Category Archives: Education

What has gone wrong with education especially in the UK and how to fix it.

Unit 4. lesson 1. research methods. Ethics.


designing ethical research

thesis life cycle.

phases. planning. write proposal. ethic approval. data collection, data analysis. writing up phrase.

iterative process.

think about that ethics permeates every step.

get out and collect data.

realise that ethics is throughout the thesis. it pervades it

do not ignore things or over egg

research related to education is seldom given to all encompassing solutions#

vital for democracy.

moral duty.

researchers have a moral duty to protect people. protect participants. keep them from harm, distress or abuse of power

emotional, implicit or social distress. physical distress.


resaeach offers benefits to society.

there are stakeholders.

reasonable t expect that people behave in a socially responsible wat by taking part.

they have right to privacy, protection from harm.

researchers have to respect and protect their participants.

ethical dilemmas. right to privacy, anonymity and

sensitive info

personal date could identify participants. this must not be leaked

must not be tied back to person – data

if given permission to observe a serting – if anything happens outside remit of the reaech that it nevr leave the seting

when disseminating the info – when writing up do do not identiy people

names and addresses must be kept sepate from data









Zenit is a football club based in St Petersburg. Zenit is the most distinguished team in St Petersburg.

This club was founded in 1914 or 1925. Several teams banded together to form Zenit.

The colours are dark blue, white and sky blue. They usually play in dark blue. But the away strip is sky blue with white facings.

The team has the nickname the anti aircraft defenders. Krestovsky Stadium is the home ground. The club is owned by Gazprombank. The stadium can seat 56 000 spectators.

The chairman is Sergey Fursenko.

An Italian named Mancini is the manager.

This team plays in the Russian Premier League. Zenit came third last season.

The team has had players from Russia, the Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Portugal and Romania and Finland.



QUESTIONS. Write in full sentences. There is one mark per question unless otherwise stated.

  1. What are the two possible foundation dates for this team? Two marks.
  2. What does FC mean?
  3. Who is the manger?
  4. Who is the chairman?
  5. What are the home colours?
  6. What are the away colours?
  7. What is the stadium called?
  8.  How many people can enter the stadium?
  9. Which city is Zenit in?
  10. What is the nickname of the club?
  11.  State your opinion of this club? Five marks.







This is a country in South America. It is the largest country in South America.

Brazil is named because of a king in an Ancient Greek myth.

Portuguese explorers came to Brazil in the early 16th century. They named the land Brazil. The Portuguese settled the country. That is why the nation is named Brazil.

The people who were residing in Brazil prior to the arrival of the Portuguese were the Amerindians. The Portuguese fought against them and defeated them. The Amerindians were divided into myriad tribes. They had no common language. The Portuguese often intermarried with Amerindians.

The Portuguese sailed to African. African countries went to war against each other. Those who were bested were sometimes enslaved. The Portuguese purchased luckless people as slaves. The poor slaves were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in ghastly conditions.

The black people who were brought to Brazil were forced to work in servitude. They were treated with terrible cruelty. Some children were born of liaisons between whites and black people.

Brazil became independent in 1820. It had an emperor for a while. The monarchy was overthrown. Slavery was outlawed in 1880.

Brazil’s capital was Rio de Janeiro. It is on the coast and most of the population lived by the Atlantic. The name Rio de Janeiro  means ”River of January”. In 1960 it was decided to build a new capital city in the interior. A new capital was planned and built. It was named Brasilia as in similar to the name of the country. Brasilia is in the shape of an aeroplane. It has roads forming a fuselage and wings.

Rio is still the cultural capital. It hosts a splendid carnival every February with days of street parades. A person from this city is called a Carioca. Rio has delightful beaches such as Ipanema, Lapa and Copacabana.

The Flag of Brazil has a green field a yellow square at an angle and a blue disc in the centre. The blue disc has stars on it and the words ”ordem e progresso.” This translates as ”order and progress.”

Brazil has a very ethnically mixed population. There are people who are white, black, Korean, Amerindian, Lebanese and all combinations of these ethnicities. Intermarriage is very common.#

The currency of the country is the real. Pronounced ”haal”.

The land is known for samba music and dancing. The country also has its own martial art. The football team is renowned for its prowess. It has lifted the world cup more times than any other.

