Discourse Particle Functions for VCE English Language Students

No comments

I will be running the most comprehensive head start workshop for VCE English Language 3/4 these coming summer holidays. To find out more, please go here https://www.facebook.com/events/288217048358026 or here https://www.learnmate.com.au/workshops/english-language/

Don’t miss out – my workshops always sell out every holidays – and I have got so much planned for you. Get a massive head start and feel confident in 2017!


Discourse Particle Functions for VCE English Language Students

As the exam is only a couple of weeks away, it’s important that you begin to finalise your knowledge of key content in the study design.

One particular area that many students struggle with is discourse particles and their associated functions. This is from Unit 3 AOS 1 (mainly), and if you get an informal spoken text in the exam, these therefore have a high chance of appearing.
To help with this area, I’d recommend creating a definitions list of all the possible discourse particles and their associated functions. Understand that discourse particles usually have more than one function and depends highly on the context. So not only do you need to know the functions you must also select the relevant one for that given context.
But first, what in the world are discourse particles?

In Practical English Usage, Michael Swan defines a ‘discourse marker’ as ‘a word or expression which shows the connection between what is being said and the wider context’. For him, a discourse marker is something that either connects a sentence to what comes before or after, or indicates a speaker’s attitude to what he is saying. The main reasons include the following:

  1. to provide a sense of where something is in relation to something else;
  2. to supply a sense of when something is happening;
  3. to compare two ideas and express similarities;
  4. to contrast ideas English provides many examples to signal the notion of difference;
  5. to present additional or supplementary ideas;
  6. to indicate that a point in a discussion has been conceded or already taken into account;
  7. to demonstrate a sense of logical sequence;
  8. to offer an illustration or an example;
  9. to deliver a summary of the ideas discussed.

Examples include: “well”, “now”, “then”, “you know”, “I mean”, “like”, “I think”, “anyway” and “yeah nah”.

To put these into context, I have attached a photo of a sheet that I discovered a few years ago on the various functions. SEE HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE HERE.

dp-sheet


Okay, great! So you now know the functions, but HOW do you identify it in a text and EXPLAIN its purpose? This can be much harder. Below is an except from a past practice exam (Scotch College) and I’ve highlighted some discourse particles. Ignore the unusual transcription symbols, and focus on the discourse particles. Your task is to also highlight some other discourse particles.

Lenore and Alina have met for a coffee and are discussing an acquaintance.

1 LENORE: [Disgusting].

2 ALINA: [(TSK) Well you know],

3 LENORE: (Hx)

4 ALINA: remember ^Tyke?,

5 .. Lived next door to Mom?.

6 LENORE: .. (%) … Yeah:.

7 ALINA: … Okay.

8 (H) .. Two weeks ago I’m watching TV,

9 .. and David Horowitz is going to have,

10 this former car .. radio thief on?.

11 LENORE: … It’s her boyfriend?.

12 ALINA: (H) .. Yeah,

13 her ex-boyfriend.

14 … ^Mike.

15 … He’s the one that stole ~Hector’s radio.

16 LENORE: … How do you know.

17 ALINA: (H) Well,

18 … cause well,

19 .. he —

20 .. he was a cocaine addict.

21 So he’s talking about,

22 #he —

23 <VOX> #you #know he’s,

24 yeah man,

25 he’s gonna show us,

26 .. you know,

27 how # not #,

28 LENORE: (THROAT)

29 ALINA: to protect your car,

30 not to get it,

31 you know,

32 ripped off man.

33 Cause,

34 you know,

35 I —

36 .. yeah,

37 I was into it,

38 uh let me show you how easy it was </VOX>.

39 (H) He’s actually pretty intelligent.

40 .. You know he just —

41 … (H) uneducated,

42 so,

43 .. u:m,

44 .. (TSK) yeah:.

45 ~Hector’s radio:,

46 with —

47 I– it was bro:ken,

48 we were gonna s– —

49 take it out and send it back to the factory,

50 to get a new factory,

51 .. (H) radio,

52 we never got a chance,

53 because,

54 the back window was broken,

55 and they stole #it.

56 … The radio.

