Recommended Resource (for English Lang A Level): Lexis Podcast

This excellent linguistics podcast started up this year and, at the time of posting, has had 8 episodes. It features four linguistics enthusiasts: Matthew Butler, Lisa Casey, Dan Clayton and Jacky Glancey, discussing language issues in the news and recent research.

Most episodes have included an interview with an academic linguist about a specific topic and their research into it. Helpful show notes are also provided, via the accompanying Twitter feed and Google docs. These show notes provide detailed supplementary reading and links to all texts referred to, to support sixth-formers’ engagement with the podcast (and allow for further, in-class, development or wider reading). All material covered has been highly topical, of interest to switched-on sixth-formers and relevant to A Level topics such as Language Change and Linguistic Diversity.

The most recent episode, a special on Northern English varieties, covered the particular news story in depth that a special kind of dialect levelling is happening in the north of England. The podcasters discussed how this was being presented in the media and interviewed one of the researchers to learn more about the methodology of the study and its finer-grain findings.

The podcast is, as you would expect from this team, well-pitched for A Level students. It is engaging and topical and offers good links with current academic work, which is always harder to achieve via textbooks. It is suitable for the full range of ability in the A Level classroom.


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