viernes, 3 de noviembre de 2017

Entry 14: Final Reflexion

Not only did portfolio serve as a method of evaluation for teachers, but also served as a folder of summaries and analysis on the different topics that we discussed in the written language course. The most positive aspects of the portfolio are the summaries of the analyzed bibliography and the contributions to the knowledge from other sources.
Taking into account the teaching of writing, the portfolio is a great material for student progress as well as for evaluation. Therefore, I also consider that the portfolio is a consultation device.

Entry 13: Reflexion

Personally I think my writing has improved a lot, since now I have many more strategies and tools and skills to be able to develop writing. One of the reasons of why I improved my writing is the application of the theory about writing in foreign languages. The strategies, techniques and skills that have helped me in my progress in writing are:

-The Bottom-up and Top-Down approaches
- Academic writing by the university
-Pre-writing activities
-The pragmatics and discourse analysis
-What is a text and what is not a text
-The focus on the audience and the imaginary reader
-How to create the thesis and how to select the topic
-The purposes of the text, its contexts and relationships
-The practice from the smallest to the largest, from the paragraph to the essay.

These are some of the tools that helped me improve my writing during this period. The bibligraphic texts that helped me to understand the writing process were "From Paragraph to Essay" and "Discourse and Context in Language Teaching. A Guide for Language Teachers." by Marianne Celce-Murcia.
The writing process is not a quick process, rather it is a slow process, in which it takes a lot of time to be able to apply all the characteristics that contemporary theorists propose in their assertions of their theories. In this slow process, personally, I believe that I improved the foundation of each paragraph with examples and fundaments, improving topic sentences and linking ideas to improve the coherence of my texts.

miércoles, 1 de noviembre de 2017

Entry 12: Videos

 1- The Inspector needs "a flawless American accent": 

What can be seen in this video is the inspector trying to learn the pronunciation of standard American English, which is called General American English (GenAm). Another characteristic that can be perceived in the video is the notorious French accent of the inpector's spoken English. This feature can be associated with what Yule (2006) states that each speaker of a language speaks with an accent. Apparently the inspector tries to learn the variety of standard American English, which is considered clean, flawless, without regional characteristics and which belongs to the variety used by the media and educational centers in the USA.

2- Students' Dialects??

In this video each people speaks a different English. Each of them speaks a type of English with peculiar characteristics. This feature reminds us of the definition of "dialect":

"The term dialect is used to describe characteristics of grammar and vocabulary, as well as aspects of pronunciation" (Yule, 2006)

This definition fits perfectly with the scenes of these people, since each of them speaks an English with a different characteristic. One of them has special characteristics in grammar, the other in pronunciation (accentuation, stress), the other in vocabulary and the other in spelling.

3- Speak English, please!

In this video we can see two types of English. On the one hand, we have the English of the reporter, a standard English, typical of the media. These are some characteristics of the standard pronunciation of the reporter:

-Post vocalic /r/ dropping (non-rhotic) (example: forces, members)
-Clean, without regional accents

On the other hand, the English of the Iraqis has clear regional characteristics.

Entry 11: Chapters 18, 19 & 20



It is an idealized variety; it has no specific region or accent. It is associated with administrative, commercial and educational centers, regardless of region. It is printed in books, newspapers and it is used in mass media. Examples, RP received pronunciation and GenAme General American English.

Accent and Dialect

We all speak with an accent. Accent is the aspects of pronunciation that identifies where an individual speaker is from, regionally or socially; while dialect is features of grammar and vocabulary as well as aspects of pronunciation.


Some dialects become more prestigious than others. Specially those dialect that develop a standard language status are associated to center of economic and political power.

Isoglosses and Dialect Boundaries

Isogloss represents a boundary between the areas regarding to one particular liguistic item. Dialect boundary is created when various isoglosses representing other features overlap each other.

The Dialect Continuum

In most dialect boundary areas, one dialect or language variety merges into another. The regional variation is seen as a dialect continuum. The same continuum occurs when two languages merge on both sides of a political border. Examples: Holland and Germany. Some speakers of these areas are called bidialectal because they speak the two dialects.

Bilingualism and Diglossia

There are two types of bilingualism. The first one is political and it means that two languages are accepted inside a country. The individual bilingualism refers to the fact that a person speaks two languages for personal reasons.
Diglossia: it makes reference to two distinct varieties of one language, one of them is a low variety and the other is a high special variety.
Low variety: It used locally and for everyday affairs.
High special variety: learned in schools and used for important matters.

Language Planning

Government and legal and educational organizations in many countries have to plan what variety of the languages spoken in a country are to be used for official business.

Pidgins and Creoles

Pidgin is a variety of a language that developed for some practical purpose, such as trading among a group of people who had a lot of contact, but who didn't know each other's languages.
Creole is a descendant of pidgin. When a pidgin develops beyond its role as a trade or contact language and becomes the first language of a social community, it is described as a Creole.

