How do people use language to “style” themselves – to take on a particular persona or juggle between 

TMA Question:
How do people use language to “style” themselves – to take on a particular persona or juggle between personae in interaction with others?
You are encouraged to reflect on your own experience, use your own examples, report views and cite examples from both the course material and other sources.
Student notes:
ØThis TMA is to be written in between 1400 - 1500 words.
ØThe main source of study material for this TMA topic is Chapter 3 of the textbook The Art of English: literary creativityand Readings A and B in the same chapter.
ØThere is also relevant material in the E301AStudy Guide (Unit 3, pp. 29-41).
ØThe accompanying CD-Rom Bands: 7 (Messing with style), 8 (Language crossing) & 10 (Performance and performativeity) are useful too.
ØAny other external resources you find relevant.
ØStudents are welcome to provide views and examples from their own cultural/linguistic background. These will be considered as an added asset.
Suggested Resources:
Goffman, E. (1981) Forms of Talk,Oxford, Blackwell.
Hebdige, D. (1984) Subculture: The meaning of style, New York, Methuen.
Hewitt, R. (1986) White Talk Black Talk, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Rampton, B. (2005) Crossing: Language and Ethnicity Among Adolescents, Manchester, St. Jerome Press; 1st ed. London, Longman.
Learning Outcomes (extracted and slightly adapted from:
These outcomes represent an initial draft that will need to be refined as the course develops. The course provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
1. Knowledge and understanding:
You are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
1.How English (and other languages) may be used creatively, both in
everyday and more literary texts and practices;
2.The diverse forms that creativity/verbal art may take in English; how these relate to the affordance (being able to do or provide something without unacceptable or disadvantageous consequences) of different modes and media, genres and social/cultural contexts.
3.The role of different participants - authors, designers, audiences (listeners, readers, viewers) - in the construction of ‘artful’ texts and practices;
4.Different theories of creativity/verbal art, including those that focus on
‘local’ interactional functions and those that appeal to more general explanations - socio-psychological, neurological, evolutionary;
5.Different theoretical and analytical approaches to the study of
English/language (including those that privilege texts, those that privilege contextualized language practices, those that insist on a critical approach to texts/practices) and the relative strengths and limitations of these approaches.
6.A wide range of terminology for describing English language texts and
7.How your learning in different parts of the course may be integrated
according to the central conceptual strands of the course: how meaning is collaboratively produced through spoken, written and multi-modal communication; the relationships between language and context, language and identity, language and social/cultural diversity, language and power.
2. Cognitive skills:
You are also expected to:
1.Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of particular theoretical
and analytical approaches to the study of language.
2.Apply different approaches to the study and analysis of spoken and written language (including linguistic/textual approaches, ethnographic and practice-based approaches, semiotic and multimodal approaches, literary approaches and critical approaches).
3.Describe and analyze both relevant formal properties of spoken and
written texts and how these are used for a range of purposes by speakers and writers.
4.Use appropriate terminology to describe and discuss specific theories,
concepts and evidence.
5Synthesize different points of view, and personal research data in order to reach your own conclusions.
6.Relate theoretical concepts to concrete experience.
3. Key skills:
1.Read academic and other texts critically, identifying and evaluating
positions and arguments.
2.Develop research skills, including the ability to gather, sift and organize material and to evaluate its relevance and significance.
3.Use ICT, including the Internet, to access information.
4.Select and synthesize the main points of information, or of an argument, from a variety of sources.
5.Exercise critical judgment about sources of evidence.
6.Develop good practice in the acknowledgement of source material and in the presentation of bibliographies, using appropriate academic
7.Construct a coherent argument, supported by evidence and clearly focused on the topic under discussion.
8.Present written work to a high standard using the appropriate register and style.
9.Evaluate your own writing, and respond to feedback about improving the effectiveness of writing.
Application of number:
10.Understand, interpret and discuss statistical data in the form of graphs, tables and figures.
4. Practical and/or professional skills:
1.Abstract and synthesize information from a variety of sources.
2.Communicate effectively in writing, selecting an appropriate genre, style and register.
3.Make effective use of ICT (such as word processing and the ability to
access, sift and use electronic information).
4.Plan and undertake research.
5.Make independent and analytical judgments.
6.Use and evaluate a variety of means to analyze language data.
7.Evaluate social, political and ethical issues related to language use.
8.Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organization and time-management.
The following are guidelines on plagiarism:
If you submit an assignment that contains work other than yours without acknowledging your sources, you are committing plagiarism. This might occur when:
·Using a sentence or phrase that you have come across
·Copying word-for-word directly from a text
·Paraphrasing the words from the text very closely
·Using text downloaded from the Internet
·Borrowing statistics or assembled fact from another person or source
·Copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources
·Copying from the notes or essays of a fellow student
(Slightly adapted from OU document on quoting versus plagiarism)
It is important to remember that plagiarism is strictly barred and would be subject to punitive action by the Arab Open University.