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Homework Assignment: Analyzing Language Systems in Text

Objective:

Students will find a short article or dialogue and identify the various language systems (Grammar, Lexis, Phonology, Functional Language, and Discourse) used in the text. They will then prepare to present their analysis in the next class.

Instructions for Students:

  1. Select a Text:
    • Choose a short article or dialogue. This could be from a newspaper, a magazine, an online source, a book, or even a transcript of a conversation.
    • Ensure the text is not too long; a couple of paragraphs or a few lines of dialogue should suffice.

  2. Identify Language Systems:
    • Grammar: Look for verb tenses, sentence structures, and any grammatical features.
    • Lexis: Identify the vocabulary used, noting any interesting or unusual words, phrases, or idioms.
    • Phonology: If possible, read the text aloud or listen to the dialogue. Note any specific pronunciation features, stress patterns, or intonation.
    • Functional Language: Identify any language used for specific purposes, like making requests, giving opinions, apologizing, etc.
    • Discourse: Analyze how the text is structured and organized. Look for elements that contribute to its coherence and cohesion.

  3. Prepare Your Presentation:
    • Summarize your findings in a clear and concise manner.
    • You can create notes, bullet points, or even a PowerPoint presentation to aid in your explanation.
    • Be ready to explain how each identified element contributes to the overall effectiveness of the text.

  4. Reflect:
    • Think about how this exercise has helped you understand the practical use of language systems in real-life texts.

Presentation in Class:

  • Each student will have a few minutes to present their analysis. (Online students will connect with their tutor.
  • Encourage clarity and confidence in presenting.
  • Be prepared for any questions from the teacher or fellow students.

Tips for Choosing a Text:

  • Select a text that interests you; it could be related to a hobby, current events, or a favorite book.
  • Choose a text that offers a variety of language systems to analyze.

This assignment not only reinforces the students' understanding of language systems but also enhances their analytical and presentation skills. It encourages them to see the practical application of these systems in real-world contexts.


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Hello Tefl-ers, a lot of times, students are unclear of what is expected of them, so it is always recomendable to provide clear instructions and examples. Often times we think our instructions are clear... because we created them and we have internal interpretions... we know what we meant to say but perhaps we didn't communicate effectively enough... so, always always always follow up instructions with examples. 

Now, this example just serves as a reference, it is way too short for what we expect from you but you can use it as a guide.

Example Text for Analysis:

Title: "Unexpected Discovery in the Garden"

Text: Yesterday, while I was gardening, I stumbled upon an old, rusted key buried beneath the rose bush. Curious, I began to search for a lock it might open. In the corner of the garden, hidden under ivy, I found an ancient chest. With a turn of the key, the chest creaked open, revealing a collection of old letters and photographs, a window into a forgotten past.

Student's Analysis Presentation:

Introduction:

  • "For my homework, I chose a short story titled 'Unexpected Discovery in the Garden.' I'll discuss the language systems used in this text."

Grammar:

  • "The story is primarily in the past tense, indicating actions that have already happened, like 'was gardening' and 'stumbled upon.' There's also a past perfect tense with 'had buried' to show an action completed before another in the past."

Lexis:

  • "The vocabulary creates a sense of mystery and history. Words like 'ancient,' 'rusted,' and 'forgotten' enhance the story's atmosphere. The term 'rose bush' is specific to gardening, setting the scene."

Phonology:

  • "If read aloud, the rhythm and stress in phrases like 'stumbled upon an old, rusted key' and 'revealing a collection of old letters' are notable. The intonation would likely rise with the discovery and fall as the chest is opened."

Functional Language:

  • "The narrative uses descriptive language to build suspense and curiosity, especially in sentences like 'With a turn of the key, the chest creaked open.' The language functions to engage the reader and evoke imagery."

Discourse:

  • "The story has a clear narrative structure with an introduction, buildup, climax, and resolution. The use of conjunctions like 'while' and 'and' helps in maintaining the flow and coherence of the story."


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