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Language Investigation for A2 . What is it? How do you think of ideas?. What it says on the tin. Manageable - a small research project in a chosen aspect of spoken or written English in use Practical - 2500 words excluding data and appendices Comparable – 2 or more pieces of data

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language investigation for a2

Language Investigation for A2

What is it?

How do you think of ideas?

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

what it says on the tin
What it says on the tin
  • Manageable - a small research project in a chosen aspect of spoken or written English in use
  • Practical - 2500 words excluding data and appendices
  • Comparable – 2 or more pieces of data
  • Ethically sound – so as not to cause offence.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

what s the point
What’s the point?
  • to discover something new, something you want to know about how the English language works
  • to create knowledge instead of consuming it
  • to enjoy an exciting and challenging process of creative discovery.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

hasn t everything already been discovered
Hasn’t everything already been discovered?
  • The English language is vast and constantly changing, so any individual researcher will only be focusing on a small, carefully defined area.
  • This means that investigations you do could well be the only research currently happening in that area.
  • And knowledge is not created by a small number of geniuses sitting thinking up massive new ideas. Instead…

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • addition
  • adding a new facet or dimension to an existing body of research
  • an AS mini-investigation which explored whether there was a relationship between idiom use and age, adding to ideas about youth sociolect.

On Cloud 9

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through6
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • clarification
  • shedding light on ideas where the evidence seems unclear or unfocused
  • an A2 mini-investigation which clarified the impact of Old English lexis on contemporary everyday language use.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through7
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • disputation
  • disputing or challenging the findings of another language investigation
  • an A2 project which disputed Lakoff’s finding that men use more taboo language than women.

!!***!* !!**!&(*!!

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through8
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • exemplification
  • generating additional examples of language use to test whether the ideas hold good in another context
  • an AS mini-investigation which looked at parental arguments to find out if the gendered patterns of interruption identified by Zimmerman and West held good.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through9
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • offering fresh perspectives on existing data or ideas
  • re-examining ideas or data with the benefit of new critical or methodological tools
  • an A2 project which took A Level textbook ideas about gendered language, and used the relatively new method of corpus linguistic analysis to examine what validity these largely anecdotal ideas had.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

knowledge about language is developed through10
Knowledge about language is developed through…
  • improving methodological design
  • addressing the same question with a better research method to see if new ideas emerge
  • an A2 project which made sophisticated improvements to a very simple online survey of male-female confidence with computer jargon, conducted by a major company, to test whether their ‘shocking’ findings had any validity.

Hardware!!

Software?!

Databases??

Spreadsheets?!

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

developing your own project ideas
Developing your own project ideas
  • Give yourself enough time to experiment a bit, rather than simply jumping at the first idea.
  • Generate lots of lines of enquiry then pick the two or three that you like best and explore them further.
  • Keep an open mind and choose the one that emerges with the most interesting possibilities.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

base your topic on a question or issue compare like with like
Base your topic on a question or issue…compare like with like.
  • Compare Radio 1 and Radio 2 – how language style of radio presenters reflect different target audiences. You must compare similar programmes e.g. Breakfast Show.
  • How does the presentation of the news reflect the needs and interests of different audiences?

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

more topic ideas
More topic ideas…
  • Compare the language of BBC1, ITV & Channel 4 – focus on news or sport items.
  • Compare language styles of tabloid and broadsheet newspapers.
  • How does the language of advertising vary according to target audience?

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

more topic ideas14
More topic ideas…
  • Identify the differences between live commentary on T.V. and radio.
  • Target language used by magazines for readers of different ages.
  • How teachers vary their language according to the age of their class.
  • World English

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

yet more topic ideas
Yet more topic ideas…
  • Language and social contexts - p128
  • Creating texts topic ideas – p129
  • Developing language topic ideas – p129
  • Accent and dialect.
  • Text messaging
  • Look around you for ideas.
  • How members of your family interact in different situations.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

writing your proposal
Writing your proposal.
  • Your link to, or interest in the investigation area.
  • The sort of data you plan to collect – a sample would be good.
  • Where and how you plan to gather your data.
  • The main areas of language and features you aim to work with.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

proposal
Proposal…
  • The question or hypothesis at the heart of your idea.
  • Details of any related linguistic research or theories.

Proposal(s) (1 side A4) to JB first lesson back in September!

