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AS and A Level: Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks

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  1. The Surreptitious Exploitation of Language.

    In this manner, reality often becomes engulfed with trickery and deception. Inevitably, we have gradually become victims of the concealed exploitations of language. When language is effectively exploited, it can be both tremendously persuasive and enormously influential. According to Sartre, it is through speech that humans first became integrated in society. Since a person's life is characterized by a constant need for interaction, words were essential for this need to become fulfilled. However, throughout history, this need for interaction has been abused in a way that has led to subliminal "brain washings" in an attempt to alter our perception as well as emotions of surrounding events.

    • Word count: 1743
  2. Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender roles are constructed through linguistic and literary strategies in the marriage proposals of Mr Collins and the Marquis of Walderhurst.

    For example, a word such as 'lion' is a marked term while 'lioness' is an unmarked term. This establishes that the male gender is more dominant in the way terms are devoted. Further examples of 'marked' and 'unmarked' terms are 'actor' and 'actress', also 'waiter' and 'waitress', which again show irregularity of certain words, which diminishes women. The construction of our language mirrors the way in which we see the world. This is an example from the Sapir- Whorf. This would mean that English-speaking individuals view women as the weaker sex, and the traditional male dominated world remains prominent regardless of the vastly growing equal rights developments.

    • Word count: 3679
  3. My Disillusionment.

    Though I knew that these strange living things were different from us, I considered them being from a cartoon world just like the human world. I also thought that they paid regular visits to earth just to act in cartoon shows to entertain kids and boy how I loved them so much. I always fantasized about being a great friend to all these cartoon characters and the first human to be in a cartoon show. I believed that one day this for sure would happen. Then one day, as I was watching the television, a documentary on cartoons came on.

    • Word count: 687
  4. If we cannot say something, do we know it?

    If our thoughts are limited by our language then we cannot use our full potential, thus it is necessary to be able to have an unlimited amount of thoughts we can access. As for the definition of knowledge (the second part of the question) is the following: knowledge is a true belief that is validly justified and shared (in a nutshell). Back to answering the main question. The next step is to break down the question in as many ways of possible.

    • Word count: 917
  5. To what extent does the language used to represent different groups of people need to be changed?

    The language makes women invisible when as her family name or surname does not count, as she has to take her husbands name instead. However it is not a legal requirement for the woman to adopt her husband's surname. Females can either be categorised as women, ladies or girls, it is difficult to know what to call the females. "It is OK working for a lady - sorry, a woman I should say"? (BBC Radio 4 Interview, 30.7.1987) Women are tend to be represented as ones that are more in touch with children and that men are not seen as nurturing which therefore limits the number of roles that men do.

    • Word count: 1206
  6. The early seventeenth century was a time period defined by discovery, expansion, and the ensuing new societies in land previously thought to be non-existent by Europeans.

    Those who settled in New England were called Puritans, for they had left their homeland to "purify" their religion. John Winthrop, author of "A Model of Christian Charity" and an original settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, says to the people that were settling there, "...We must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill." This phrase, adapted from the Bible, summarizes the reasoning behind the Puritan's choice to leave and settle in New England: they thought that they were responsible for not only purifying the Protestant religion, but for creating a religious Utopia that the world can look to as a model of what a truly devoted society should look like.

    • Word count: 1165
  7. How has the need to open Brodsworth Hall to tourists changed the hall and its grounds, and in what way have these changes affected our understanding of life in a Victorian country house?

    The bedrooms had bare beds without mattresses. However the rooms still had their main features such as wardrobes, wash basins and windows. When English Heritage received the hall one of the many changes made was the male servants rooms were made into a tea room and the main servants social area was changed into a gift shop. This made it harder to understand how the servants relaxed and entertained themselves. The gift shop might be a good way to get more money from tourists but most of the 'gifts' that were sold were over priced and some of them had nothing to do with Brodsworth hall or even the Victorian period.

    • Word count: 1032
  8. Braveheart and Gladiator.

    Maximus seeks revenge from Commodus because he murdered his family and his mentor Marcus Aeurilius. William Wallace's revenge was not for just one incident but for years of the English taking advantage of the Scottish people and not allowing them to be free. In the two movies both protagonists become martyrs. William Wallace although in excruciating pain does not honor the English King. When the execution begins the crowd is cheering for his death but by the end the crowd is pleading with the executioner for mercy. After Wallace's death his dream is finally realized when Robert the Bruce leads the Scottish army to victory against the English and finally giving the people of Scotland freedom.

    • Word count: 718
  9. Bias in language.