#Brazil has marvelous beaches. A lot of people go surfing here.

The national airline is Varig.

Sao Paolo is the largest city.


  1. What is the capital of this land?
  2. What does Rio de Janeiro mean in English?
  3. What are the colours of the national flag? Three marks.
  4. What is the currency?
  5. Name a form of dance from Brazil?
  6. How did the country get its name?
  7. What is the official language?
  8. What ocean is it beside?
  9. When was Brasilia built?
  10. What is the shape of Brasilia?
  11. Who are the original inhabitants of the country?
  12. What is your opinion of this country? Five marks.
  13. What is the name of the airline?
  14. What is the most populous city?


Summer Olympics.



The Modern Olympics began in 1896. The first Olympiad of the Modern Era took place in Athens. The International Olympic Committee chose to stage the games in Greece because Greece was where the games had taken place in Ancient times. Only a handful of countries participated in these first modern Olympics.

In 1900 the Olympic Games were held in St Louis, United States. This co-incided with the World Fair there.

In 1904 the Olympics were held in Stockholm, Sweden. This was the first Olympics in Scandinavia.

In 1908 the Olympics took place in London. The stadium was built in an area of London called Acton. The stadium was white and people started to call the area White City. The stadium has long since been demolished but the name stuck to this district.

In 1912 the Olympics were held in Paris. Paris was then one of the most important cities in the world.

#The 1916 Olympics were scheduled to be held in Berlin. However, in 1914 the First World War broke out. Therefore the games were postponed sine die.

After the First World War, Germany was a pariah state. She was not permitted to participate in international sporting events.

In 1920 Brussels held the Olympics. In 1924 Paris held the Olympic Games. At that time there was no medal award ceremony with people standing on a podium wearing their medals and flags being hosted to the tune of the national anthem.

In 1928 Amsterdam in the Netherlands played host to the Olympics. The Netherlands is very flat and not suitable for down hill skiing. So the Winter Olympics took place in Chamonix, Switzerland. That was the first time the summer  and Winter Olympics did not happen in the same place.

In 1932 Los Angeles held the Games. She was the first city to be the host city twice.

In 1936 Berlin held the Olympics Games. Adolf Hitler opened the Games. The Soviet Union boycotted the Games because of Nazism. Instead the USSR and communists from around the world held a socialist Olympiad in Barcelona. The Spanish Civil War had just begun. But it was still safe to hold such games.

In 1940 the Olympics were supposed to take place in Tokyo, Japan. Owing to the Second World War the Games were cancelled.

In 1948 London held the Olympics. This was surprising. Most mainland European cities had been badly damaged in the Second World War and were incapable of holding the games. London was less scathed than most but she had still been affected by the war. There were bombed out buildings. The Olympics took place in Wembley Stadium. It had been built in 1922 and was the English Football Stadium.

The British team was due to march in. They had forgotten their flag! A British athlete saw a flag in a nearby car. He smashed the window to get the flag. A policeman came over to arrest the athlete. The sportsman explained the situation. As it was in extremis he permitted the athlete to borrow the flag.

The British Olympic Committee decided that the man to carry the torch into the stadium must be blond. The man whom they picked to carry the Olympic torch into the stadium was the president of Cambridge University Athletics Club.

1948 was the first year that women were allowed to run the marathon. Previously it had been held that it was too demanding on the female body.

In 1952 the Games were held in Helsinki. This was not the first Olympics in Scandinavia. Many Asian countries participated for the first time.

In 1956 the Games took place in Melbourne, Australia. This was the first time the Games were held outside a capital city and the first time they were held in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 1960 the Games moved to Rome. Italy had been keen to win the Games under Mussolini.

In 1964 the Games moved to Tokyo. The Japanese were finally hosting the games years after they were originally scheduled to happen there.

In 1968 the Games moved to Mexico City. The traffic was so bad that some Olympians got stuck in traffic jams en route to the stadium. One man had to get out and run to his event. After that an Olympic Village was constructed. Nowadays athletes can walk from their accommodation to the stadium.

In 1972 the Games moved to Munich, Germany.  Palestinians attacked the Israeli section of the Olympic Village. Israeli athletes were killed and some were taken hostage. The German police later shot dead the hostage takers. The games were marred.

