Research into varieties

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Research into varieties

Postby Richard » 16 Feb 2016 14:16

In the Linguistics lesson on Language varieties, I asked you to be creative in coming up with a research topic into varieties, whether geographical, gender-based, age-based, profession-based, or even individual (i.e. idiolects). An example I gave was investigating differences in the language used by a policeman who stopped an old pick-up and a new Mercedes for speeding (which could be used to critically examine unfairness in the Thai justice system based on privilege).

What is the most creative and interesting research idea for investigating varieties that you can think of, and what would be the purpose or implications of the research?
Richard
 
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Re: Research into varieties

Postby stevelouw » 16 Feb 2016 14:51

I noticed recently when I stepped out of one of my lessons to take a phone call (embarrassed face), the students in the class became a lot more animated. When I walked back in, one of the students said that they weren't finished and could I please go back out. It seems they found that they could communicate much more easily when I was not in the room with them.

From a task-based perspective, students' interaction is likely change depending on how the teacher is allocating attention, or if there is no attention at all! I would find it interesting to investigate if certain students (these highly motivated ones, for example) are communicating differently, and possibly more effectively (however that is defined) with the teacher giving them less attention. One possibility is that there is a greater focus on meaning-making and lesson on accuracy with the teacher away. Another possibility is the increased use of code-switching which might be discouraged when a teacher is in the room.
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