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Semester 2, 2019-2020
Cut-off date: Week 10
Length: 1500-2000 words
Drawing on the ideas presented in U214 Book 2 and specifically chapter 1, explain how talk is shaped
by context. Start by overviewing the structure and function of talk, the purpose of talk drawing on
works of Malinowski, Jakobson and Halliday, then situate the discussion in Bordieu’s social conditions
and context. Illustrate using examples from institutional talk, classroom talk or job interview.
Areas of Discussion
Areas of discussing the TMA’s topic are related to U214B course Book 2, especially Units 1 and 2.
Important Guidelines
Discussing the TMA’s subject matter has to draw on the following ideas:

  1. Introduce the structure and function of talk (4 pts)
  2. Examine and explain the purpose of talk, drawing on Malinowksi, Jakobsbon and Halliday’s
    arguments (4 pts)
  3. What is context and how does it influence the use and interpretation of particular words and
    phrases (4pt)
  4. Discuss Bourdieu’s social conditions: how is talk structured; where is it located; what is said (4
  5. Analyse examples in support of your discussion (4pts)
    N.B. Students need to read in depth Unit 1 and think about the TMA questions as they read. Students
    need to take notes from Unit 1 on the structure and function of talk and the main arguments of
    Malinowksi, Jakobsbon, Halliday and Bourdieu to develop their discussion on the relationship between
    talk and context. Examples need to be provided in support of the discussion.
    When writing, students need to pay attention to structure, layout and correct language and use
    appropriate referencing and citation. Please note that, in addition to the textbook materials, students are
    recommended to consult two or more of the following references.
    Recommended Bibliography
    • Bardovi-Harlig, K. and Hartford, B. (2005). Interlanguage pragmatics: exploring institutional talk.
    Mahwah NJ: Erlbaum.
    • Bargiela-Chiappini, F. and Harris, S. (2006). “Politeness at work: issues and challenges.” Journal of
    Politeness Research 2: 7-33.
    • Bührig, K. and Ten Thije, J. (2006). Beyond Misunderstanding: Linguistic Analyses of Intercultural
    Communication. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
     Coupland, N. (2007). Style: language variation and identity. Cambridge, Cambridge University
     Hickey, L. and Stewart, M. (2005). Politeness in Europe. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
     Schegloff, E. (1992). On talk and its institutional occasions. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (Eds) Talk
    at Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 101-34.

    Using e-Library
     You can include information from the course book but it is highly recommended to use
    external sources from the e-library.
     You are requested to visit the e-library on campus and use it to carry out your TMAs
     You are also requested to show your tutor that you used the e-library to complete your
    TMA. But avoid submitting a copy/paste paper, it is a plagiarized work, which is strictly
    banned and firmly penalized by AOU.
    Guidelines on Plagiarism
    If you submit an assignment that contains work other than yours without acknowledging the
    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.
    Marking Grid
    A Excellent answers showing
    confident and wide-ranging
    knowledge of core material, good
    understanding of any relevant
    theory, and a capacity to address
    the question in a structural, direct
    and effective way, thoughtfully and
    with insight. Originality of thought
    or ideas from outside the course are
  • Has an introduction defining plan
    of essay.
  • Body divided into several
  • Conclusion which directly relates
    arguments to topic.
  • Error-free grammar & register.
  • Wide range of specialized
    an added asset. Examples are to the
    B to B+ Very good answers showing secure
    knowledge of course materials.
    Adopting an analytical approach
    and providing relevant discussion
    covering most of the key issues.
    Distinguished from A answers by
    being less insightful or by showing
    less comprehensive knowledge of
    the course.
  • First four criteria above
  • Demonstrates extensive grammar
  • Terminology specialized but less
    C to C+ Competent answers reflecting
    adequate knowledge of the more
    directly relevant course material
    and concepts, with reasonable
    structure and adequate coherence
    related to the question set.
  • Introduction and/or conclusion
    short but still satisfactory.
  • Less grammar control than above.
  • Good range of specialized
    D Answers which omit some concepts
    /evidence and/or lack coherence
    /structure, and/or make minor
    errors while still demonstrating
    basic understanding. Or Bare pass
    answers which show awareness of
    some relevant material and attempt
    to relate it to the question.
  • Introduction and/or conclusion
    short but acceptable.
  • Few grammatical errors that
    impede communication.
  • Above average range of
    specialized terminology.
  • Slightly confused introduction
    and/or conclusion, but body still
  • No evidence of editing.
  • Some error types that impede
  • Fair range of specialized
    F Answers which attempt to draw
    upon relevant material but do not
    reflect sufficient knowledge of the
    course and/or neglect the focus
    required by the question, and/or
    are incomplete in some important
    aspects whilst being acceptable in
  • No introduction and /or no
  • Body badly organized or
  • Poor grammar control (extremely
    limited range of grammar &
  • Limited or not specialized range
    of terminology.
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