In 1976 the Games took place in Montreal, Canada. Some countries had played sport against South Africa. South Africa was banned from international sport because of apartheid. South Africa would not let the majority of its people – black people – represent the country in sport. Many countries demanded that any nation that played sport against South Africa must be forbidden to compete in the Olympics. New Zealand was not banned despite playing rugby against South Africa. Because New Zealand was allowed into the Olympics several African countries refused to take part.

In 1980 Moscow hosted the Games. These were held in Luzhniki Stadium. The USA refused to take part because there were Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Sixty American allies boycotted the Games. The USSR did very well because of this. So did the United Kingdom and Seb Coe won a gold medal.

In 1984 Los Angeles hosted the Games for the third time. The USSR refused to take part because of the anti Soviet attitude of the US Government. Several communist countries refused to send athletes to the USA.

In 1988 Seoul, Korea played host. These were the first games in Asia. They were also the first proper games since 1972 as in every country took part.

In 1992 Barcelona hosted the Games. Freddy Mercury has recorded a special song for the Games before he died.

In 1996 the Games moved to Atlanta, USA. The Games were disorganised. Many people did not arrive in time for the parade of nations.

In 2000 Sydney hosted the Games. These were a success.

In 2004 the Games moved to Athens. Greece built a new airport for the games. It broke the economy.

In 2008 the Games were held in Beijing. This caused many protests around the world. The government stopped a lot of traffic and factories to improve air quality. There was a bird’s nest stadium.

In 2012 London hosted the Games for the third time. This was a resounding triumph but very costly.

in 2016 the Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro. The games went well but the stadium was finished only just in time.

Istanbul has been rejected to host the games five times.

The International Olympic Committee decides which cities will play host.  These decisions are made at least seven years ahead of the Games. The IOC has a flag which has a white field and five rings – yellow, green, red, black and blue. Every country in the world has at least one of those colours on its flag.

The 2020 Games will be in Tokyo again. The 2024 Games will be in Paris. That is 100 years after Paris last held them. The 2028 Games will be in Los Angeles again.



  1. In which year was the first modern Olympiad held?
  2. Why was Greece chosen to host the first modern Olympics?
  3. Which country held the second summer Olympics?
  4. Which city has been rejected to host the summer Olympics five times?
  5. How many times had Australia hosted the Summer Olympics?
  6. Why did Amsterdam not host the Winter Olympics?
  7. In which year was the Winter Olympics first held in a separate place from the Summer Olympics?
  8. Which Canadian city hosted the Summer Olympics?
  9. Which Brazilian city held the Olympics?
  10. Why is there an Olympic village?
  11. Where will the next Olympics be?
  12. Name the colours of the Olympic Flag. Six marks.
  13. When will Paris next host the Olympics?#
  14. What happened about the British Flag in 1948?
  15. What happened to Israeli Olympians in 1972? Two marks.
  16. Why did some countries boycott the Montreal Olympics?
  17. Why did the USA not go to Moscow?
  18. Why did the USSR not go to Los Angeles?
  19. Where was there a socialist Olympiad in 1936?
  20. What is your opinion of the Summer Olympics? Five marks.




Zimbabwe is an African country. Zimbabwe is south of the Equator. Therefore the country is well within the Southern Hemisphere. The climate is hot but winter nights can be cool. It is very sunny. The lack of cloud cover means that the temperature drops dramatically at night. It never snows though.

Harare is the capital city of Zimbabwe. The second city is Bulawayo. The Republic of Zimbabwe used to be a British colony. That is why English is the official language.

The people of Zimbabwe are black. The two major tribes are the Shona and the Ndebele. The Ndebele dominated the Shona in the 19th century despite the Shona being more numerous. In 1890 Britishers arrived. They said they came to save the Shona from their oppressors. A British businessman and politician called Cecil Rhodes set up the country. It was named Rhodesia at that time. A small number of British immigrants ruled the land for decades. They discriminated against the black majority.

The British Government eventually pressure the whites in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) to share power with the black people. Most white Zimbabweans refused to do so.

In the 1960s the white minority in Zimbabwe (the called Rhodesia) declared independence. They tried to control the country. Many black people rebelled against them. Finally in 1979 the white minority was compelled to hand over control to the indigenous people.

