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You should aim to analyse
texts in a similar way...
If you have to analyse a piece of language or discourse, there are several things to think about:
1. Genre ­ what kind of language it is. Written discourse could be instruction booklets or
adverts, and spoken discourse could be formal speeches to an audience or casual
conversations between friends.
2. Register ­ a type of language that's appropriate for a particular audience or situation, e.g. the
language of a political party or the language or the justice system. Register also includes the level
of formality in a discourse.
3. Audience ­ the listener or reader. When your analysing language, think about how the audience
is addressed. It might be formal or informal, direct or indirect. For example, in advertising the
audience is often directly addressed as you.
4. Subject ­ what the discourse is about. This will be reflected in the lexical choices e.g. a
discussion about healthy eating may include words like low-fat, diet and nutrition.
5. Purpose ­ what the speaker or writer is trying to achieve through language (e.g. to persuade or
6. Mode ­ whether language is written or spoken. You can also get mixed modes ­ e.g. in text
messages, where the language is written, but contains many of the features of spoken language.…read more

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There are seven main
language frameworks...
This is an overview of what makes up each language framework (also called
linguistic framework or toolkits) and how they can be used.
Lexis means the vocabulary of language ­ the total stock of words.
Lexis When you're analysing spoken and written language you'll notice words that share a similar
topic or focus. For example, in an advert for mobile phones you'd find words like SMS, text
messaging and battery life. Words are linked together in this way are known as a lexical field.
Semantics is the study of how meaning is created through words and phrases. Sometimes this
Semantics meaning is explicit, but sometimes it's implicit. A word will have a literal meaning but can also
be associated with other meaning.
For example, the word red refers to a colour, but it can also be associated with danger.
Grammar is the system of rules that governs how words and sentences are
constructed. There are 3 parts to this:
1. A system that groups words into classes according to their function (e.g. nouns or
2. A system of rules about how these types of words functions in relation to each other
3. The individual units that make up whole words (morphology).
Phonology is the study of sounds in English ­ how they're produced and how there combined
Phonology to make words.
This framework includes non-verbal aspects of speech (NVAS) or prosody ­ features of
spoken language such as pace, stress, rhythm and intonation.
Pragmatics is sometimes called language in use. Its about social conventions, context,
Pragmatics personality and relationships influence the choices people make about their language.
For example, how you address other people shows levels of formality and social conventions
­ a student might address a teacher as Miss Rogers or Lizzie depending on the college or
schools aspects, and what the teacher finds acceptable.
Graphology is the study of the appearance of the writing and the effect this has on a text.
Graphology When you discuss a texts graphology you describe and analyse features like the typeface, the
positioning of text on a page and the relationships between text and images.
Discourse is an extended piece of spoken or written language, made up of more than one
Discourse utterance (in spoken language), or more than one sentence (in written language).…read more

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Discourse has a written
The way language is organised is called its discourse structure. You need
to look out for different features, depending on whether the discourse is
written or spoken.
1. In written discourse, look at how a text is put together. It may have an opening section which leads the reader into
the text. The following sections may develop a theme or argument. The final section may make some kind of
2. In spoken discourse the structure can be less organised. For example, conversations are often unpredictable and
speakers often digress (go off the subject). This is because conversations are usually spontaneous.
3. Even spontaneous conversation has some structure though.
They'll often be an opening sequence e.g. Speaker 1: Hi, how are you doing?
Speaker 2: Fine thanks. How about you?
This is often followed by turn-taking as the speakers talk about a topic (or topics). There's often a closing sequence
too, e.g. Speaker 1: Well, nice seeing you.
Speaker 2: You too.
Speaker 1: Catch you later.
4. You can also look at how the discourse fits together ­ cohesion. There are two types of cohesion ­ lexical and
grammatical. One example of grammatical cohesion is using adverbs like furthermore and similarly at the beginning
of a sentence or paragraph to link it to the previous one. Lexical cohesion is when the words in the discourse relate to
each other throughout e.g.
"There was no sign of the car ­ her lift was obviously stuck in
traffic. Was it really worth it, just for a ride in a Porsche?"…read more

Slide 5

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There are three main steps to
discourse analysis...
1. The first step in discourse analysis is to think about what kind
of discourse you are looking at. To do this you need to think
about genre, register, audience, subject, purpose and mode.
2. The next step is to look at how each of the language
frameworks contributes to the discourse. You might not need to
use all of the language frameworks, or you might need to give
more emphasis to one than another. It depends on the discourse.
3. And finally, don't forget to discuss the discourse structure (how
the text has been organised) and cohesion (the devices used to
knit the text together).…read more

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Grammar controls how
language is constructed...
1. Grammar is the set of structural rules that controls
the way language works.
2. There are three aspects of grammar that you need
to focus on ­ word classes, syntax and morphology.
3. Word classes define the roles that each word can
play in a sentence. Syntax is the set of rules that
control where each word can appear in a sentence.
Morphology describes the construction of
individual words.…read more

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