Introduction to English Language • VCE English Language explores the ways in which language is used by individuals and groups and reflects our thinking and values. • Learning about language helps us to understand ourselves, the groups with which we identify, and the society we inhabit. IN STUDYING ENGLISH LANGAUGE, YOU WILL DEVELOP KNOWLEDGE OF HOW LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS, WHICH: • improves your own understanding and use of language. • Provides a useful basis for further study or employment in numerous fields such as arts, sciences, law, politics, trades and education. • Supports language-related fields such as psychology, LOTE, speech and reading therapy, journalism and philosophy as well as other communication-related fields. IN THIS COURSE… • You will read widely in order to develop your analytical skills and understanding of linguistics. • You are expected to study a range of texts, including publications and public commentary about language in print and multimodal form. • You will observe and discuss contemporary language in use, as well as consider a range of historical and contemporary written and spoken texts.
Structure of the English Language course. Unit 1 (Language and Communication) is comprised of two Areas of Study. AoS 1: The Nature and Function of Language AoS 2: Language Acquisition Unit 2 (Language Change)is also comprised of two Areas of Study. Aos 1: English across time Aos 2: Englishes in contact Attached to each Area of Study is an Outcome. Outcomes must be met in order to complete an Area of Study. Each Area of Study must be successfully completed in order to pass each Unit. The assessment tasks you complete in English Language will be designed to meet the specified outcomes. There will also be a number of work requirementsthat must be completed along the way – these will help you to get the most out of the course and perform well on your assessment tasks In order to achieve the Outcomes of each Area of Study, you will need to draw on the key knowledge and skills developed in that Area of Study. Outcomes will be explained in more detail in the coming course outline.
Unit 1- Language and Communication Language is an essential aspect of human behaviour and it is the means by which individuals relate to the world, to each other, and to the communities of which they are members. In this unit: • Students consider the way language is organised so that its users have the means to make sense of their experiences and to interact with others. • Students explore the various functions of language and the nature of language as a highly elaborate system of signs. • The relationship between speech and writing as the dominant modes of language and • The impact of situational and cultural contexts on language choices are also considered. • Students investigate children’s ability to acquire language, and the stages of language acquisition across a range of subsystems. Unit 1 (Language and Communication) is comprised of two Areas of Study: AoS 1: The Nature and Function of Language AoS 2: Language Acquisition
AoS 1: The Nature and Function of language • Functions of language – why language is used • Modes of language – how language is used • Structure of the English language– grammar rules • Design of language – subsystems (layers of language) • Differences between spoken, written and sign language • Language, culture and thought
AoS 1, Outcome 1: Identify and describe primary aspects of the nature and functions of human language. • In order to meet this outcome, you will complete two SACs in addition to various work requirements designed to assist you with your understanding of the topic. • It is essential that all SACs and work requirements are completed in a timely manner and to a high standard – remember, we told you this isn’t a bludge subject! • Work requirement 1: Folio • Work requirement 2: Glossary • SAC 1: Language analysis • SAC 2: Metalanguage test
AoS2: Language Acquisition • Developmental stages of child language acquisition • Emerging subsystems • Critical learning period of acquisition • Theories to explain language acquisition • Additional language learning & bilingualism
AoS 1, Outcome 2: describe what children learn when they acquire language and discuss a range of perspectives on how language is acquired • In order to meet this outcome, you will complete two SACs in addition to various work requirements designed to assist you with your understanding of the topic. • It is essential that all SACs and work requirements are completed in a timely manner and to a high standard – again, this isn’t an easy subject! • Work requirements: (to be confirmed) • SAC 1: Group Oral Presentation • SAC 2: Case Study Analysis of Language Acquisition
Unit 2- Language Change Languages are dynamic and change is an inevitable and a continuous process. In this unit: • Students focus on language change. They will consider the factors contributing to change over time in the English language and factors that contribute to the spread of English. • Students explore texts from the past, and contemporary texts, considering how all subsystems are affected. • Attitudes to language change vary considerably and will also be considered • Students will explore the various possibilities for the future of English. • They consider how the global spread of English has led to a diversification of the language, an increase in EFL/ESL/EAL learners as well as a decline of indigenous languages Unit 2 (Language Change)is comprised of two Areas of Study: AoS 1: English across time AoS 2: Englishes in contact
AoS 1: English Across Time “Time changes all things; there is no reason why language should escape this universal law” -Ferdinand de Saussure • Language change • Attitudes to change • English and the Indo-European Languages • From Old English to Australian English • Development of Standard English • Changes across the system
Unit 2, Outcome 1: Describe language change as represented in a range of texts and analyse a range of attitudes to language change. • In order to meet this outcome, you will complete two SACs in addition to various work requirements designed to assist you with your understanding of the topic. • It is essential that all SACs and work requirements are completed in a timely manner and to a high standard – still not an easy subject! • Work requirements: (TBC) • SAC 1: Short Answer Test • SAC 2: Investigative report of English language change over time
AoS 2: Englishes in Contact • Factors of the global spread of English • Elevation of English as a global lingua franca • Impacts of English on other languages • Formation of Pidgins and Creole • Consequences of the growth of English as a Second/Additional/Foreign Language learners • Different varieties of English (national, regional, ethnic) • Multilingualism and code-switching • Language, cultural identity and worldview
Unit 2, Outcome 2: Describe and explain the effects of the global spread of English in terms of both conformity and diversity, through a range of spoken and written texts • In order to meet this outcome, you will complete two SACs in addition to various work requirements designed to assist you with your understanding of the topic. • It is essential that all SACs and work requirements are completed in a timely manner and to a high standard. • Work requirements: (TBC) • SAC 1: Research report on effects of contact • SAC 2: Future of English essay
“Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations” -Edward Sapir • “There are only two things in the world: nothing and semantics” –Werner Erhard • “When a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world” - George Steiner