This essay will talk about two different discussions featuring the same four students in a classroom at school wearing their school uniform. The ‘Pressures’ transcript features the girls impulsively discussing the pressures of being in year eleven and having exams. The ‘Applications for sixth form’ transcript features the girls talking about their applications for sixth form; however, there is a teacher present. People alter the way they speak depending on their audience. For instance, their level of formality and use of slang changes depending on the audience, situation and subject f the conversation.
An informal discussion consists of the usage of slang, abbreviations and fillers whereas a formal discussion contains Standard English. The students are more relaxed in the free and unstructured clip ‘Pressures’ because they are on their own and their relaxation expresses itself with more animated body language. In the early stages of the clip ‘Pressures’, the students speak informally to one another and share their stresses in relation to the upcoming year. Kathy uses informal linguistic and paralinguistic features in order to relate to her friends and veal her worries in an almost comical manner.
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She begins the discussion while playing with her hair and nodding, while she says “proper stressed out to be honest”. Her paralinguistic features suggest that she is making an admission, and reflecting about her situation. Her informal register reflects who she talks to, and the fixed expression “to be honest” relates to her attitude of revealing her feelings. The “proper” is colloquial, but reinforces her stress to her audience. Kathy feels comfortable with her friends and can talk casually even while revealing her nerves bout exams.
Shanty seems to be the main speaker in ‘Pressures’ and the most relaxed about exams. After Kathy reveals her nerves about their Gases, Shanty says in a relaxed tone “What – about Geese’s and stuff’. She uses replacement of words and the speech is very vague and casual which is illustrated by the word “stuff’. Shanty’s formality is very low and no one bothers to correct each others grammar or to use formal vocabulary. Later on, Shanty turns to Katie without saying her name, “No, have you started revising? ” making Katie the center of the conversation.
Using paralinguistic features, she makes it absolutely clear to who she is speaking to by looking directly at her. This could also be an example of digression as Shanty is bored of the previous conversation and directs a new topic at Katie. Throughout the discussion, Shanty starts to become more worried about her Gases which is demonstrated when she says “Oh My God! I can’t believe we actually have our Gases”. This is an example of digression as the girls are talking about their homework and suddenly Shanty steers away from the topic and mentions Gases again.
This illustrates that when there is not a teacher present and the girls are talking amongst themselves they do not have to worry about what they say and they can Just say whatever comes into their mind without debating whether they should which is typical of a casual conversation and is definitely not used in a formal conversation. Although Katie is not the main speaker, she seems to be the most confident; however, she uses false starts for example, anemia, No. No Vive done reading but haven’t – like learned anything.
If you see what I mean”. This demonstrates that Katie feels as if he can speak without thinking because of her audience and therefore she needs to stop and reformulate. Furthermore, Katie also uses a fixed expression “if you see what I mean”. This suggests that again, the conversation is very casual and illustrates that Katie knows that her friends will understand what she is saying by using colloquial language. Lois, on the other hand, does not seem very confident when she speaks and she does not express her opinion often…
In the ‘Applications for sixth form’ clip, the students speak formally as there is a coacher present in the classroom. This suggests that the students feel more uncomfortable and do not speak as they would to each other as this discussion is considered as more of an interview. After the teacher has finished speaking, Kathy politely asks Shanty whether she would like to go first, “Do you want to go first? ” , this shows that the teacher’s presence makes the girl’s level of formality increase excessively. Kathy asks this to avoid overlapping with the teacher’s presence.
Shanty replies to the teacher’s question by saying anemia um I was looking um”. She uses a huge amount of fillers which demonstrates that she is trying very hard to say the right thing, again showing the discomfort. Shanty also uses paralinguistic features such as nodding her head to show that she agrees with something. When speaking, Lois stumbles upon a word as she corrects her pronunciation of the word facilities’, instead of pronouncing the word in a colloquial manner, as she would with her friends. Correcting her own pronunciation also shows that Lois is attempting to make her speech more formal.
Lois is the most timid student in the group of rinds and therefore she uses paralinguistic features such as playing with her hand to distract her from the fact that she is speaking. In addition, Lois states “l Just really didn’t like it”, showing an example of hedging which makes her statement less certain and she does this to avoid rudeness. Furthermore, in the sixth form clip Katie is the main speaker of this discussion. “l could only choose one of the subjects I wanted to do”. Katie makes her voice heard throughout the discussion and tries to give her opinion whenever possible.
She tastes this after Kathy has finished answering the teacher’s question to demonstrate her opinion. Katie also adds her input through back-channeling, she frequently adds to the conversation by saying “yeah”. Kathy also proves to be another main speaker but she does not seem to talk as much as Katie does, however, Kathy elaborates when she speaks. In the early stages of the clip, Kathy is intimidated due to the fact of the teacher’s presence. Throughout the clip, as she expresses her opinion she begins to use more paralinguistic features such as using her hands which stresses her point. Form clip has a teacher present.