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GCSE Spoken Language

How to analyse spoken language

Hannah Tyreman

on 17 February 2013

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Transcript of GCSE Spoken Language

The steps you should take to analysing and writing about spoken language. Analysing a spoken
language transcript Identify the audience, purpose & context.

These are vital to being able to understand speakers' decisions to respond and interact in the way they do.

Useful questions:
Who is the speech directed at and why?
How formal/ informal is the situation? How might this have affected their word choices?
Step 2 Identify where fillers have been used.

Consider why they have been used:....
due to nerves?
space for thinking under pressure?
Step 3 Think about jargon.

This links to formality. The more jargon, the
more formal the situation is. Step 4 Think about stress and emphasis. What words have been emphasised by the speaker and why?

These will be words that are made obvious by a pause before or after them and may be spoken louder than other words. Step 5 Think about interruptions/ overlapping/ turn taking.

How much of each?
Why? What causes each of the speakers to choose one, rather than the other?
Step 6 Identify each speakers' accent and dialect.

What might this reveal about the situation?

In most formal and calm situations, the speaker will naturally reduce their obvious accent/ dialect features.

If the formality/ calmness changes, then so too will features of their accent/ dialect. Throughout Whatever points are made in your essay, ensure that you consider why the speaker has chosen to speak in that way. Consistently link back to audience, purpose & context. A guide to SPEEDing Technical vocabulary that relates to a particular area of work/ a profession.

They’re words that will be used in that situation but not frequently outside of that particular context. Sounds such as ‘erm’ and ‘um’ and ‘er’ which speakers use to fill pauses in speech. Some speakers also use expressions such as ‘y’know’ and ‘like’ as verbal fillers. When a speaker begins to talk before the previous speaker has finished, perhaps because of their enthusiasm to join in the discussion or to show support for the speaker.

An overlap is generally more cooperative and supportive, and less competitive, than an interruption. Jargon A short break in a spoken text, recorded in seconds. Pause The characteristic pronunciation, features and speech rhythms of a speaker, usually related to regional or social influences.

Individual Accent A variety of a particular language characterised by distinctive features of accent, grammar and vocabulary. Used by people from a particular geographical area or social group.

Indicative of a group The pattern of spontaneous interactive speech in which participants cooperate or compete for the roles of listener/ speaker.


Who dominates the turn- taking
How speakers get a turn and gain control of the conversation
Who does not get a turn and why
How speakers prevent others from taking a turn
How speakers indicate that their turn is finished and they are ready to pass the turn onto another speaker

What happens when speakers deliberately flout the expectations we have about turn- taking. Turn-taking Overlap When a speaker begins to talk before the previous speaker has finished, in an attempt to take over the conversation and gain control. Interruption Step 1 The social situation, including audience and purpose, in which language is used; this situation is an important influence on the language choices made by speakers and writers. Fillers Dialect Step 1 Context Step 1 These affect the way in which something is spoken and perhaps prepared for. Step 1 Audience & purpose
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