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E303A: English Grammar in Context

2013/2014 TMA (First Semester)

[Prepared by Course Chair: Dr. Ismail Safieh]

Copyright ©2013-2014 Arab Open University


Please return your completed assignment to your tutor to arrive by the end of week 11, December 7th 2013.

This assignment, which is made up of three tasks, relates to your study of E303 Book 1 (Getting Started: Describing the grammar of speech and writing) and the associated readings and activities. It represents 20% of the overall continuous assessment score (or OCAS).

This TMA assesses your skills of grammatical analysis in greater depth and at a fine level of sophistication, and in addition assesses your skills of description and interpretation of texts in the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL).

You are not required to write more than 1,000 words, but you will also need to present some of your findings in the form of tables or diagrams. Please indicate at the end of your essay the number of words you have used.

Before you start this assignment, refer to the general guidance on completing and submitting your assignments section on page 41in the course guide booklet that you have with the E303 package.

In this TMA you will demonstratee that you can analyze, describe and interpret written texts from different registers in relation to their context using the aspects of SFL. You should complete all three tasks.

Important notes:

1. You should write an introduction to the TMA at the very beginning of the page on which you are beginning the TMA. Also, you should write a conclusion to the whole TMA at the end in which you sum up what you have done in the TMA and state your own evaluation and opinion of the TMA.

2. In an appendix attach a photocopy or a printout of the two texts you have used for analysis.

3. Indicate in a very clear manner the source of each text.

• Task 1 (here you don’t have to write anything)

Choose two texts by native writers of English from two different registers (academic prose, news, or fiction) about any subject (the texts don’t have to be on the same topic) taken from any source (newspaper, magazine, academic articles, etc). Each text should be about 200-250 words in length.

• Task 2 (write about 500 words for the discussion and comparison only)

In this task you will analyze the structure of all Noun Phrases (NPs) in the first 200 words in each text. You should identify all NPs in each clause and underline the head noun (HN). Then, analyze and discuss the structure of the NP in terms of the premodifiying and the postmodifying elements. After you finish doing this for each text, you should discuss the results of both texts by comparing them and commenting on the major differences.

Refer to Unit 4 in Book 1(and all the related activities) to do this task properly.

Note: You should write the texts (200 words of each text) on the page you are doing this task.

• Task 3 (write about 500 words for the discussion and comments/comparison only)

In this task you will analyze the structure of all Verb Phrases (VPs) in the first 200 words in each text. You should identify all VPs/VP complexes in each clause and underline the Head verb (main lexical verb)Then, analyze and discuss the structure of each VP in terms of lexial verbs, auxiliary verbs, verb phrase complex, etc. After you finish doing this for each text, you should discuss the results of both texts and comment on the major differernces between the two texts.

Refer to Unit 5 in Book 1(and all the related activities) to do this task properly.

Note: You should rewrite the same 200 words you wrote in Task 2 of each text on the page you are doing this task.

Using the e-library on campus:

Students are requested to visit the e-library on campus and use it to do their TMAs properly. They are also requested to show their tutor that they used the e-library in doing the TMA.

The following are guidelines on plagiarism:

If you submit an assignment that contains work other than yours without acknowledging your sources, you are committing plagiarism. This might occur when:

• Using a sentence or phrase that you have come across

• Copying word-for-word directly from a text

• Paraphrasing the words from the text very closely

• Using text downloaded from the internet

• Borrowing statistics or assembled fact from another person or source

• Copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources

• Copying from the notes or essays of a fellow student

(Slightly adapted from OU document on quoting versus plagiarism)

It is important to remember that plagiarism is strictly barred and would be subject to punitive action by the Arab Open University.

Learning Outcomes of the TMA

To be successful in doing your TMA, you are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of :

1. the three aspects of functional grammar framework, especially tenor and mode and their relations in written English prose texts;

2. the resources of the noun phrase and nominalization;

3. the resources of theme and how the organization of a text is influenced in particular by its purpose and mode;

4. how interpersonal meanings of stance, personalization and attitude are construed in grammar and lexis;

5. the major characteristics of English grammar, and how the language may be described and analysed, using appropriate linguistic terminology (based broadly on a functional grammatical model);
6. the relevance of grammar to a range of real-life contexts;

and to have descriptive, analytical, cognitive, interpretation and communication skills to:

1. analyse and describe major grammatical structures in English, using appropriate terminology;

