Part 2: Language and Mass Media Outcomes
Below are the three learning outcomes that one should aim to meet while studying Part 2 of the English A: Language and Literature course. The learning outcomes in bold are taken from the IB guide for Language A: Language and Literature.
- Examine different forms of communication within the media.
A constant question we should ask in Part 2 is: 'What is the relationship between form and content?' This relates to the famous Marshal McLuhan quote, "The medium is the message," which suggests that form influences content and is often more important that content. This learning outcome encourages us to explore even more types of texts. One common and successful way of exploring the differences between texts is to present a great variety of newspapers published on the same day, looking at how one story may be portrayed in multiple ways. Furthermore, we could be having discussion about how the Internet is changing the conventions of text types.
- Show an awareness of the potential for educational, political or ideological influence of the media
In Part 2 we can examine journalism, satire and media institutions. The media are powerful in that they poses the means to shape public opinion. The question that should be asked here is: "How are the media trying to persuade and shape the public opinion or a culture?"
- Show the way mass media use language to inform, persuade or entertain.
Part 2 requires that we look at the language of persuasion, including rhetorical devices, political campaigning and propaganda techniques. You will want to examine famous speeches, persuasive ads and political cartoons. Satire, spoofs, parody and pastiche also try to influence readers towards a particular ideological position. We should ask ourselves what constitutes fair and balanced reporting. As a result we will become good at identifying sensationalism, bias and vague language. Finally, popular culture and entertainment should not be ignored. "How do popular TV shows, violent movies or social networking sites reflect cultural values?" Such a question should be answered by referring to specific texts and examples from the media.