Monday 11 October 2021

Misconceptions about Standard English


A preview of some of the AO2 Issues we'll be looking at in year 2:  this article discusses ideas people have about Standard English and complaints that are made about people's language use in reference to it.

Friday 12 February 2021

Debra Myhill’s Grammar Pages

Debra Myhill supports teachers in learning the grammar knowledge they’re now expected to teach to rather young children. As you know, it’s a challenge if you haven’t been taught it yourself!

A Level language students should be ready to take this little grammar test for teachers. Try it out; it’s the first .doc on this page:

There are some *really* great materials on that page to help you polish your understanding of grammar.

It’s also interesting to look over all the other materials suggested for teachers to use:

Sunday 27 September 2020

Language Learning through TV, Children of Deaf Adults

 We were discussing children’s language development in our revision session, and I said I’d look up the references for the case study of a hearing child brought up with deaf parents, expected to learn language through TV alone. The reference is Bard & Sachs, with several articles to look at: abstracts can be found here: and here:

A readable summary and discussion of this situation is available here: — and it also makes a good model for the structure of a Language Investigation, which is our upcoming NEA in Year 2...

Monday 22 June 2020

Language Resources from QMU

This is a great site of resources from Queen Mary University, suggested by our exam board AQA.

Much of it is aimed at teachers, but there's some great ideas for Language Investigations and great sources of further exploration and revision of the topics we study at A Level.

Especially valuable is the Glossary, with not only brief accounts of some key terms, but links to authentic recordings of speech with ready-made transcriptions! Wow.

Thursday 19 March 2020

English Language Resources

Dear All,

Just a refresher in these strange times of the resources available here and elsewhere that will help you with your English Language studies.

The key place to look is down the right-hand column here. If you enter your email address at the very top, you can get alerts when a new post is added. I'll tend to occasionally post interesting links to this blog, but largely it archives several years of resources.

There's Search box (don't confuse it with the email box!) which will take you to relevant posts if you pop in a keyword.

The Language Links list includes links to other linguists' and teachers' blogs; to the AQA exam specification we currently use for A level (first link); and the Lesson Blog which archives a couple of years' worth of lesson from a previous specification.

We will set up a Google Classroom, for any submissions and other more secure files, which you'll have to log in to access, using your college Google @chrome account. I'll let you know the code for this Google Classroom via college email, and SMS.

The Blog here and the Lesson Blogs will be freely available. I'm considering whether to mainly post things on the Blogs, or via Classroom.

All the best and don't hesitate to get in touch!

Wednesday 6 February 2019


Good source on turn-taking here, with some practice and testing. Interesting framing too, though a little incomplete in some of the sections elsewhere.

Thursday 10 January 2019

Machester University Dialects project

Fanbtastic resource for exploring how dialect and accent variation occurs across the UK. Interactive maps and tests!

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Parts-of-speech.Info - POS tagging online

A cool site which can help confirm your knowledge of word classes, or aid you in tackling large amounts of text for a research project. It colour-codes a text you paste in according to the *most likely* part of speech (word class) each word would statistically represent.

BEWARE! It's just an algorithm, and it's not as clever as you! It will make errors, and needs a human to check each suggested tag.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

A Neat Summary of Linguistics

Useful summary, at undergraduate level, of issues and descriptions addressed in the study of language. Pretty good revision reading, perhaps especially for A2s…

Wednesday 8 March 2017

On Writing Essays

If you're thinking of going to university, and writing essays about ideas, then you should read .

No, really, read it and do the things he says.