Zimbabwe is a republic. The president is Robert Mugabe. The president faces election every four years. He can be re-elected an unlimited number of terms.

Zimbabwe borders South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. The Rover Limpopo divides Zimbabwe from South Africa. The bridge over this river between the two nations is Beit Bridge. It is so named because of the businessman who paid for it.

The colours of the Zimbabwean flag are green, yellow, black and red. These are the colours of African nationalism. There is also an eagle and a star on the flag.T

The population of Zimbabwe is 16 000 000. The population is growing slightly. Life expectancy is almost 60.

Zimbabwe is blessed with savannah and fertile farmland. It grows maize, tobacco and other crops. The country has some


  1. Is Zimbabwe a republic?
  2. Who is the president?#
  3. What are the colours of the flag? Four marks.
  4. Which continent is this country in?
  5. Which river separates it from South Africa?
  6. What is the capital city?
  7. What is the name of the second city?
  8. What is the official language?
  9. Who is the president?
  10. Describe the climate.

The United Kingdom



The United Kingdom is a country in Europe. The UK consist of Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Within Great Britain there is England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is sometimes said to be four countries rather than one. The land area of the UK is 240 000 square kilometres. For many people England is almost synonymous with the UK.  This is because England has 83 per cent of the population. England has 50 per cent of the land.

The  UK has 65 000 000 people. This is the largest population in Europe after Germany.

The Flag of the United Kingdom is red white and blue. It has a red saltire on a white saltire on a blue field. There is a red horizontal cross as well on a white field. The flag is called the Union Flag. It is sometimes erroneously called the Union Jack.

The capital of the UK is London. London is the mightiest city in the world although it has only 8 000 000 inhabitants.

The official language of the United Kingdom is English. However, there are regional languages. There is Irish and Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland. There is Scots Gaelic in Scotland and there is Welsh in Wales.

85 per cent of people are white. Some of the whites are ethnically Polish, French and Spanish etc… There are visible ethnic minority people who are black, South Asian and Oriental.


The United Kingdom is a monarchy. Her Majesty the Queen is the current monarch. Her Britannic Majesty is 91 years old. Her heir apparent is her eldest offspring Prince Charles. Prince Charles has the title Prince of Wales.

The national anthem of this land is God Save the Queen. Its tune has been adapted for many other lyrics.

The UK is governed by a Prime Minister. The current holder of this office is Teresa May. She is the second woman to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Mrs May is a Conservative. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party that commands the confidence of the House of Commons. There is also a House of Lords. The Commons is elected and the Lords is not. Together the two houses make up Parliament.

There is not state religion in the UK but there is in England. Christianity is the official religion of the United Kingdom. The church as by law established is the Church of England. The Church of England is a reformed church. Its adherents are called Anglicans and their form of Christianity is Anglicanism. In Scotland there is the Church of Scotland. This is a Protestant church with a Presbyterian form of governance.

#In the UK people drive on the left. The prefix for phone is +44.

The UK use a strange amalgam of metric and imperial measurements.



  1. What does UK stand for?
  2. What are the colours of the Union Flag?
  3. What is the Union Flag sometimes incorrectly called?
  4. What is the national anthem of this country?
  5. What is this population of this kingdom?
  6. What s the land mass of the UK?
  7. What is the established church in England called?
  8. Name an ethnic group besides the white British.
  9. What is the queen’s name?
  10. Who will be the next monarch.
  11. What is the name of the Prime Minister?
  12. What is May’s party?
  13.  How many house are there in Parliament?
  14. Is may the first female to be Prime Minister?
  15. What is the capital of this realm?
  16. Name the three countries of the UK excepting England. Three marks.
  17. What is the major faith of this nation?
  18. What is Prince Charles title?
  19. Name three language of this country besides England. Three marks.
  20. How is the Prime Minister selected? Three marks.
  21. State your opinion of this nation. Five marks.

Mini project task


reflect on theory in this module.

research it – main theories and approaches.

apply one or more theories by applying a small scale empirical study.

reflect on the theory of the approach for the analysis of data.

3 000 to 4 000 words

By December.

15 per cent description of theories

15 per cent identification of key studies.

