English Language AS Revision Notes

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Collection of notes from lessons and Marcello Giovanni (the head AQA examiner)

What is a text?

·         An act of communication

·         Produced and received in specific times/places

·         Produced and received by real people – with beliefs and intentions who use language to express and understand ideas and meanings; who are influenced, shaped and negotiated by the situations they appear in.



Where, why, who, genre/type, production, reception.

FOREGROUND the context.


Stage One

·         What does the context tell you?

·         Use context to draw relevant ideas on language study – issues, ideas, language tech, lexis, semantics, pragmatics, structure, politeness strategies, discourse conventions, ways ideas are expressed, power balances etc

Stage Two

·         Use context to draw on ideas about language – interpretations on linguistic methods (lexis, grammar, phonology, graphology, register, genre etc) select what is relevant




·         Create chains of groups and subgroups and constantly compare

·         Identify groups (similarities/differences) and create potential subgroups

·         Foreground to your hearts content – by positioning words/ideas/themes to make them stand out or show a significance


Section B


AO2 – Issues and concepts



·         Where does the data exist?

·         Who is the producer?

·         Who is the implied/actual receiver?

·         Where is the text read?

·         What is the purpose?

·         What influence do contextual factors have?

AO3ii –

·         Exemplification

·         Language analysis

·         Explicit and accurate use of terminology








Language and Power


Idk , I personally wouldn’t recommend spending a decade learning names so just focus on what you’ll actually gain marks for and you’ll be cracking on the day.


Brown and Levinson

·         Face is the public self-image that everyone tries to project

·         Positive face-to feel valued& appreciated

·         Negative face- not to be imposed upon, or threatened

·         A face threatening act-a communicative act that threatens someone’s positive or negative face


·         Classified power as political, personal or social

·         Could be classified as
1) INSTRUMENTAL- Power to make something happen
2) INFLUENTIAL- power used to influence or persuade

Louis Althusser

·         Texts have the power to position the reader into an ideological view

·         They create an ideal reader

·         Not easily for readers to adopt an alternative view- interpellation

·         MESSAGE OF A TEXT- meaning at surface level

·         CODE OF A TEXT-meaning at a pragmatic,hidden level

·         Difficult or target audience to resist the code of the text, ideologically conditioned

Norman Fairclough

·         Synthetic personalisation
-Treating the mass audience as an individual
-Use of 2nd person pronoun direct address ‘you’

Types of Power

·         POLITICAL- Decisions,rules,law

·         INDIVIDUAL- Persons position within an organisation

·         ECONOMIC- level of wealth

·         KNOWLEDE- based upon knowledge

·         PERSONALITY- charisma,popularity


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