Language and knowledge

IB English A: Language & Literature: Language and knowledge

One of the suggested topics from the Language A: Language and Literature guide is "language and knowledge". Here we ask ourselves how people use language, such as jargon, to express their knowledge of a particular profession or skill. This topic touches on aspects of other topics as well, since jargon often defines a community, identity and power relationships. We will look at several texts that use specialized...

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Comments 3

Shaimaa Abdelhafez 10 August 2017 - 21:28

I was looking for some resources to use in this topic, but I did not find any. Can you share any resources you have?

David McIntyre 11 August 2017 - 12:04

Hi Shaimaa,

What you see is what you get, and heading towards 700,000 words of it.

I'm not sure what exactly you are looking for exactly - maybe you can help me. If we don't currently have it, we could possibly develop it.

Lots of our pages do have a particular TOK bias, more or less overt (try putting 'theory of knowledge' into the website's search function). We take the development of critical thinking on the site pretty seriously - or would like to think so.

Some pages really do have a strong component of 'how do you know?' For example, you might look at a page like this one: You can see, I hope, that the lesson is really a search for criteria; if we say that text X is literature, how do we know? What are the criteria?

Let me know, please, how you would like the site improved through further additions.



Sophie Holroyd 25 September 2017 - 13:49

Dear Shaimaa
Some good resources that I have used for this topic have been David Crystal's entry on Scientific Language in his 'Encyclopedia of the English Language' as a useful way to identify the purpose/characteristics of scientific language; Randall Munroe's 'Thing Explainer' for hilarious contrast and opportunities for technical pastiche-writing both into and out of his list of ten hundred most commonly used words; a Bio Factsheet (doesn't matter what the topic is just as long as it's a single page with diagrams &tc) for annotation and commentary practice once the characteristics have been identified; then a selection of very short texts of different kinds from 'New Scientist' (job advert, the 'letters' page, an ad for a product that aims to make children interested in science, a short funky 'news' item and an excerpt from a more lengthy and technical article etc...) for a comparative essay/class presentation/. A passage from 'sciencey' science fiction is effective (here the 'tone' of knowledge is being created even if it isn't technically possible yet. Try the opening section of 'Brave New World' for text looking forward to the future invention of IVF and for connected discussion of language and power &tc), also a comparative task asking pupils to look at the different language used in their various IB textbooks for the different subjects....
Any use?

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