The Post-Creole Continuum

Creolization: it is the process of a pidgin in evolving into a Creole. In some areas some varieties prestige and higher social forms are related or associated with some languages or varieties, this process is known as decreolization. In one extreme there is a higher model and on the other extreme there is an external standard model and in between there is a range of slightly different variety. This range of varieties is called post-Creole continuum.


The term sociolinguistics is used for the study of the relationship between language and society. This is a brad area of investigation that developed through the interaction of linguistics with other academic disciplines (anthropology, sociology and psychology)

Social Dialect

The study of social dialect focuses on speakers of towns and cities. In social dialects, social class is used to analyze and define groups of speakers. The two main groups are generally identified as middle class and working-class.
Middle-class: those who have more years of education and perform non-manual work of some kind.
Working-class: those who have fewer years of education and perform some manual work of some kind.
When we refer to working-class speech, we are referring to a social dialect. The terms lower and upper are used to subdivide the groups on economic basis.
Pronunciation, words and structures are treated to analyze sociolects. So pronunciation may be an indicator of economic status. The use of structures such as "ain't" is also an indicator of working-class status.

Education and Occupation

Idiolect is a personal dialect. We generally tend to sound like others with whom we share similar educational backgrounds or occupations.
Speakers who have left early educational system have patters and form infrequent in those who have completed their college.

Social Markers

Social markers are the special pronunciation and phonetic features that denote social status or position. Some examples of social markers are:
1- The post-vocalic /r/ sound
2- The dropping of velar "ng" in -ing endings
3- The /h/ dropping in initial position

Speech Style and Style-Shifting

Speech style makes reference to formal or informal speech:

Formal style: when we pay more attention to how we are speaking
Informal style: when we pay less attention to our speech form.

These styles sometimes are described as "careful styles" and "casual styles" respectively. When a speaker change from one to another one is called "style-shifting". Middle-class speakers tend to shift their style to upper-class pronunciation.


When speakers change their speech, we say that they change it:

1- In direction of a norm more frequent in speakers perceived to have higher social status (Over Prestige)
2- Covert Prestige is associated with speakers who do not change their speech, they may value group solidarity rather than upward mobility.
Among younger people of middle-class status tend to shift their speech to covert prestige.

Speech Accommodation

Speech accommodation is the ability to modify our speech style towards or away from the perceived style of the person we're talking to. We can adopt a speech that reduce social distances (called convergence) and use the same forms used by the person we are talking to. When a certain style is used to emphasize distance, we call it divergence.

Register and Jargon

Register is a conventional way of using language that is appropriate in a specific context, which may be identified as situational, occupational or topical.  Each register has its specific language features.
Jargon is a special technical vocabulary associated with specific work areas or interest.


Slangs are more typically used among those who are outside established higher-status groups. Slang or colloquial speech describes words or phrases that are used instead of more everyday terms among younger speakers and other groups with special interest.
Inside slangs we find the "taboo terms" which is related to obscenity and prohibited or taboo behavior and activities.

African-American English

AAE is variety spoken in different regions of USA. It is used by many (not all) African Americans. This variety has a covert prestige among younger speakers of other social groups, especially in music and many people who are not African American.

Vernacular Language

The term "vernacular" has been used since the middle ages, first to describe European languages (lower prestige) in contrast to Latin (higher prestige). Then it was used to describe languages and varieties that were non-standard and were used by lower-status groups. Examples: AAE, Asian American English, Chicano English.

The Sounds of a Vernacular

Features of African-American vernacular English:
1- Reduction of final consonant cluster
2- Fricative dental sounds turn into alveolar voiceless stops
3- S-Dropping in subject-verb agreement

Grammar of Vernacular

Features of African-American Vernacular English:
1- Double negation
2- Frequent absence of verb to be

3- Don't and Doesn't shift use



It refers to all the ideas and assumptions about the nature of things and people that we learn when we become members of social groups. It can also be defined as "socially acquired knowledge". This knowledge is acquired as language is acquires, unconsciously.


It is a group with certain features in common. The words that refer to categories make reference to concepts that people in our social world have typically needed to talk about. There is a relationship between the set of words we have learned (categories) and the way external reality is organized. Example: in some cultures there are many words to refer to rain.

Kinship Terms

Words used to refer to people who are members of the same family. All languages have kinship terms. But not in all languages some words are referred to the same concepts. For example the word "father" in English refers to the male parent, however in other languages this word also refers to the brother's parent.

Time Concepts

In western cultures we think of time in relation to "clock time" (two days, one week etc). However in other languages and cultures that system of concepts does not exist.