30 per cent application of concepts to the study

20 per cent evaluation of framework .> theories and concepts > to study




Giddens defined class as, ”the structured inequality between groups. ” Professor  Joan O’Sullivan stated in Unit 3 lesson 1 that class is definitely related to language variation. Labov stated that social stratification can be determined through self-definition. One of the speakers I have listened to for this study defined himself as middle class – Christopher Hitchens. Meyerhoff noted that the status of a class can be determined by the frequency with which a variant is used. Haute bourgeois speakers as we shall see use the prestige cariant more often.

I have chosen to investigate the non-rhotic nature of Received Pronunciation. RP is the accent most closely associated with the British upper class. Received Pronunciation is know by various other names. These include the Home Counties accent, a public school accent, the Queen’s English, Oxford English, Standard British English, Southern British English and so forth. It is called Received Pronunciation because the word received was understood to mean ”correct” in the 1920s in the same manner as the expression ”received wisdom.”

The term Home Counties derives from the fact that this accent is more commonly found in the Home Counties. These are the counties immediately adjacent to London. These are Berkshire, Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Buckinghamshire. Likewise this accent ifs often heard in London. In fact this accent is estimated to have been used by only 3 per cent of the populace of the United Kingdom in the 1970s. In London and the Home Counties it was more common than that. However, even there it was a minority accent. Most Londoners and most people in the counties immediately around London most people spoke with a Cockney accent.

The term ”the Queen’s English” derives from this being the accent of Her Britannic Majesty. When there was a king in the United Kingdom the accent was of course called ”the King’s English.” Those who spent time at the royal court picked up this accent and the lexis that accompanies it. There were certain grammatical features such as snob plurals saying ”two lion” rather than ”two lions.”

This accent was sometimes called Southern British English since it was more commonly spoken in southern England particularly south-east England.

This accent is sometimes called Standard British English because it is the prestige version. It is most widely understood in the UK an abroad. Some people have difficulty comprehending pronounced regional accents. Americans sometimes struggle with certain British regional accents such as Geordie. However, they often say that they have no trouble understanding Standard British English. It is heard in broadcasting, the law, academic and being spoken by army officers. It was the voice of authority. That authority has diminished over the decades. On television in the United Kingdom it has been acceptable for newsreaders and the like to speak with mild regional accents.

Oxford English is a term used for RP because it was the accent that most Oxford University undergraduates had until a few decades ago. Oxford is a metonym for higher education in the UK and the university is more famous than the city in which it lies. Most Oxford undergraduates until the 1960s came from upper class or upper middle classes homes. Wherever they originated they tended to speak in RP. Oxford was closely associated with the notion of proper English since the Oxford English Dictionary was and is one of the most authoritative books on definition and pronunciation.

Public school accent is another term for RP. This is because people who attended public schools usually spoke this way. A public school is in fact a private school. It is called public because it is open to the public if they can pay. It is public in that it is a charity and not run for private profit.

This accent was sometimes called the BBC accent. That is because when the British Broadcasting Corporation was found in 1922 all its announcers and newsreaders were required to speak in RP. This helped to cement RP as the most exalted accent and to ensure that it was more widely understood than ever. The BBC relaxed this policy in the 80s and it has been dropped altogether.



A language ideology is a way that a certain language is imbued with a particular cultural signification for a community. These are socially constructed for the most part. This is according to Cameron’s work in 2003. These are germane to the chosen variant.

Bishop and Coupland (2007) would say that one can do some very simple field work by asking people what they think of various accents. The variant I have picked is one that is indubitably associated with a certain social class and not so much a geographical region.  It is a accent which rates highly for status but low for solidarity. This can be seen in the work of Coupland and Bishop.

There is consensus on the stereotypes associated with certain speaking styles. Lambert, Hodgson, Gardner and Fillenbam (1960) did some groundbreaking work on this. They proved that it is variety and not voice that people respond to. This was proved through the matched guise technique. There is no doubt that code choice makes a huge difference to the impression one creates on one’s hearers.



Non-rhotic means not pronouncing the r unless it is word initial. The r in George sounds like a w. The word hard sounds like it has a long a in the middle. Therefore I am listening out for a phonological variant.

