You will be expected to write a 2500-word essay on a topic that is one of the themes in the field of language ideologies. It will be 60% of overall weighting of the module assessment. You’re expected to critically discuss (issues of) language ideologies in a given context on the basis of your reading of literature works. Though your experience and insights are valuable in this essay, you should bear in mind that your experience and insights should be combined with the discussion of relevant issues in the literature (for example, your discussion of linguistic imperialism in a given context in terms of how linguistic imperialism is actualized will benefit from the reference to the literature – if there is- on linguistic imperialism in the context rather than simply describing what you observe in the context). This does not mean that your own voice should be hidden. You’re expected to present your own view and make your own voice heard.
Choose one of the Following topics:
1. Globalisation has been shaping linguists’ understanding of English. Please evaluate the implications of globalisation for English education in a local context, with the focus on the subject matter of ‘English’.
2. In line with multilingualism, language ideologies are a site of struggle among different groups of language users. Please evaluate the applicability of this view to a local context.
3. Please discuss ‘standard English ideology’ and its impacts on English education in a local context.
4. The dominance of English in international communication is criticised as linguistic hegemony, while a different view holds that English is a linguistic resource. What is your position in this debate? Please draw on literature and discuss from a perspective of language ideologies. You are expected to frame your discussion with reference to a local context.
5. Please compare the Official English Movement in native English speaking contexts (e.g. American contexts) and English-medium instruction in non-native English speaking contexts of education (e.g. in a Chinese/Japanese university setting) in terms of language ideologies.
Here are some aspects which are key to how your essay is assessed:
1 You’re expected to show a clear understanding of the question/task in your introductory paragraph, indicating how you intend to approach the topic and what you will seek to argue/show.
2 You’re expected to show that you have tried to think independently about the topic in relation to the published research (i.e. as opposed to merely synthesising what others have said).
3 You’re expected to use appropriate terminology.
4 You’re expected to construct a clearly and coherently developed argument or discussion. Think, in particular, about the function and sequence of paragraphs; you might also find it useful to use sub-headings to give an explicit structure to your essay.
5 You’re expected to show that you are able to find evidence for your arguments by providing appropriate examples and references.
6 Strike an appropriate balance between the general and the particular, and support individual arguments with suitable illustrations.
7 You’re expected to show that you are aware of, and have read, key publications relevant to the topic by referring to them explicitly in your essay and listing their full bibliographical details in your list of References at the end. (You may also, of course, refer to any other publications you consider relevant.)
• make it clear (breaking essay down into sections with headings is often a good way of ensuring this)
• essays should always have an Intro (setting out the topic, your aims, and the structure of the essay), a well-developed main section, and a Conclusion (drawing together the main points and establishing how far you have answered the questions you set out to address);
• organise your text into logically structured paragraphs (each paragraph should have one central focus and, like a mini-essay, have a beginning, middle and end);
• make clear links between each paragraph (they must be in a necessary sequence – if you can shuffle them and set them out in a different order something is wrong!) and focus on developing an argument step by step.
REMEMBER: Presentation and layout are important – the extent to which you conform to these conventions will be taken into account in determining the mark for your assignments!
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