to the units you did last year - gender, technology, dialect, power, occupational groups. Focus answer on language change and always be tentative.
Contextual / Historical Factors
Official Language- English was acknowledged as being the official language of business in 1362 for the first time in three centuries, partly because too few people in the courts understood Latin, also in the same year Parliament opened in English. In the late 1300s, English replaced French as the language of the school room.
Great Vowel Shift - 1400-1600/ 15th and 16th centuries - mass immigration after Black Death gave way to uniform way of speaking rather than lots of different pronunciations
William Caxton - major player in developing printing press, books were previously handwritten, mass production, standard spellings, can link to Samuel Johnson
Printers - individual printers established their own conventions and styles, so uniformity was deemed unimportant at first. Printers wanted to fit words neatly on a line, so they began to drop letters such as the terminal 'e', at other times they added letters to words because they got paid by the number of letters. You can compare this with texting.
Samuel Johnson/Dictionaries - SJ wanted to fix language, wrote dictionary between 1747 and 1755, took French 40 years to make one, standardisation, not the first English dictionary, mention others as well as examiners complain that everyone mentions him, you can mention - 'An Universall Etymological English Dictionary' 1721, first attempt to list and define all words in the English language, about 60,000 words, wasn't rivalled for over 30 years. the Word 'dictionary' had not properly been defined
John Lowth- In 1750 published 'Lowth's Grammar Rules', very influential even today, rules included: you should not split infinitives (accepted before, but this is a Latin rule), you should not use a double negative (had been accepted for emphasis), you should not end a sentence with a proposition.
John Locke - 1632 - 1704 - language controls thought - his opinion, link to prescriptivism
Timeline - you should learn a few points from Old English - Middle English - Early Modern English -18th & 19& centuries - English today - English as a global language - English tomorrow - about attitudes, changes and historical factors.
You do need to know specialise terminology in order to get top marks, so here are some that I learnt.
Key terms - prescriptivism/descriptivism, narrowing, extension, neologisms, etymology, morphology, Americanisation, globalisation, pejorative, ameliorative, orthography, diachronic variation, decay, synchronic variation,
Why does language change - natural development, decay, loans, globalisation, progress, technology, borrowing, technological advances, synchronic/diachronic variation, slang, media, youth,
You should learn about that the long and short 's' 'ʃ’, as that frequently comes up in old texts. The long one was left over from Old English and continued into Late Modern English. It was used at the beginning and in the middle and the short was used at the end of words. The long 's' was replaced by the short 's' in 1800, as it didn't have a phonological function and because of printing practices when pages has to be individually set, it was deemed unnecessary.
Sorry about any spelling/grammatical mistakes - I typed this in a hurry! I really recommend the book I mentioned it was a great help for both topics.
I hope this helps
Are you on specification A or B?
Hiya, I did AQA English Language B in June 09 (old spec) and I got an A in the Language Change and Language Acquisition paper as well as getting an A overall. I found this book really helpful:
It has a couple of sample answers and it covers all the topics you need to know.
I hope this helps
For Child Language Acquisition:
The questions will focus on the importance of interaction with caregivers for children’s acquisition of language and/or will ask you to comment on the language, so it is vital that you know theories.
The ability to acquire language is an universal undisputed factors but there is much disagreement concerning the significance and role of certain factors that influence speech development.
Theories of Language Acquisition
- B.F. Skinner - Imitation - behaviourism/reinforcement – all behaviour is conditioned, punished or rewarded by experience until it becomes automatic, babies imitate their parents, positive or negative reinforcement, can support with critical age hypothesis, counter argue with Brown (1973) who’s research shows that children’s language is rarely corrected exceptions for when they get the facts wrong or are lying, also correction is rarely successful – Cazden (1972) child repeatedly used the form ‘holded’ despite adult rephrasing the sentence several times with correct form ‘held’ ad the child did not notice the difference, Katherine Nelson (1973) – children who were corrected developed slower than others, children are capable of lexical innovation,
- Noam Chomsky -Innateness – language is innate, children are born with grammatical knowledge/ knowledge of grammatical rules and a predisposition to learn language, Language Acquisition Device (LAD) – linguistic universals, child have a LAD which provides them with an innate knowledge of the linguistic universals which speeds of acquisition when they hear their native language, babies make hypotheses from which they work out the grammar which increases over time with hearing more language, counter argument - critical age hypothesis, the language babies are spoken too is impoverished (Child Directed Speech), no physical evidence of LAD, babies can learn any language not just that of parents,
- Jean Piaget – language acquisition parallels cognitive development, language is controlled by the development of thought, object permeance (whereby the continual existence of an object is known despite the object being unseen) is achieved before the age of two, counter argument - however studies show that the word ‘gone’ helped children to understand object permeance rather than the other way around,
- Bruner -Input/Social Interaction – language development is dependent on social factors, language gets things done, Bruner (1983) ‘children learn to use a language initially…to get what they want, to play games, to stay connected with those on whom they are dependent’, The Language Acquisition Support System (LASS) – support for language learning provided by parents who do more than provide models for imitation,
- The Critical Age Hypothesis – language is acquired rather than learned and there is a particular period during which children acquire it most easily, if children are not exposed to language until after this period is over they may never catch up – case of Genie – can support hypothesis with people’s difficulties with learning second languages compared with the ease with which they acquire their mother tongue,
- Berko-Gleason – children knew the plural of ‘wug’ despite not having heard the word before - supports Chomsky’s innateness theory,
Don’t just add theories, use them with your analysis and counter and counteract them to create arguments to show that your points can be supported or contravened.
