How do audience and purpose affect the structure and content of texts?
What is the impact of language changes?
How are language and meaning shaped by culture and context?
Topics include: History and Evolution of English (disappearing and revival languages, Creoles) Language and Knowledge (science and technology, argot and jargon) Language and Power (linguistic imperialism, propaganda) Language and the Individual (multilingualism/bilingualism, language profile/ identity) Gender (inequality, constructions of masculinity and femininity) Sexuality (its construction through language) Language and communities (nation/region, subcultures) Translation (what is added and what is lost) Language and social relations (social and professional status, race) Language and belief (religious discourse, mythology) Language and taboo (swearing, political correctness)
Part 2 - Language and Media
examine different forms of communication within the media.
Show an awareness of the potential for educational, political or ideological influence of the media.
Show the way mass media use language and image to inform, persuade or entertain.
Topics include: Textual Bias (news reporting, sports coverage) Stereotypes (gender, ethnicity) Use of Persuasive Language (advertising, appeals) Language and the State (public information, legislation) Popular Culture (comics, soap opera) Language and presentation of speeches and campaigns (elections, lobbying) Media institutions (television channels, internet search engines) The Internet Role of editing (news bulletins, websites) Arts and entertainment (radio and television drama, documentaries)
Part 3 - Literature: Texts and Contexts
Meaning in a text is shaped by culture and by the contexts of the circumstances of its production. It is also shaped by what the reader brings to it. Literary texts are not created in a vacuum but are influenced by social context, cultural heritage and historical change. Through the close reading of literary texts, we are able to consider the relationship between literature and issues at large, such as gender, power and identity. We'll consider how texts build upon and transform the inherited literary and cultural traditions. The study of translated texts encourages us to reflect on our own cultural assumptions through an examination of work produced in other languages and cultures. Learning Outcomes: Consider the changing historical, cultural and social contexts in which particular texts are written and received. Areas to be considered could include: the impact of different forms of publishing, for example, serialization; political pressure and censorship; dominant and minority social groups; the role of the individual and family in society; the impact of prevailing values and beliefs; protest and polemic. Demonstrate how the formal elements of the text, genre and structure can not only be seen to influence meaning but can also be influenced by context. Aspects to be considered could include: narrative technique; characterization; elements of style and structure; poetic language. Understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers. We will aim to recognize that: there can be very different readings of the same text; the context of reception, including the individual reader, influences the way a text is read; different values may be in contention within a text.
Part 4 - Literature: Critical Study
Standard level: Students study two literary texts. Higher level: Students study three literary texts. Close reading is considered to be a core skill in the understanding and interpretation of literature. By looking closely at the detail of literary texts, you will develop awareness of their rich complexities and the intricacies of their construction. Learning Outcomes: Explore literary works in detail. Points considered will include: understand the explicit and implicit meanings in a text; identify and situate a text or an extract in the context of a larger work; respond to the key features of texts such as language, characterization and structure. Analyse elements such as theme and the ethical stance or moral values of literary texts. Issues to be considered could include: identify the evidence in the text for a particular stance; consider point of view in different literary genres. Understand and make appropriate use of literary terms. Examples could include: imagery; persona; tone; metaphor; irony.