The English language is viewed as being shaped by both current political circumstances and by a longer history. Discuss, drawing on material from at least two blocks and from an online journal article of your choice.

Posted: September 8th, 2022

The English language is a key medium through which the themes of politics and history are threaded. You will probably find it useful to identify one or two key areas where the use of the English language is contested or controversial (e.g. education policy, national language policy, migration, colonisation, prescriptivism and ‘correctness’, the choice to write a novel in English or a local language…), and focus on these. You should draw on material from at least two module blocks, including the audio visual material. Relevant audio and video clips depend on the specific regions of the world and which debates you choose to focus on.

Your assignment must demonstrate familiarity with and evidence from the module materials. In addition, you must also draw on an online journal article. This may be a journal article from the OU database; you may use an alternative instead if you think it is appropriate and will provide sound support for your argument. Examples of suitable journals are English Today, World Englishes and English World-Wide, but you are not restricted to these. Your article should illustrate or support your discussion of concepts and ideas from the module materials. You are being assessed in part on your ability to link your chosen article to your study of U214.

There is a wealth of possible material to draw from in the module reading and the audiovisual material, so you should make a careful selection to ensure that you do not range so broadly that your essay lacks the necessary depth. We, therefore, recommend that you invest time in this at the planning stage.

There is no set prescription that you are required to follow in writing your EMA. This will allow you to select, organise and structure material from the module yourself, and to deal with the issues from the module that you personally find the most engaging. Your assignment should, however, include your rationale for the approach you have taken: your reasons for selecting your particular journal article, and an indication of what this brings to your answer; and a list of references (which is not included in the word count).

You should not reuse material that you have drawn from extensively in your TMAs.

We hope that this task will be both enjoyable and worthwhile and that you will find that it gives you the opportunity to consolidate your learning of the module.

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