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Evaluate the idea that a person’s social class determines the language they use

does anyone know how to structure this essay and what theories to use?
Original post by Zuzanna_10
does anyone know how to structure this essay and what theories to use?

Hello! I've just finished my A-level English Language exams so can give a little advice now (as I should be revising for the others lol) {could maybe drop more advice after I've finished all my exams on Friday?)

In these essays my teachers always said to focus on Age, Social Class and then Gender (it could basically be any topic (think occupation, gender etc.. that you have learnt apart from say probably world Englishes/language change although maybe could include them a little but this is more year 2 content).

If you search social class a-level English language on youtube there is a guy with a good video explaining all the theories for this! I think his channel is Ben Wardle or something like that.

I always structure these essays regardless of question like this:
Intro - introduce both sides of the argument and demonstrate what you will be discussing
Para 1 - Agree with the statement and give a theory for it e.g. Milroy and Milroy and non-standard forms. Or Eckerts Jocks vs Burnouts study or Cheshire's youth study!
Para 2 - Disagree with the statement and evaluate the previous response e.g. But the Milroy and Milroy study only studies the language of one working-class community in inner-city Belfast so cannot be applied or proven universally. Provide some more theorists/theories here who disagree with the statement e.g. we chose our own language choices etc...
Para 3 - merge the two opinions together and provide your own! E.g. but Coupland suggested code-switching suggesting we change our language to accommodate others or Giles accommodation theory etc...
Conclusion - Draw your argument to a close ensuring that you have guided the audience towards the conclusion you are making and it isn't completely out of nowhere, your essay should be debating to build towards this conclusion. I usually went for something along the lines of 'whilst it can be stated that you language use is definitely determined by your social group in some ways, it is important to note the large role that contextual factors play in determining how we use our language such as in code-switching etc... {you see how this is a little open-ended but still shows that the topic is a DEBATE rather than one with a definite answer)

Hope this helps a little! :smile:

I know there's not much out there for A-Level English Language resource-wise :frown:

{EDIT: had to add the part about a conclusion as I forgot whoops}
(edited 1 year ago)

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