I'm doing AS English Language (AQA B) and I'm really having trouble with the second unit ('Language and Social Contexts).
At my 6th form, we did both units in january to see how we'd do. I got a good A in the first unit, but did pretty badly in the second. I just don't really know what I'm meant to be aiming for at all!
The topic areas we're covering are 'English Dialects of the British Isles' and 'Language and Technology'. Anyone got any pointers or tips for the exams? I can barely find any candidate responses for this exam and I haven't really got a clue what I'm meant to include in my answer!
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- Thread Starter
- 13-04-2006 18:15
- 13-04-2006 20:01
I did that unit last year and absolutley hated it!
I can't really be much help, but heres a few pointers/ ideas/ concepts about the dialect part
- Standard English is not inherently superior but has social prestige
- BBC has now shed image of BBC English
- Rise of Estuary English (Jonathan Ross, Jamie Oliver)
- Use of downward convergance to limit the distance between themselves and the audience so TV characters could use dialect - limit social distance
- News has to limit social convergance
- Look at Tom Lenard's 'This is the 6 o clock news' (written phonetically and says people do not believe him cos of his dialect
- Studies show RP most trustworthy and Brummie the least
- Reading/ writing should be in Standard English as it should when teaching children to talk
I studied the technology part but couldn't get my head around it as well so did the power question (although i believe that's been taken off the syllabus now)
And a word of comfort... don't lose hope! I did that paper in June and came out with a D, so re-sat it in January and got an A! So all is not lost!
And the A2 course is fab so keep at it!
- Thread Starter
- 13-04-2006 20:35
Thanks a lot
Hehe I got a U in the second unit. I was totally shocked! I was like, "what is this foreign grade?" ^_^;
Little notes like that help a lot because I'm not exactly sure just what the exam board wants me to know (the specifications are always worded in a way that confuses me!).
Does anyone know any good websites for unit 2 as well?
- 13-04-2006 21:55
I got a very high A in the unit last year...
All you have to be able to do is comment on the language use and how it is affected by the social situation. Use the frameworks you used in the other unit- grammar, pragmatics, semantics, etc and apply them to the text. The questions about language and technology basically are aiming to test how you see technology impacting on the English Language. Text messaging, MSN, internet websites and the instant access to global forms of English have all changed our language. The examiner wants to see that you're aware of this, why do you think 'how r u' is now an acceptable form of address? To do this use your frameworks, so comment on how the 'technology' of of a website affects the language. So a webpage might be written in American English, or have mainly pictures or the words might be written in a certain way. They're not looking for anything special, just to see that you can apply your knowledge of the English language (the other unit's work) to a social setting, as afterall language is a social thing.
In my paper there was a question about a website for health and well being, and you had to write about the ways the website makers had designed the web pages to encorage people to subscribe. I think. Look at webpages, as I didn't revise anything to do with them, and it came up. Other popular topics are text messaging, anything to do with MSN and instant communication, new parts of technology such as the word choice for an ipod being called an ipod... etc.
The accents and dialects of the British Isles is harder. On the exam you get a choice of 3 topics, so in all honesty you could pick another topic even though you've not covered it in the lesson if you found one of the questions impossible. I think the other one is language and power, and my exam had a question getting you to analyse a transcript from a court room. The user above me has made some good comments about the accents side, but you don't have to give a very detailed analysis, just show you're aware that dialects exist and you know that Liverpudlian English is different to Belfast English. Its just a case of spotting the dialect terminology and offering an example as to why they're used, say if the area is a mining place, there might be loads of words for outdoor things.
Use the frameworks on both exams and you'll be fine. At AS the examiners don't expect you to be perfect, a very detailed analysis of a dialect won't come until degree level. Grammar and pragmatics score the highest grades, so concentrate on them but make sure you comment on everything.
- 14-04-2006 19:43
I got full (UMS) marks in that unit last year . I think I had the same paper as beanie.
The dialect question we had was unlike all the sample ones (it basically said "tell me what you know") I wittered on about dialect representations and perceptions. For example, how the media/novels represent people with dialects and the social stereotypes attached to certain dialects. (for example, in a novel if someone's speech is notated phonetically it's usually because the author is trying to make some point about social class/standing). Don't worry about learning the names of all the studies, but do get a general idea of their conclusions (women are more inclined to level their dialect, men to accentuate the differences; New York department stores - different locations associated with higher class; Martha's island - locals accentuate accent/dialect terms come back into fashion). I think I even brought in the revival of the Welsh language!
Language and technology. You're a regular poster on a forum, so you're used to using language in a technological situation and you're familiar with website conventions. I always talk about more than we're asked. In my recent (A2) mock, we were given some text messages to analyse as part of language change - I used this as a bridge to talk about 'kewl txt' on the internet. Don't lose focus of your original data, but do use the data as a jumping off point for your other knowledge. Also, state the obvious. Everyone knows what a hyperlink is, but the examiner still wants you to spell out "the blue underlined text is a link to another webpage. This gives the text a direct interaction with lots of other texts and means that the reader takes a far more active role..."
If you need any more help PM me. The school sent off for my paper (we're the first year to do that course) so I can flick through it for you if you'd like .Last edited by Pippak; 14-04-2006 at 19:46.
- 03-01-2010 17:31
any tips for the first question - grouping texts and what terminologya re assigned under which frameworks?
- 04-01-2010 16:00
I would hope that the "language and power" question has not been taken off the syllabus for this year. AQA have it still in their syllabus for this year English Language B
- 04-01-2010 20:15
is this good a grouping to group the texts in: grammar (lexis, syntax), Address &Tone, rhetorical Techiniques/devices and literary features, Developement of structure and cohnesion of the text, and spoken discourse features. This is for the engb1 exam btw.