While your teacher should introduce you to essential areas of theoretical knowledge, you should work independently, using your course textbooks and other authorities to gain a more thorough understanding of language theory in doing this work. Click on one of the links below to buy this book. Many students start with an idea of the texts they wish to study, but with no sense of an approach to investigation. Often these are texts you know or think you do already. One reason to study language is to learn about different kinds of text - so do you really want to spend time investigating rap lyrics?
If so, you need to think of something worth trying to find out in your investigation. Work to your own strengths - if you are skilful in analysing, say, clause structures, then it makes sense to choose an investigation that allows you to do this. Whatever you do, you should work in an objective and scientific way - such that other people could repeat your investigation to see whether their findings support yours or not.
Avoid vague and general statements. If possible, examine objective data, which can be illustrated by statistics or charts. Rather than think of a task and then try to justify it, you should work the other way round. Here is an area of language use about which I really want to know more e. I can then devise an investigation that uses appropriate data to give objective evidence that may in turn allow some broad interpretation and conclusion - e.
Although conclusions may include some subjective or relative comment, this should be plausible - that is, inferred from objective data, as in the example above. Your investigation must at some point contain objective explanation.
You may, on the other hand, analyse a text against a given language corpus - incidence of occurrence of words among the 1, or 3, or whatever most commonly written or spoken according to a given corpus. Exam boards publish guidance for examiners and teachers about what candidates need to do, to be awarded certain grades. In theory you can achieve these, by studying any text. But with some it is harder than with others. If you want to investigate discourse structure or stylistics, then you may find a script or literary text anything from a TV advert to a poem is more appropriate than unrehearsed conversation, say.
Of course, in any language data, there is a lot going on - but it can be a lot harder to find in spontaneous utterances, than in speech or writing which is explicitly planned, drafted or edited. One student, recently, began to study Christmas cards. A very able linguist might investigate grammatical structures or stylistic features of the short texts that appear on these. But this is more or less a cul-de-sac for an investigation in which any candidate hopes to produce his or her best work.
If you wish to study spoken data, then you must be ready for a lot of extra work - in producing transcripts. Of course, even with written data, you may need to produce selections, which you have marked in some way, for purposes of analysis.
If you know that you do not wish to spend a lot of time in gathering the data, then stick with print or written texts. If time is short, then you cannot afford to gather spoken data - you will almost certainly run into time trouble. Collecting print sources is easy - there are plenty that come through your letterbox every week, while others are lying about everywhere. This is very hard to do. It is easy to stray from an exploration of language features into responding to the meaning of a text - and before you know it, you are doing sociology, literary criticism or journalism.
It is NOT fine to describe or comment on the character thus established. At a more basic level, try not to write about the pictures if there are any , which accompany a text, or its general context. There is something to be said about typography, but unless you are very well informed on the subject, then it may give you difficulty. A zoologist could, in a daft moment, decide to investigate the number of eyes found in domestic cats.
More sensibly, he or she could investigate different markings on the cat. We would be impressed by a scientist who disproved or even seriously questioned what we always thought was obvious. But we would not be impressed by one who appeared to confirm what we already thought we knew.
A common example comes with students who wish to study child language acquisition. It is now more or less certainly established that, while individuals learn at different rates some are precocious and others late , most learn according to the same schedule. Are children more likely, for example, to use an abstraction in speech than in writing? And does this probability change over time? Before you commit yourself to an investigation, check with your teacher, your fellow students, and the most sceptical of your friends or relations whether it really is worth doing.
Another good test is to ask if it will lead to anything you can use in an exam. Given that you may be examined on, say, language and occupation or language change, then the investigation is a good opportunity to gather useful data, and analyse these - and you can recycle much of this for use later. A good example is the alleged in fact, well established differences in language use by men and women.
We think we know that women use more grooming talk or have a more precise colour lexicon. But what light can language use throw on the belief that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Can we devise an investigation that will yield some objective information about this? If so, it seems worth doing, because it helps provide answers to real questions which people repeatedly ask. Devising a clear investigation here is in fact quite hard, given that any gender difference is likely to be obscured by a huge amount that both sexes have in common.
Sometimes you students tell us teachers that you want to study language from a source close to home - perhaps using some written data from your family, or by making a record of a family member at work.
This is allowed, and might seem like a good idea as you look for things to study. But a school or even university language course allows you to cover only a tiny selection of all the possible sources of language data in the world.
It seems a shame if you use any of this time looking at things which are wholly familiar, when there is a universe waiting to be explored. If you think you do have texts worth studying, then show them to your teacher, who can share them with your fellow students. More to the point, of all the data you can use, it is quite hard to find samples or specimens which are comprehensive enough or with enough in common to support your investigation - you may briefly look at many, before you settle on those which are best suited to research and analysis.
It certainly is sensible to use what you know of the occupations and interests of family members or your own as a source of examples in many areas of language study such as language and social contexts. Your parents have done nothing to deserve such scrutiny! Many kinds of investigation will take you into activities which could seem intrusive, and it is important to respect other people, rather than see them as only a source of data.