A guide is provided on p136 of textbook.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to surfing the web
How to: surfing the web

http://languagelegend.blogspot.com

www.emagazine.org.uk

www.verbatimmag.com

  • Use accessible English Language websites to explore what interests you most about the subject.
  • Also try typing language topics into the search engines of online newspapers.
  • Skim and scan, save things you find interesting, then see if you can develop an idea from these. Think about how you could develop a new line of enquiry from what you have read.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to make a scrapbook fill a photo album keep a diary
How to: make a scrapbook, fill a photo album, keep a diary
  • Fill a scrapbook with everything to do with the English Language that you can find. Just cut and stick and see what you end up with once it’s full.
  • Go out with a camera taking pictures of everything you can find that connects to the study of language.
  • Keep a diary for a week, recording everything you see or hear that might need further language investigation.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to go and talk to someone interesting
How to: go and talk to someone interesting
  • There will be people all around you who have interesting language biographies.
  • Ask around, find out who they are, and go and talk to them.
  • Think of some questions that might open up interesting discussions, and make notes of puzzles and questions that arise as you talk.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to play around with some language gizmos
How to: play around with some language gizmos
  • Spend some time playing around with the different search functions of the online OED, or a free digital dictionary like www.urbandictionary.com.
  • Explore the British National Corpus, free and online. Type in words or phrases that interest you and get 50 examples to explore. Try ‘actually’ or ‘like’…

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to find out about other people s research
How to: find out about other people’s research
  • previous students at your school
  • previous students around the country
  • students and lecturers at universities
  • publications such as emagazine

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

next steps
Next steps…
  • Try to think of as many initial lines of enquiry as you can.
  • Which ones puzzle and intrigue you the most?

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

devising a research question
Devising a research question
  • It needs to be clearly focused and genuinely interesting.
  • Key issues are: Whose language use? What language use? What context?

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design types of data
Research design: types of data
  • Decide what type of data will best enable you to answer your question.
  • There are three key types: spoken, written, and computer mediated hybrids.
  • Consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of each…
  • … and how you will capture it.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design techniques
Research design: techniques…

Corpus analysis

  • This means analysing a body (corpus) of written or spoken language, e.g. a collection of articles from a newspaper, or a transcription of multiple conversations.
  • Computer interfaces can allow analysis of large corpora, e.g. BNC.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design techniques27
Research design: techniques…

Ethnographic study

  • This results in a detailed description of an individual or a group or community, with the aim of explaining some aspects of their language behaviour.
  • A key feature is the observation of the participants in their natural surroundings.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design techniques28
Research design: techniques…

Experiments

  • Variables in people and situations are carefully controlled, through the use of a specific setting or common activity.
  • This is to enable the researcher to test the effect on language use of one or more other variables – such as gender or age.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design techniques29
Research design: techniques…

Interviews

  • structured: a predetermined set of questions from which there is no deviation
  • unstructured: a broad topic but no predetermined questions
  • semi-structured: a set of prompts and points with the wording of the questions made up in situ.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research design techniques30
Research design: techniques

Surveys

  • often consist of questionnaires, in which a set of tightly controlled questions are asked of a large number of people
  • other types used in language research: recognition surveys, Rapid Anonymous Surveys and surveys with image or key word prompts.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

research ethics
Research ethics

Consent

  • who can give consent
  • freedom to choose
  • disguise and deception
  • confidentiality

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

analysing the data
Analysing the data
  • practical issue: multiple copies
  • complexity of the process
  • TIME

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

presenting the project report
Presenting the project report
  • the report format
  • appropriate academic habits of mind
  • attentive focus on relevant language frameworks

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

how to present your work
How to present your work.
  • Cover page
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction – 400 words
  • Methodology – 250 words
  • Analysis – with subsections – 1450
  • Conclusion and evaluation – 400
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

slide35
AOs
  • AO1 – 20 marks
  • AO2 – 20 marks
  • AO3 – 10 marks

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

theories
Theories

Are very important.

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079

what it takes to get a top grade
What it takes to get a top grade…

sureness, judgement and flexibility in use of content, structure and

style for audience

a good, perceptive and detailed linguistic knowledge of

chosen data

insightful, clear and succinct exploration/ understanding of concepts of language in use in relation to task

sound and systematic application and exploration of relevant

frameworks

comments with

pertinence and insight on the effectiveness of the approaches taken

perceptive and accurate analysis of a range of relevant formal and

contextual factors in data

© 2006 www.teachit.co.uk 7079