English Language Activity Write Up #2 (completed)

08aliell
Note by , created almost 5 years ago

A write-up of June 2012's Language Change Question, AQA A2 Level English Language

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08aliell
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June 2012 English Language AQA Language Change Question: Texts F and G are both Inspection Reports written about Primary Schools. Text F is the full report written by a government Inspector in 1933. Text G is an extract from the report written by an Ofsted Team in 2008.Referring in detail to both texts and to relevant ideas from language study, analyse the ways language has changed over time. Key Points: - one is an entire report consisting of about 18 lines of text, the other is an extract of a considerably longer report. - there is use of archaisms in Text F, e.g. 'bazaar' and 'figuring'- there are pragmatic similarities in both texts, both of the schools focus on extracurriculars and these are seen as commendable- the difference between the use of 'Head Mistress' in Text F and 'headteacher' in Text G, and the pejoration of the word 'mistress' - The broadening/generalisation of the word 'Reception' to include the first year of schooling - difference in discourse structure and form: Text G is more clinical and formal, using a grading system and a systematic approach - both are public documents but look at the availability of these documents and how that affects how well they are written - Text F is more subjective, having been written by one person. Text G was written by a team, and therefore may be more factual. - abbreviations like 'ICT' and 'appt' are used in both texts, reflecting that the need for easy communication is still a priority What Was Written (time limit: 35 minutes): Throughout the report in Text F, the paragraphs are littered with archaisms. For example, the word 'figuring' to describe work in mathematics is now out of common use completely. This may be because mathematics is now a much broader subject. It is used in Text G and covers a broad range of topics from simple addition to algebra. The archaism may reflect a narrower subject focus in 1933. - develop this: attitudes to learning have changed In Text F, the phrase 'Head Mistress' is also an archaism. In 2008, the non-gendered 'head teacher' is used. This is possibly because the word 'mistress' has gone through pejoration, now holding much more negative (and sexual) connotations. The gender neutral 'head teacher' may also reflect the growing acceptance of women in positions of authority, something not found consistently in the pre-war 1930s. The shift in gender in the workplace has not yet occurred when Text F was written. Pragmatically, the ideology of each text does focus on preparing the children to work as responsible, valuable members of society. Text F, however, has a much deeper focus, drawing on subjects like 'Handiwork' and the 'fluent oral response' given by the students. In contrast, Text G focusses on the students forming 'strong relationships' and 'valuing each person's qualities'. While the overall ideology of the texts is similar, the individual values set out vary due to the social differences. - explore this further: what has caused the differences? The discourse structure of Text G is very clinical and well organised. The use of sub-headings and gradings above the extract (for example, the sub-heading 'overall effectiveness of the school') reflects the methodical approaches to education that were fostered in 2008. The text has considerably shorter sentences than its 1930s counterpart, starting with: 'For many years this popular school has provided high quality education for its pupils'. The use of these shorter sentences reflects a more professional, thought out approach. - why does it? In contrast, Text F has longer sentences with language that verges on narrative. The initial sentence is three lines long and forms a whole paragraph. Language like 'broadening satisfactorily' and 'favourable comment' reflects a formal tone and is far less clinical than Text G. It must be noted that Text F is far more subjective and opinionated than Text G, possibly due to the singular writer. - expand this. The use of the ampersand in the place of the word 'and' is now very rarely found in documents of formal register. It is possible that Text F was handwritten, which may mean that the ampersand was used for speed purposes and was more generally accepted in formal documents in 1933. The writer also uses the abbreviation of the word 'appointment': 'appt.'. This abbreviation reflects the need for speed and ease of communication, mirrored in the use of abbreviations like 'ICT' in Text G. It is clear from this that in both texts abbreviations are considered appropriate and the efficiency is of top priority; this has not changed since 1933. The length of each text is extremely important. It is notable that Text F is the report in its entirety and Text G (at least double the length) is only an extract. This may reflect a shift in the average level of education in the years between 1933 and 2008. With school in the 1930s only compulsory at primary level and school in 2008 compulsory until a minimum age of sixteen, lengthy public documents such as the two texts had to be accessible at various levels. A short, concise overview like Text F (despite the advanced use of vocabulary like 'oral response' and 'commendable') would have been more accessible to people with lower literacy levels.

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