57 … And you can’t send something back to the factory,

58 that isn’t there any[more],

59 LENORE: [<WH> @@@ </WH>]

60 ALINA: right?,

61 .. So he never got his [radio.

62 LENORE: [It’s really hard.

63 ALINA: (H):]

64 LENORE: <WH> Oh.

65 Shit </WH>].

66 ALINA: So he got another radi[2o this] summer,

67 LENORE: [2(H):]

68 ALINA: but of course that got ripped off also.

69 <VOX> But never mind </VOX>.

70 (Hx[:])

71 LENORE: [He’s #having] bad luck with that car.


In the above excerpt, as shown on line 42 – 44, the discourse particle ‘so yeah’, can be used a way of signally a refocusing on a previous part in the utterance (topic shift or focus).
‘Well’ can be used as a means of introducing a new topic to signal that you’ll be talking for a long period of time. I can also be used a hedging expression ‘Well, I don’t necessarily agree with you.”

Need a last-minute helping hand? Feel free to search for an English Language tutor here: https://learnmate.com.au/vce-search/

 

Thanks! I sincerely hope this helps!

Dmitri


VCE English Language Units 3/4 – Interactive Course
Learn the entire VCE English Language 3/4 course inside out, in a way that is interactive, fun and engaging! With over 600 students using my interactive online course for their English Language studies, you definitely can’t go wrong! This course is entirely comprehensive, meaning that you could be struggling at English Language OR are a pro and just need that extra bit of polishing! I have made this course so that is caters to all levels! Part of my offering is a complete metalanguage list for all of the subsystems AND a complete quotations list for all topics in the course. I also provide you with tons of COMPLETE sample essays covering a wide range of topics, as well as analytical commentaries. Talk about value!

Download here today and get 25% off the full price now: https://www.udemy.com/vce-english-language-course/?couponCode=GET25OFF


 

Discourse Particle Functions for VCE English Language Students
read more

How to Prepare for the VCE English Exam (Last Minute Advice from a 50-Scorer)

No comments

How to prepare for the VCE English exam (last minute advice from a 50-scorer)

This article was written by Lydia McClelland, a current English & Literature tutor. Lydia currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please go here


Studying for a subject like English can seem like a massive task, and is very tempting to leave to the last minute! I’m here to reassure you that if you study intelligently, you don’t need to put in the same number of hours that go into many other subjects. There are actually heaps of easy things you can do, which result in dramatic improvement:

  1. Read the VCAA past examiner reports! These are filled with advice straight from the Chief Examiner, and often have some great examples of student responses the examiners like. (While you’re there, check out the 2017 Sample exam. As the 2017 study design is new, this is the only available full VCAA-approved exam available to you.)
  2. Plan responses for lots of sample topics (Text Response and Comparative) instead of writing out essay after essay. This will prepare you for the panic of an exam scenario when you get a topic you have never seen before.
  3. Redraft previous essays. The best ideas come from development over time, not simply writing quantity over quality on new topics over and over again.
  4. Get outside advice on your essays. This might be from a sibling, parent, teacher, tutor; anyone you trust to give you honest advice! The truth is that after you’ve been working on an essay for a while, you lose your fresh perspective, which is why it’s important not to hide your essays away for no one else to see.
  5. Reread or re-watch your texts. Knowing these inside out is invaluable, and you never know what might stick in your mind and come in handy later…
  6. If you find that timing is not a problem, type up your practice essays. No point tiring yourself out for no reason!
  7. If you’re determined to do lots of sample exams, practice doing them at the time of day of the English exam. This gets your body used to sitting still (for three hours!) at that precise time, which will not feel natural! It could give you that slight edge, which is all you need in VCE to separate yourself.

Good luck and happy studying!


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
How to Prepare for the VCE English Exam (Last Minute Advice from a 50-Scorer)
read more

5 HABITS OF A HIGH ACHIEVING ATAR STUDENT

No comments

5 Habits of a High Achieving ATAR Student

This article has been written by Aasma Chougle, a tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Aasma, then please check out her page here.


In the lead up to exams true accomplishment comes from developing key study and lifestyle habits that are going to ensure you go into finals with the right attitude. Here are five habits that can help you start preparing for your exams and achieve the grades that you want! Remember it only takes 21 days to form a habit so the time is now!