The structure of our language seems to have influence on how we perceive the world.
Linguistic determinism is a term which refers to that "language determines thought". Psychological and cognitive effect of the mother tongue on cultural variation. Two speakers of very different languages would conceptualize in a somewhat different way the same Phenomena, by cognitive effects associated with the vocabulary and grammatical particularities of their languages.

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Sapir-Whorf said that "we analyze the nature according to our structures of our native language". An example of this is the differences of how the Hopi people and the European-speaking people perceive the world.


Our language reflects our concerns. We inherit a language used to report knowledge. So language influences the organization of our knowledge in some way. We also inherit the ability to manipulate and be creative with the language in order to express our perceptions. The human manipulate the language.

Cognitive Categories

Hopi speakers inherit a language system in which clouds have animate as a feature may tell us something about a traditional belief system or way of thinking. Another example is the Yagua language, in Yagua entities such as moon, rocks and pineapples are considered animate, as people. Their concepts are closer to meanings like "having special importance in life" rather than" concepts having life.


We know about classification of words in languages like Yagua because of grammatical markers called classifiers that indicate a type of noun involved. Examples: Swahili, Dyirbal, English.

Social Categories

Categories of social organization we can use to say how we are connected or related to others. Uncle and brother is used to call a large number of people.

Address Terms

Brother can you spare a dollar? "Brother" is used as an address term, in this request there is a clear closeness in relationship associated with a family member, speaker's attempt is to create solidarity.
Sir: would mean a unequal relationship of power (difference in social status). Unequal relationship would require terms like "doctor" and use of last name (Professor Buckingham)
Lower status: use of the nicknames or first names among speakers
Closeness: Tu (close), Vous (distant) in French.
Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms. Women's adress terms include information about their marital status.


It is a distinction in sex between the male and the female. Grammatical gender is the distinction between masculine and feminine, which is used to classify nouns in languages such as Spanish. A third use is for social gender, which is a distinction we make when we use the terms "man" and "woman" to classify individuals in terms of their roles in society.

Gendered Words

In some languages such as Sidamo in Ethiopia there are certain words which are only used by man, "ado" (milk) and by women "gurda". In Japanese, male and female speakers use different words (personal pronoun "I") to refer themselves. Men use "boku" and women use "watashi or atashi".
There is and always was a tendency to use male word reference as the normal means of use; for example, "each student has his own right to take an exam"
Lower-prestige forms: men are more likely to use lower-prestige forms such as "I seen/I saw it" and women are more likely to use higher-prestige forms. This is because women are more aware of social status and they tend to be more aware of how people may judge them. Men prefer non-standard or associated with working-class speech.

Gendered Speech

Among women speaking American English there is also generally more use of pitch movement, more rising and falling intonation.
More use of rising intonation at the end of the statement, more frequent use of hedges, tag questions and indirect speech acts.
Men tend to use more assertive forms and strong language, direct speech acts.

Gendered Interaction

Many features that identify women's speech facilitate the exchange of turns, allowing others to speak. Interaction among men seems to be organized in a hierarchical way, with the right to speak. Men generally take longer turns at speaking and in many social contexts may be the only ones allowed to talk.
Same-gender interaction: there is little difference in the number of times speakers interrupt to each other. Women produce more back-channels as indicators of listening and paying attention. Men produce fewer back channels.
Cross-gender interaction: men are more likely to interrupt women (96%)

domingo, 29 de octubre de 2017

Labour behind the Label. MAKE UP WRITING MATERIAL

Ethical Shopping

I do not really consider myself an ethical shopper, because here in my country there is not much information or awareness campaigns about ethical purchases of different products.
You could only watch and hear some viral videos on web platforms such as "YouTube" and "Facebook" about the edible products that we buy, which are of animal origin, and the terrible conditions in which the animals are subjected before dying and being processed for end up being products in supermarkets.

I find being an ethical shopper of garments much more difficult, since in countries like mine the information about the origin of the factory and the like is very difficult to obtain and very few people are informed or do not know how to ask for this information from companies and clothing brands.

Labour Behind the Label

I always knew that there were organizations, such as Labor Behind the Label, but I didn’t know about the organizations activity and projects.
Organizations, as Make Fair Trade, became known since artists such as Chris Martin of Coldplay who supported and divulgued the activities and projects of this organization.

This video called "Change Your Shoes" by Labor Behind the Label, seems to me the most effective due to the rawness and realism of the scenes. In addition, it has a clear and easy-to-understand message about the situation of many of the garment workers in the Asian continent. It also reflects and shows the ethics of the shopper at the time of buying. It is a campaign with a complete and very informative message.

I would like to share a spot of the MTV channel campaign, corresponding to the MTV Exit foundation, whose objective is to raise awareness and increase the prevention of human trafficking and modern slavery. I remember seeing this spot on MTV Latin America in Argentina six years ago.
In this spot, the alternative rock band Radiohead contributes its song "All I Need".

sábado, 23 de septiembre de 2017

Entry 9: Thesis Statements


Definition: it is the single, specific claim that your essay supports.
A good thesis statement is: not simply an observation, a question or a promise. It includes a topic, a precise opinion and reasoning.