    Legally Blonde). Language has a lot of bias involved in it. One example is racial prejudice. Everyone, at some point in their life, is very likely to experience racial discrimination, whether it be in the media or a first hand experience of hearing it, being abused with it or discriminating against someone themselves. Looking in the thesaurus under 'white' and 'black' it is amazing to see the difference in language use. In the 'white' section there are many normal meanings, but there are 17 negative synonyms. These include 'dead white', 'ghostly' and 'corpse-like'.

    • Word count: 1164
  10. Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who created the Nobel Prizes, did not include mathematics in his line of prestigious awards.

    Nobel never married. Some people also say that there was a well-known Scandinavian prize for mathematics and Mr. Nobel did not want to be in competition with it. Finally, some say that on the hierarchy of science, mathematics is not really a science at all. If science is defined by the English language as "a discipline devoted to the description of nature and its laws"1, then mathematics does not fit into this definition. It is more accurately described as a study of patterns and relationships. It is a way of thinking. It is an art. It is characterized by universal consistency and employs the use of concise symbols and terms; therefore it can be used as a language.

    • Word count: 892
  11. In what ways does your mother tongue language and mathematics resemble and differ from each other?

    Mathematics is a very complex, straightforward concept that has fixed meanings. If x = y = z, then x = y, x = z and y = z. This is a universal phenomenon accepted world wide. Mathematics has been used in the study of science. An example would be the physician Albert Einstein and the discovery of his equation e = mc2. Mathematics is composed of a combination of factors, which can be simplified and broken down. Factorisation of equations is an example.

    • Word count: 746
  12. Reflective review of knowledge and understanding.

    Also, by that time, I had evolved at home into a prolific reader and had gone through the textbooks for both Urdu and English with great relish over the summer, therefore the daily recital of individual lessons and chapters held little interest for me. Recollecting this, I realise that during those four years, my literary growth was somewhat stunted with the start of school because the teachers followed a rigid Behaviourist approach. "This teaching may not easily connect with the child's learning, existing knowledge or understanding of the world.

    • Word count: 1471
  13. Language in Metamorphosis.

    Although they speak as a unit, the way each character talks defines their character quite well. Mr Samsas language is of a respected manner, and maybe an old traditional man. He expects people to look up to him and tries to possess a strong leading male role. He believes in keeping up a good reputation in his area as well. For example, "Don't let the neighbours see - lock the doors - draw the curtains." And "If you behave like this, I'll throw off my coat and stay here!" Mrs Samsas language is motherly and vague.

    • Word count: 1048
  14. Explain the difference between competence and performance and discuss whether this is something that linguists should take a view on.

    Thus the following ideology was formed2: - Linguistic Performance - The individual interpretation of language in its usage. - Linguistic Competence - Cognitive skills necessary for the construction and understanding of meaningful sequences of words. This consists of: Grammatical Competence - Ability to utilise lexical & syntactic patterns. Communicative Competence - Ability to communicate with clarity. Creative Competence - Ability to exploit the others uniquely. Language in its primary mediums (namely that of speech and the written word) requires two forms of assessment to quantify its linguistic and social value. Firstly, the sentence must conform to the appropriate sentence formation of Standard English (i.e.: to ensure the sentence is both syntactically and grammatically sound).

    • Word count: 3066
  15. Discuss, with Illustrations from your own Observations and Study of Children Acquiring Language, what you Consider to be the Relative Importance of Social Environment and the Child's Innate Faculties in its Acquisition of Language.

    The results were as follows - "When these children appeared before the emperor, they were found incapable of expressing themselves in any language, or even of uttering any articulate sounds. They had learnt, from the example of their nurses, to substitute signs for articulate sounds. They used only certain gestures to express their thoughts, and these were all the means which they possessed of conveying ideas, or a sense of their wants. They were, indeed, so extremely shy, and, at the same time, of an aspect and manners so uncouth and uncultivated, that it required great labour and perseverance to

    • Word count: 1270
  16. A Passage to India - A discussion of the opposing cultures and what divides them.

    Foremost, it is imperative to the two that they identify what kind of bird it is. Forster admits that although the bird "was of no importance," (91) the two, and therefore the English whom they represent, feel a need to assign a name to the bird. His narration is certain that identifying the bird "would somehow have solaced their hearts." (91) Critically, the two have just agreed to call off the wedding plans for which Adela had journeyed to India. The two ex-lovers are surprisingly mechanical when discussing this new course of action. The two agree that had they "quarreled" (90)

    • Word count: 1111
  17. "In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world." Discuss and evaluate this claim.