  1. Make a study plan (and stick to it)

Set yourself small tasks to do for each subject and build it up in the lead up to exams. This way you’re walking in well prepared with all your knowledge down pat

Don’t overcomplicate your plan. It can be as simple as the one I made!

  1. Eat

Foods rich in protein such as almonds, eggs, and chicken have been proven to improve long-term memory retention. This ensures that your brain won’t have to work as hard in remembering all the content you have learned over the year

  1. Exercise

Going for a ten-minute walk or jog can not only give you a much-needed break from the books but it can also boost your productivity.

If you’re like me and you don’t like exercise meditation is a great alternative which can help calm your nerves as well as develop long-term memory

  1. Go to bed early

A good night’s sleep gives your brain time to create connections between the content you have learnt throughout the day

  1. Practice

I cannot stress this enough. The more practice you do leading up to the exams, the better you’re going to perform. Make sure to expose yourself to as many different types of problems as possible so you’re well prepared

The above habits have worked for me time and time again. I hope you find these helpful and good luck for your exams!


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

5 HABITS OF A HIGH ACHIEVING ATAR STUDENT
read more

Preparing for the End of Year VCE Chemistry Exam

No comments

My Tips for Success in VCE Chemistry

This article has been written by Henry Ja, a Chemistry tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Henry, then please check out his page here.


The end of year VCE Chemistry Exam is fast approaching and the time to start revision is NOW.

What can you do to help you prepare? Well, there are several things:

  1. Finalise your notes – make sure that you finish writing up your notes as soon as possible, as you don’t want to spend most of your revision time writing up notes. This is a waste of your time!
  2. Attend revision lectures – there will be a lot of revision lectures on offer during the Term 3 holidays. If you feel like you need a refresher on the course, then attend one of these lectures.
  3. Clear up any issues ASAP – if there are certain topics that you are not confident with make sure that you seek help ASAP from your teacher and/or tutor. They will be more than willing to help you out.
  4. Assemble a study group – study groups work well if they are productive. You can quiz each other on questions and can help one another out.
  5. Do practice exams – Make sure that you attempt as much past exam questions as you can. Chemistry is a subject where memorisation will not help you get the high marks. It is all about applying what you have learnt to questions in different contexts. But in saying that don’t just aim to do a lot of practice exams – its quality over quantity. Make sure that you understand why you got a question wrong, and if you don’t know why then go and ask your teacher or tutor for help. The whole point of practice exams is to help identity the areas you are weak in, and to ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the real exam.
  6. Down time – make sure that you give yourself some time to take a break from studying. You cannot study 24/7, and you will be more productive if you give yourself a break. Go outside for a walk or head off to the gym. Exercising can help you relax and you will feel more eager to study once you have given yourself that downtime.
  7. Eat appropriately – Make sure that you eat healthy foods and don’t resort to takeaway/fast food. Giving your body the appropriate nutrients will help you function better and feel better in general. Make sure that you have lots of fruits and vegetables!
  8. Sleep – make sure that you get enough sleep. Don’t study until 2am in the morning! It’s no use and your brain won’t be very productive at that time of the day.

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Preparing for the End of Year VCE Chemistry Exam
read more

How to succeed in spectroscopy!

No comments

Spectroscopy – how do I succeed in this topic?

This article was written by Henry Ja, a current VCE Chemistry tutor. Henry currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in his services, please go here


Spectroscopy is a topic that many students struggle with however once you understand what is going on and practice by doing questions you will soon get the hang of it.

The best way to learn this topic is to do practice questions whether that be from the textbook or from past exam questions, the more you do the better you will become with this topic.

To help get you started in mastering this topic, I have given you a table which you can use to summarise your notes on spectroscopy. This table will allow you to see the key concepts associated with this topic.

Questions in this topic tend to incorporate all the spectroscopic instruments that you have learnt and tend to be associated with identifying an organic compound.

Now it’s time to practice, have a go at VCAA 2012 Exam 1 Short Answer Question 5

Remember if you are unsure about anything ask for help. It’s better to seek help now than at exam time!

Good luck and happy studying ☺


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
How to succeed in spectroscopy!
read more