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    Hi everyone! I'm taking my English Language A level exam (LAST ONE) in a couple of weeks. I'm fine with the language change part, but I'm completely lost with the Child Language Acquisition stuff. My tutor just taught us different theorists and not how to write an essay. Does anyone have any essay plans or can tell me all the parts I have to include? I always end up feature-spotting because I don't really know how to explain my point properly and my essays are always really jumbled up. I'm getting A's in my language change essays and can write one in ten minutes flat, but I can spend hours agonising over an acquisition essay just to get a D! All help is appreciated

    English language definitely took a step up this year! I find it so much harder than last year but I will try and help! Feature spotting can help as long as you explain well and your tutor teaching you about theories is good but the theorists only make up about 17% of the mark! I think when writing an essay you need a clear introduction. My teacher always told us to use context in the intro so take the age of the child from the text and maybe see what stage they are (for example if its a speaking one and they are 21 months they should be in the two word stage maybe moving on to telegraphic? Then find a language feature which supports your statement!) also don't be afraid to take guesses and make things up for example if the child is at home they maybe speaking better than if they were at nursery as they are more comfortable. Don't spend too long on context though and don't just copy what the question says... Build on that use your imagination!

    After the intro I've been taught to follow the language framework (you should have been taught about this) and bring in the theorist ideas from CLA. it's always good to think of a structure before you go into the exam and I am most likely going to have paragraph 1 the intro as explained before then go on to different language features in different paragraphs. My second paragraph will be phonology so if we were given a spoken text I would look for the language features of phonology (common ones for a 21 month year old could be reduplication or deletion etc etc) then you have to EXPLAIN them. If you can't explain why it is used just dont mention it.

    I think I will have my 3rd paragraph on lexis & semantics so if it is a spoken one the types of words she uses this can be quite easy if you remember terminology from AS! You could mention why a certain type of noun is used or something like that.

    My next paragraph will be based on grammar. Again if its a transcript (spoken text) you could mention about conjunctions why they are/are not used?

    Finally you should bring in theories if you did not do so throughout the text! I would do it throughout the text though as it can help you with your explanations and in this exam a clear explanation is an important one! Like I said earlier DO NOT mention an example if you can not explain why it's there.

    Obviously if you have time finish with a nice lovely conclusion (I always add in the things I previously forgot about haha)

    Hope this helps :-)

    I know that feel. I feel like I understand Language Acquisition, but that I just don't understand the structure that an exam essay takes! However, a teacher told me to take the structure of:

    1. Pointing out an area of interest in the text
    2. Applying a theorist to it and
    3. Explaining how the context affects how you apply that theorist

    Not sure if it's the *right* structure, but it seems to make a coherent sounding answer

    As to the paragraph structure, my preference is for phonology, lexis, grammar, pragmatics. (I wish I could put grammar last though, because grammar is my favourite. Kind of like how I save the meat till last on a plate of food :awesome:) This is probably language framework Leah90 is referring to.

    In any case, I made myself a 6-page long revision summary-thingy to try and get my thoughts straight. I doubt this'll help as it's pretty disorganised , but have a look anyway https://www.box.com/s/nqr6094hkc3s2vpm6hu8
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Updated: January 3, 2013
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