Parts of a Thesis Statement
1-    The subject: basically, the topic of the essay
2-    The precise opinion: your opinion on the topic
3-    The blueprint of reasons: where you show your readers how you plan to argue and prove your opinion.

The blueprint is only effective if:
-         I explain what I mean about each blueprint point in the body paragraphs
-         I provide detailed examples for each blueprint point.

When you are composing thesis statements, you need to know the following:

-         The topic (what your paper will deal with)
-         Your claim (what you think about the topic)
-         Reasons that support your claim (three points that will persuade your readers to believe what you’ve just claimed about the topic)


Entry 8: Literary Essay

Essay on Sexual Minorities in Music Scene of 70's and 80's from ALEX CARSON



It is focused and it is not broad. I narrowed my argument and made it specific to the "music as was the artistic form of LGBTQ minority that served as a shelter for gay minority. I focused on homosexual groups and not any other group; and music as form of art, not any other type of art. etc.

Modified Thesis: 

     "Music in the 70's and 80's was the artistic form of the homosexual minority to manifest sexual identification, acceptance, freedom, same love relationship abd strggle"


TOPIC SENTENCE: The topic sentence summarizes the topic that will be discussed and supported in the paragrap; in this case, "gay music anthems as support for gay minorities"

TYPE OF PARAGRAPH: Paragraph by examples

Linkers of addition: Besides, in addition,

Anaphoric References: nouns, whose, it.
Exophoric References: Gloria Gaynor, Village People, The Weather Girls, Diana Ross, AIDS.

Topic and Comment: the type of topical progression is hypertopic.

HYPONYM: Song, lyrics, Anthem
SYNONYMS: Song and Anthem


TOPIC SENTENCE: The topic sentence presents the topic of the paragraph which is "homosexual expression in rock scene"

TYPE OF PARAGRAPH: Paragraph by examples

LINKERS: Additionally

Anaphoric Refernnces: his, both, nouns, which
Exophoric References: Elon John, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Sting, Holly Woodlawn, Joe D'allessandro.

viernes, 8 de septiembre de 2017

Entry 6: Well Written Paragraph

Well Written Paragraph: Parts of a Paragraph - English Academic Writing Introduction

  • ·         First off start with a topic sentence, this topic sentence must be related to the main subject.
  • ·         A good formula to write a good essay is to write about an interesting topic and give your opinion about it.
  • ·         The topic sentence should not be overly detailed.
  • ·         The body of the essay will contain the supporting details and the supporting arguments for the topic sentence.
  • ·         The arguments or details can be ordered either by order of importance or chronologically.
  • ·         The closing sentence has two functions:
a)- Reminding the audience of the essay topic and
          b)- Giving audience extra information about the topic

2)- Topic setences and paragraphs:

a)- (TS) There are two broad theories concerning what triggers a human's inevitable decline to death.

The first is the wear-and-tear hypothesis that suggests the body eventually succumbs to the environmental insults of life. The second is the notion that we have an internal clock which is genetically programmed to run down. Supporters of the wear-and-tear theory maintain that the very practice of breathing causes us to age because inhaled oxygen produces toxic by-products. Advocates of the internal clock theory believe that individual cells are told to stop dividing and thus eventually to die by, for example, hormones produced by the brain or by their own genes. (from Debra Blank, "The Eternal Quest" [edited]).

b)- (TS) Many Politicians deplore the passing of the old family-sized farm, but I am not so sure.

I saw around Velva a release from what was like slavery to the tyrannical soil, release from the ignorance that darkens the soul and from the loneliness that corrodes it. In this generation my Velva friends have rejoined the general American society that their pioneering fathers left behind when they first made the barren trek in the days of the wheat rush. As I sit here in Washington writing this, I can feel their nearness. (from Eric Sevareid, "Velva, North Dakota")

c)- (TS) We commonly look on the discipline of war as vastly more rigid than any discipline necessary in time of peace, but this is an error.

The strictest military discipline imaginable is still looser than that prevailing in the average assembly-line. The soldier, at worst, is still able to exercise the highest conceivable functions of freedom -- that is, he or she is permitted to steal and to kill. No discipline prevailing in peace gives him or her anything remotely resembling this. The soldier is, in war, in the position of a free adult; in peace he or she is almost always in the position of a child. In war all things are excused by success, even violations of discipline. In peace, speaking generally, success is inconceivable except as a function of discipline. (from H.L. Mencken, "Reflections on War" [edited]).

Entry 6: Summary: Beyond the Sentence by Scott Thornbury

Entry 14: Final Reflexion

Not only did portfolio serve as a method of evaluation for teachers, but also served as a folder of summaries and analysis on the different ...