2. describe how a text draws on the resources of the noun phrase and nominalization to package information and how these resources may differ according to the context of text, particulary its mode;

3. describe the ways in which different types of theme are used to structure clauses and how choices in theme also relate to the context of the text, particulary its mode;

4. interpret the meanings made by writers who package and stage their texts in different ways;

5. interpret written linguistic data, showing an understanding of how grammatical forms relate to meaning; 6. construct a coherent argument, clearly focussed on the topic under discussion; 7. develop good academic practice in the acknowledgement of source material and presentation of bibliographies; 8. present written work to a high standard; 9. respond to tutor feedback about improving the effectiveness of written communication. 10. work independently, scheduling tasks and managing time effectively; 11. make independent judgements; 12. assess the value of evidence critically (including simple statistical data).

13. construct coherent written arguments, supported by relevant evidence, appropriately referenced.

E303A Generic Marking Criteria

The total mark is 20. It is divided as follows:

14 marks (70%) for content:

Answering the questions asked correctly and doing the required tasks properly

6 marks (30%) for language/form:

Proper academic writing mechanics/conventions, correct grammar/structure, organization, format, quoting/referencing and full documentation of sources, etc.

In all the E303 assignments, and in the examination, your work will be assessed according to the following generic marking criteria, which are based on the learning outcomes described above:

1. The relevance of your answer to the specific question set

2. The extent to which you display knowledge and understanding of the course material

3. The extent to which you demonstrate the skills of linguistic analysis and description

4. The extent to which you demonstrate critical interpretation and evaluation of linguistic evidence

5. The extent to which you construct a persuasive academic argument, well supported by evidence

6. The clarity of your expression and your use of academic conventions

7. The extent to which you demonstrate the skills of independent study (particularly in the case of TMAs)

In deciding upon the grade awarded to your assignment, your tutor will make use of these generic marking criteria in conjunction with the marking grid below. Of course, if you have been awarded, say, a grade within the ‘Pass 4’ band, it does not mean that every comment across the chart relevant to Pass 4 applies to this specific piece of work. The grade awarded is that appropriate to the assignment overall, not a numerical average.

The feedback form (cover page), together with annotations on your script, will supply significant information about your performance. When you get your work back, you should read your tutor’s comments carefully, taking note (for the benefit of future assignments and examination preparation) of what seem to be your strengths and weaknesses. The marking criteria chart should help you with this. You should allow yourself the time to reflect back on your work in the light of the tutor’s comments and to consider whether some of the advice can be applied to the next assignment. There may be comments that you do not understand, or do not agree with. In this event, your tutor will be ready to discuss these with you. The personalised advice you receive is likely to be one of your most valuable learning resources; do use it.

The Marking Grid

The grid below links these seven criteria described above to the specific learning outcomes of the TMA presented above, as well as indicating in broad terms how they relate to each performance bad. The grid is for guidance only and it is evaluated and amended by the course team in the light of student and tutor experience

| |1. Relevance to question |2. Knowledge and |3. Skills of linguistic |4. Critical interpretation and |5. Construction of academic |6. Clear expression and use |7. Skills of independent study |
| |set |understanding of course |analysis and description |evaluation of linguistic |argument |of academic conventions | |
| | |material | |evidence | | | |
|Relationship to |Key Skills |Knowledge and |Cognitive skill |Cognitive skills (b)-(c) |Cognitive skill d |Key skills (d)-(e) |Cognitive skill (e) |
|Learning Outcomes |(a)-(b) |Understanding |(a) |Key skills |Key skills (a)-(c) |Practical/ |Key skills (f)- (g) |
| | |(a)-(c) | |(a)-(b), (h)-(i) |Practical/ |professional e |Practical/ professional (a), (d), (f)|
| | | | |Practical/ |professional (e) | | |
| | | | |professional | | | |
| | | | |(b)-(c) | | | |
|90-100 |Sustained focus on the |Excellent knowledge and |Confident in exercise of |Critical approach to evidence |Well-structured and coherent |Very clear expression; all |High level of motivation; clear |
|Pass 1 |question; evidence of |understanding of course |all relevant linguistic | |argument; consistently well |sources of evidence |evidence of independent engagement |
|A |intellectual engagement |material, effectively |skills | |supported by evidence |appropriately acknowledged |with/application of ideas |
|Excellent |with question |deployed | | | |and referenced | |

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