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Be as up-to-date as you can on material here.  General “reading around” about language will benefit you hugely in A Level assessments.

See this excellent blog for language news of the week, maintained by a teacher of A Level English Language.

Other useful links are collected here.

Dialect Grammar:

All these were found in over 80% of country by Cheshire & Edwards survey of 1997 (questionnaire in schools):

 

To get the highest grade in this kind of question, you need to be clear about tense and aspect, persons of verbs etc so that you can identify what the non-standard features of the text are (e.g. if someone says “he do go fast”, as they might in Norwich, how would you correctly explain what is being used?)

 

Dialect lexis:

Of course, dialects also include non-standard vocabulary as well as grammatical changes from the standard.  These are likely to be used by a wider range of people within the area, as some people will avoid speaking ‘ungrammatically’ because of prevalent attitudes towards this.  Again, the key thing is to be able to identify what is being said instead of what, and of course if you can label things grammatically while you’re at it (e.g. The concrete noun ‘batch’ for ‘bread roll’ is a feature of Nuneaton speech), you will get more marks.

Dialect Features