Stages of Acquisition – Speculate about the child’s stage of development
Holophrastic Stage – one word utterances, 12-18 months
Two Word Stage – two word combinations, 18-24 months
Telegraphic – More word combinations, 24-36 months
Post telegraphic – more grammatically complex combinations, 36 months +
Early Phonological Mistakes
Children master language by making mistakes until they fully master the skills
‘Trial and Error’ – this approach is taken by some linguistics to be evidence that learning is taking place, but phonological ability is based on the ability to produce sounds.
Deletion – omitting final consonants – do(g), cu(p),
Substitution - substituting one sound for another
Addition – adding an extra vowel sound to the end of words, following a CVCV (consonant vowel consonant vowel) pattern egg doggie
Assimilation – changing one consonant or vowel for another
Reduplication – repeating a whole syllable – dada, mama,
Consonant cluster reduction – if something is difficult to articulate, they are reduced – spider → ‘pider
* Jean Berko and Roger Brown (1960) – Children who referred to a plastic inflatable fish as fis’, substituting the ‘sh’ sound for an‘s’ sound, could not link the object to the adults use of fis’. This is an example of consonant cluster reduction.
Under/over generalisation of rules – runned, weared, drawed,
Ellipsis – leaving out words
Child Directed Speech (CDS)
Aims and features
- to attract and hold the attention of children
- make language easier by being predictable
- repetition of adult’s and child’s words
- encourage turn taking – use of cues
- one word utterances
- present tense
- few verbs/modifiers
- concrete nouns
- expansions – fill out child sentence
- encouraging speech
- lots of questions
- exaggerated intonation
- yes/no questioning
- song like intonation
There is much disagreement about the influence of CDS, some find it very important, others fell it plays only a marginal role. Over-correction can have a detrimental effect (Katherine Nelson) with children being fearful to talk and express themselves for fear of getting it wrong, so it can affect a child’s confidence. The purpose of CDS may be social rather than educational, as it helps communication. Non-Western countries don’t use CDS and are less compromising with their language use.
Writing an answer
Again, you can follow the linguistic frameworks and/or use them as a sort of check list as to what you’re looking for. I didn’t write my answer in framework sections for language acquisition but just went with what I had found in the text on a random basis, as its not as easy to do with this.
What to include:
Analysis of data
Informed speculation about child’s stage of development
Evaluation of what child is learning in the data
Connections with theoretical approaches
Linguistic terminology to describe word classes and grammatical constructions – be precise
Analyse and Conclusions
Introduction – write a general overview – explain what’s going on – state your line of argument that can be developed, what you expect to find,
Grammar – pronouns, holophrases (single word utterances), verbs, nouns, tenses, saying ‘no’, asking questions, morphemes, mean length utterances (MLU), what stage is the child at and what features of this stage are apparent, formation of plurals, function words,
Lexical and Semantic Development – simple descriptive words, concrete/abstract nouns – stages of development – function words,
CDS – synonyms, cognitive development, what is child learning, turn taking,
Discourse, question and answer, narrative structures, turn taking, politeness – please and thank you, where do they learn this,
Phonology – pronunciation, phonological mistakes,
Pragmatic Development – functions of language, context, functions of child’s speech – John Dore, labelling, repeating, answering, requesting action, calling, greeting, protesting, practising,
Sorry I don’t have any old essays on my laptop because I handwrote them
Just wondering, I have learnt all of CLA in terms of how children learn to speak, but not how they read or write. I know there is always 2 choices of question in the exam, but does one have to be how children learn to speak, or could both the choices be one on learning to write, and one on learning to read? Thanks
like most - finding acquisition much harder, because there's just so much terminology you gotta remember + it's a pain going through the script when it's like 2 pages long! >.<