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 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!
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VCE English Language – The Very Definition of Informal Language
I am constantly amazed by how many students complete their very first English Language SAC on informal language (Unit 3 AOS 1), and still can’t articulately define what informal language actually means. Personally, I think this is where many schools fail in expressing this definition to students. The day I realised the true definition of informal language in VCE was the day it began to make sense to me – and the assessments became much easier too!
In this article today, I hope to demystify the true definition of informal language and give you some metalinguistic features to go along with it. Now, please note that some of these features are NOT exclusive to informal language – indeed they may overlap with formal language depending on the social purpose, context and other factors.
- Informal language encourages intimacy, solidarity and a social connection with the audience/speakers.
- Informal language is also generally more efficient in terms of saving time,
- However, at times informal language can be more ambiguous.
Informal Language Encourages Solidarity
Think of slang terms that your friends may use around you – they are being purposely used to foster a social connection with you – to create a sense of the in-group while excluding the ‘out-group’.
Similarly, think of the use of the active voice in comparison to the more formal passive voice:
“I say sorry” – Active
“Sorry is being said by me” – Passive
Which would sound more PERSONAL and more SINCERE? Definitely the more informal active voice.
Informal Language Creates Efficiency
Think of syntactic ellipsis and phonological elision when you think of efficiency. But efficiency in terms of what? Saving time, yes. As humans, we like to take the path of least resistance – so to ensure we achieve this, we’ll try to economise what we can.
Ellipsis – Syntax
We may omit whole words from our sentences/utterances without affecting the intended meaning. For example, we may say ‘You going now’ instead of ‘Are you going now?’. This is very common in informal everyday conversation, and less so in planned, formal documents/speeches.
Elision – Phonology
We may say ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’ – or even write it like this!
Informal Language Ambiguity
Due to this economisation of speech, and often new slang terms, sometimes informal language can indeed be unclear (ambiguous). For example, not everyone may know what ‘chat’ means in an informal context (it means disgusting), or even ‘bae’ (this was popularised quite some time ago!).
Informal Language Features List
- Slang terms
- Phrasal verbs (verb + preposition)
- Swearing/colourful language
- Discourse particles (like, you know)
- Interrogative tags
- Simple and compound sentence structure – lack of complex/compound-complex sentences
- Interrogative sentence types
- Non-standard orthography
- Exclamation marks
- Features of spoken discourse
- The use of deictic expressions
- The use of personal pronouns (e.g. ‘I’, ‘We’)
- The use of active sentence structure as opposed to passive
- Beginning a sentence with a conjunction
Before your first informal language SAC, I would recommend you create a list of these on your computer with definition and examples. Always remember that state WHY this informal feature has been used in a given context! For example, a speaker in a friendship group may use swearing to build social rapport with his/her interlocutors and to create social solidarity.
I will be running the most comprehensive head start a workshop for VCE English Language 3/4 these coming summer holidays. To find out more, please go here https://www.facebook.com/events/141530322988542/ or here https://www.learnmate.com.au/workshops/english-language/
Don’t miss out – my workshops always sell out every holiday – and I have got so much planned for you. Get a massive head start and feel confident in 2017!
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