Elements that influence the language and structure of oral texts

Standard

Today we looked at resource 4.6.1 from the Skills for Life Quality Initiative, and I thought about how differing contexts influence language and structure.

Discussion between a parent and child

Element Influences Type
Audience ·         Register

·         Style

·         Tone

Informal (very) but in some cases may be more formal.
Simplified (depends on context), conversational, familiar or intimateAuthoritative, gentle, understanding, sarcastic
Mode Written or spoken Spoken in a discussion between parent and child – face to face, phone, video call
Purpose ·         Genre or text type

·         Format
·         Language functions

Informal discussion about their day, reprimand about messiness or homework, parents caught lying!

Dialogue – 2 interlocutors

To inform, to explain, persuade, instruct, entertain etc

Topic Lexis It depends what they’re talking about e.g. niche, specific topics, using their idiolect possibly, different registers and different varieties of English

Discussion with a counsellor

Element Influences Type
Audience ·         Register

·         Style
·         Tone

Relatively formal depending on the type of social context the discussion happens in e.g. in a work setting vs meeting them at a fundraiser.
Distant, impersonal, jargon used
Authoritative, lexical choices
Mode Written or spoken Spoken
Purpose ·         Genre or text type
·         Format
·         Language functions
Complaint, formal debate

Conference, possibly 2 or more speakers

To inform, to explain, to argue, to instruct

Topic Lexis Niche/use of jargon, SE, lexical choices changed to suit audience
Notes on what the texts have in common and how they differ:

Both texts are spoken and are dependent on the genre. Influences often overlap – for example style can also be part of lexis. Both depend on gauging the above features from the other speaker’s/s’ point of view and being able to adapt accordingly. For example, if a counsellor is trying to generalise in a debate, I might try to personalise and contextualise my response. I might also try to assimilate my language towards the speaker, or distance myself through the use of more informal language and regional dialects to either make a point (stylistic) or to make the other person seem less of a threat as I see them as more educated than myself (sociolinguistic).

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