Read the stimulus messages posted by your tutor on the tutor group forum (TGF). These messages will feature someone describing their communicative repertoire and linking it to their identity. Drawing on your study of Block 1, post two different responses, each to a different stimulus message. Your two response posts will form your assignment. Each response should be no more than 500 words (adding up to no more than 1000 words for the two responses you submit as your TMA). In your response posts, you can also incorporate your ideas and reflections on other students’ posts on the same thread if this is appropriate. Paste your two responses into a Word document and submit as your TMA. Remember to state clearly which stimulus posts you are responding to.
My response to stimulus A by Alex:
When I was thirteen, I was taken into foster care. Like Alex, I originally come from a London bred, working class family. Due to foster care, moving around the country became very second nature to me, not staying in most placements more than a month. This meant I managed to see a wide variety of accents, such as ones from Essex, Liverpool, Yorkshire and Portsmouth.
I inherited my mothers working class, or ‘common’ accent. I didn’t pronounce my ‘t’s’, used several utterances in all my sentences and often used the idiomatic language, socially connected with the phrase ‘council estate’. My mother always used a high volume of curse words, and expressed herself through figurative language, euphemisms and metaphors. I believe I picked up a few of these communicative repertoires, as I have been told that I can be slightly misleading, and very sarcastic at times.
When I found my forever home with an amazing Jamaican woman named Jennifer, I chose to adapt to her seemingly ‘posh’ dialect in order to feel a part of their family. I believe this also is an example of a prescriptive approach to language and how it’s linked into judgments surrounding language (Seargeant, Giaxoglou, Paterson and Tagg, 2018 a), as I feared being seen as a lower class citizen. I used avoidance language and imitated academic discourse when speaking, to convey the idea of being more likeable, in a similar way to the kambaata tradition shown in Unit 2 (Seargeant, Giaxoglou, Paterson and Tagg, 2018 b). Living with a Jamaican family, a lot about ambiguity was around. For example, they would use the word ‘Bad’ to describe things that they found attractive, or they would say ‘Bad gyal’, being an example of a personal collocation, usually meaning that you did a good job, or have proven yourself positively. Was this a cultural norm? It shocked me slightly at first, because as a small child, my mother would use the word bad in a negative format, which shows that the word ‘bad’ has negative connotations, that of which were broken for me.
I have always enjoyed writing, both academically and for fun. I believe that words are heteroglossic, and can portray everyone's feelings and experiences in diversified ways. For most of my writing, I try to use a tone that does not indicate my background, using strong vocabulary and perfect grammar. In person, it is a lot harder for me to accommodate that vision. When I was younger I had a slight problem with stuttering, which I still do on occasion when I am nervous, which is why I prefer to instant message, email or text, rather than be on a phone call. I also agree with the statement in the stimulus, I am also really intrigued by the fact that language is becoming more multimodal in social media, for example, I use colloquialisms and emojis to portray how I am feeling without the fear of possibly miscommunicating my feelings through words.
Word Count: 500 words
A: Seargeant, P., Giaxoglou, K., Paterson, L. and Tagg, C., 2018. L101 Book 1: What is Language?. Glasgow: The Open University, pp.40-47.
B: Seargeant, P., Giaxoglou, K., Paterson, L. and Tagg, C., 2018. L101 Book 1: What is language?. Glasgow: The Open University, pp.23-29.