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Public Attitudes to Spoken Language
Transcript of Public Attitudes to Spoken Language
Discuss these questions in pairs:
1. What aspects of speech may a person be judged on?
2. What sort of judgements may be made?
3. Do people adapt their language to avoid judgements? Why?
To be able to name two types of public attitudes.
To be able to explain how people adapt their language based on judgements.
Trying to fit in, Trying to be different
Have you ever changed your speech to fit in? How? Why?
Have you ever changed your speech to be different? How? Why?
Which of the above terms do you think refers to speech styles separating?
These are the terms we want to be using in our analyses and discussions.
What does this video suggest about some attitudes towards spoken language?
Attitudes where people consider non-standard English as WRONG are known as PRESCRIPTIVE ATTITUDES.
Descrptive attitudes analyse communication, regardless of whether or not it's deemed 'incorrect'.
Upwards or Downwards?
Convergence and divergence can go UPWARDS or DOWNWARDS.
What do you think this means? e.g. downward convergence
Upward or downward?
Consider this video for upward or downward divergence.
Is the divergence in accent?
Or lexis/words they use?
The Mark Scheme
- SOPHISTICATED ANALYSIS OF KEY ISSUES ARISING FROM PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO SPOKEN LANGUAGE VARIETIES
- CONFIDENT ANALYSIS OF SOME ISSUES ARISING FROM PUBLIC ATTITUDES
Stereotypes and Conformity
What negative judgements do people make about the way you or others speak?
Is such stereotyping fair?
Why do stereotypes exist?
Have you ever tried to fit in through speech?
Does anyone you know?
Do they adapt their accent?
Or do they use colloquial language? e.g. bare
What personality traits do you associate with the following accents?
2. BBC (Steven Fry)
Is it fair?
Is it fair to make such judgements about people based on their actions?
On your iPads, find examples of newspaper articles that show prescriptive/descriptive attitudes.
Compare the arguments - which do you most agree with?
Note a quote for each attitude.