You cannot expect to be present in situations which are of serious importance to real people, calmly collecting what they say. And you cannot always use language data you have collected, as it may be confidential, so that showing it to other people is inappropriate.
Given the vast range of possible data for study, it should be possible to find something that is not confidential or sensitive. Do let people know what use you will, and will not, make of any data. For an example of how to do this, see the Permission Form below. For instance, you should remove anything in the data which might identify any individual exactly - this includes children, who might later in life be affected by your use of data from them, and who have individual rights which you should respect now.
You may be given permission to record, without telling them when you are and when you are not doing so. How far they know you are recording them, have recorded them or are likely to do so in future will all affect the data you collect in such a situation. For some investigations, this may so affect the data as to make it worthless. Other kinds of investigation may be unaffected. Any comparison should arise out of a genuine language issue. It should be one where there is only one significant variable.
For example, comparing a text in the King James Bible early 17th century with the equivalent passage in the Revised Standard Version mid 20th century , or with other versions, is an appropriate and much-used exercise in showing language change. Though even here, other variables emerge as the translators bring in ideas from their own time, culture or religious understanding. To find, in such texts, significant differences in objective language use e. Ideally, this should be word-processed.
This is not yet compulsory for all UK exam boards, but you will have to use computer software at university and in your job. Why not start now? This should contain essential information - your name, candidate number when you know it , exam centre number, syllabus, component, date of completion and so on:. The body text should be in a Times Roman font if available and justified or left aligned.
Use double or 1. It may be helpful to write an abstract outline or synopsis of your investigation as your first paragraph. Eat My Shorts , Springfield Press. You are also expected to give a full bibliography , to show texts studied directly, and those academic works, probably used to inform your explication of the texts studied.
Texts can be transcribed where features of graphology, typography etc. Spoken texts should be transcribed, observing conventions for this - the amount of information shown will depend upon the theoretical focus of your investigation. Original material should be photocopied or scanned and presented on separate pages or in an appendix. Similarly, you may need to submit original audio or video tapes, where this supports understanding of spoken language data.
Use your software to give a word count. You may exclude your title page and any appendixes, but must state this. You do include quotations in the count. Not sure how to do it? Please avoid handwriting directly onto a printout, unless it is absolutely necessary and it never is. In one sense it may not be helpful to show you model or exemplary investigations, as you cannot copy them, and you may be dismayed by your sense of what is required.
On the other hand, it helps to know what a good one looks like. The example here comes from a student whose subject is not especially difficult - perhaps most students taking an A2 exam could attempt it in some form.
But it is very thorough and meticulous, and was awarded a very high mark. Teachers are able to award full marks to work of the very highest standard - UK exam boards do not disallow this. Richard studied lexical, syntactic and stylistic features of television and radio football commentaries. The investigation is distributed with his permission. Click on the link below to open or save the investigation as a PDF file.
You can open the document in your browser window, or save it download to a local drive in your computer. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer , then a left mouse-click will open the file in its associated program, and a right mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to save the file.
In this case, you can use the save as and browse options to specify where to save. If you are using Netscape Navigator , a left mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to open or save the file.
This is available as a free download from Adobe Systems Inc. Data, task and method: The primary data chosen for this investigation form an exemplary substantial, coherent and manageable sample. They are suitable for the nature of the study. The task undertaken is appropriate. The analysis of the data is thorough and objective. The candidate applies appropriate theoretical models from authoritative sources, and interprets the data exhaustively. His analysis is mostly elegant, always clear and coherent.
Organization is very impressive. The conclusions at which the candidate arrives are mostly clear, persuasive and significant. The study has led to interesting results. Conforming to academic conventions: The candidate observes these well.
Appendices are especially interesting, especially the graphs on colour-adding, and the marked transcripts. The bibliography is appropriate, and the references helpful. This candidate provides a good example for others. The work is understated, but assured: The style is lucid, and scholarly without jargon or persiflage.
Without being at the extreme end of the scale, the investigation matches the descriptors for this band very closely. The examples below are outlines of tasks that were undertaken by students for the exam. In each case the student achieved a mark for the investigation in line with, or better than, the mark for other papers.
You are welcome to adapt these tasks for future use. In each case there is some explicit general guidance, although the students received close personal supervision of their work. This investigation considers structural features of spoken English. These are analysed in terms of:. Details of speakers and context; transcripts of spoken extracts, using appropriate conventions to show pauses - do not supply punctuation as for written data; acknowledgements.
Persuasive language features in election leaflets: This investigation considers lexis, semantics and discourse structure, stylistic rhetorical devices and typography, if relevant. You really need guidelines from the parties themselves.
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Aqa english language a2 coursework help. A transcript of the Jonathon Ross show english like a very good idea, so you could perhaps do something similar, like talk about other chat show hosts, and analyse how they talk to different genders, or about how they try to control the conversation.
Aqa english language a2 coursework help Regardless investigation the language levels used, aim to cover a range rather than repeating multiple times the use of a particular word class. Do not write english the language levels in a disjointed fashion.
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