    But appearance can be different to reality. Sometimes the perception of our senses gets distorted in some way leading to things appearing to be something they are not. We are then left with an illusion seeming to be the reality. This often then contradicts with the beliefs of different areas of knowledge such as science, as our senses sometimes give us a different knowledge to what the rules and facts of science do. Our senses therefore are misleading us. Science deals with an empirical knowledge that is about the Universe, which we acquire by examining how it appears to our senses.

    • Word count: 1761
  18. Select and critically examine any one perspective that successfully explains the development of language.

    Brown (1973) also pointed out that humans don't simply learn a repertoire of sentences but "acquire a rule system that makes it possible to generate a literally infinite variety of sentences most of them never heard from any one else." The learning theory has its philosophical roots in the work of the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), who advanced the view that infants were born with everything to learn. The person they became was the direct results of what they have learnt and nothing else.

    • Word count: 1242
  19. "Return to the tower of Babel, English is becoming the language of world communication, to what extent is this march towards a single world language useful or desirable."

    Also most of the world's powerful nations such as USA and England have this national language. These countries hold an economic and political importance in the world. The march towards a single language could easily be thrown off track if another powerful nation such as China suddenly received global power, since Chinese is the most commonly spoken language it would be easier to adopt by other countries. The disadvantage of this would be that most people would have to learn it; English is recognized by many nations, it is often taught in school, and used when two people with different native languages communicate. A march towards a single language maybe very useful on a global scale.

    • Word count: 968
  20. Summarise what Tricia Stallings is saying and comment on her use of language to create the effect that she wants.

    Furthermore, she believes that downtown Manhattan is cleaner than the English countryside. As well as that, she feels that there is no such thing as English countryside. According to her, the countryside is polluted due to the burning of fossil fuels. She says that she always feels filthy in London and she believes that the British are unwilling to change. She says that England is the only country that pollutes itself. She thinks that London is full of litter and dog excrement.

    • Word count: 590
  21. Describe and discuss the Nativist and Behaviour theories of language acquisition, using examples to comment on the ways in which the theories are supported by empirical evidence.

    A child must hear speech before it can repeat it and before it can be reinforced. Jean Piaget a psychologist not a linguist influenced the Behaviourist theory. His research on three children in an orphanage suggests that a child goes through stages of understanding, thinking, planning organising, interpreting linking and recalling. Piaget believed there are fixed stages of cognitive development, one cannot be missed out, the brain switches on when the brain grows. A child needs to understand before it can use a particular grammatical structure. Criticisms of the theory suggest that children are creative in their use of language, applying grammatical rules for sentence and word structures that are not reinforced.

    • Word count: 1346
  22. Foxhunting Baby!

    But if they have been hunting the fox for sadistic pleasure for three hundred years, how can this be? How can it be that over the greater spaces of France and Germany the fox is mangy, decrepit and rare, yet the finest examples, brightest of eye, bushiest of tail and glossiest of coat, are right here in our shires. The reason is simple; the English fox has been carefully husbanded, nurtured and culled. The hunt is the annual cull, operated in a narrow non-breeding season. Another fact. Amid all the intricate lines of the food chains that operate here in the country, with predators night and day hunting their quarry, only the fox sits at the top of the chain.

    • Word count: 963
  23. The "Language Manipulators".

    In the United States, following the end of the civil war, individuals that came to the South and took advantage of the war-torn situation and people came to be known as "Carpet Baggers" because of the luggage they carried. As we are in a similar position, perhaps we should recognize the effective negative manipulation of Kosovars by UNMIK and Internationals by referring to them as "Language Manipulators." The "Power" given to the English language requirement by UNMIK is being misused daily, and it enters into all forms of community action, business and our government.

    • Word count: 1185
  24. It has been said that Estuary English may eventually replace Received Pronunciation as our most influential and prestigious accent. How far do you agree with this view?

    Received Pronunciation (abbreviated to RP) is the accent associated with the middle and upper classes, it has also been called The Queen's, BBC or Public School English. RP has for many years epitomised the "top end of the scale of British English and it is what English people have traditionally meant when the say that someone "hasn't got an accent". It remains that RP is often regarded as a neutral and often correct accent, as by listening to it, it is almost impossible to detect where someone comes from.

    • Word count: 596
  25. Characteristics of a Good Language Learner.

    It means that the student is aware of his or her knowledge and not feels fear and ambiguousness when he/she has to speak in the foreign language. I experienced on some of my students on a travel to London that they try to balk those situations when they have the chance to speak to a native speaker. In my opinion a good language learner seeks out opportunities to use the language in meaningful interactions, and as I realized those of my students who were braver are much more likely to succeed than those who are not.

    • Word count: 1244

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