What is fascinating about this variant is its anomalous status. It is part of the Standard British accent but not Standard American. A non-rhotic variant seems to be wrong according to almost every other accent in the Anglosphere. How can dropping a certain letter be considered correct?

Description of the data

The data is taken from various RP speakers. The are demonstrating their non-rhotic accent.

Why did I chose this variant?

Because it is a social marker. It determiners that a speaker us using the RP code. This feature has been iconised as being part of the identity of a certain social class. Irvine and Gal in their article of the year 2000 noted that iconisation os part of a language ideology becoming established – it is the first stage. It is a shibboleth. It is iconic of this group of speakers and represents them. It is arbitrary but it is perceived as identifying the group. Bell in 2014 made the same point about a feature distinguishing one group from others.

There is an element of recursion here. This is also showing in Irvine and Gal as a second stage in language ideology being established. Messing did further work on this. The less one used the rhotic sound the more upper class one is. There is also erasure in relation to the non-rhotic accent. A non-rhotic accent is not unique to RP. The Bostonian accent is also non-rhotic. This does not fit with how the British upper class see themselves so the non-uniqueness of the non-rhotic accent is overlooked since it does not suit the langage ideology.

The origin and history of the variant with reference to the literature

This marker has been around since the late eighteenth century. This is when John Walker published his English Pronouncing Dictionary in the 1770s. In it John Walker stated the intention was to enable the newly enriched English middle class to distinguish themselves from the Irish Scots and the working class English.   A craze for elocution lessons started. The bourgeoisie wished to affirm their status and avoid lapsing back into the proletariat.     Prior to that the variant is unclear.

One possibility is that it was an attempt to distance oneself from the French. The British upper class in the Middle Ages had not so distant French origins. Indeed they spoke French into the 14th century. In French the /r/ sound is pronounced very strongly. Therefore by adopting a non rhotic accent people were clearly differentiating themselves from their Gallic cousins.

As Giles and others wrote there may be upward divergence. That is when people – particularly the middle class – seek to differentiate themselves from others. Therefore they start to speak differently. They wish to assert that they are a cut above the rest. Adopting a non-rhotic accent as a means of announcing social arrival. It was declaratory of embourgeoisment. This is about aspiring to a higher social class as Professor Joan O’Sullivan adumbrated in one of her lectures. This is about doing identity work. These people accentuate their accent. They wish to distinguish themselves from their working class interlocutors. This reinforced their identity.

This was an example of accommodation. Giles and Fraser found in 1979 that accommodation was usually used to gain approval but it can be for other purposes such as to intimidate. The adoption of a non-rhotic accent was a way for the rising middle class to try to gain acceptance from the gentry.

Similarity attraction theory indicates why people accommodate to certain accents. People are attracted to those who are similar to them in attitude and accent.

Social exchange process can also explain convergence. The reward of accommodating to the speaker is less than the cost so people do it.

This style has fixed boundaries. This was a case of enregisterment as Coupland would call it. Aseed Agha invented the term enregisterment. This speech style has a social meaning and is recognised in the cultural context.  As Coupland said about enregisterment it ”gives speech style the impression of being fixed and known social objects.”

Style ranges from casual to careful as Labov said. The non-rhotic variant can be found in both but it depends on whether it is natural for some people. Some force themselves to use it and only do so in a careful style.

What does the variant mark? Is it a class marker? Is it a gender marker? A regional marker or an age marker?

This is a class marker. It is more popular in southern England but it is found all over the United Kingdom among the upper class. The upper class are more heavily concentrated in London and the Home Counties. This variant is disliked in some parts of the UK such as Tyneside and Glasgow. It is regarded as conceited and false. To some degree it was a marker associated with the white British. However, as non-white Britons are assimilated and undergo embourgeoisement they too start to speak in RP. It is not an ethnic marker. Ethnicity was defined by Bell as ” a group sharing socio-cultural characteristics    ”.

It is not really a gender marker. However, it is probably more common among women. This is because women tend to use prestige variants more often than males as was noted by Labov in 2001. Meyerhoff wrote in 2011 that women make a greater effort to do this because they are usually more sensitive to language. Trudgill noted that in Occidental society men are judged by their occupation and women more by appearance and speech. Eckhart claimed that women use symbolic resources more than men do in order to signal belonging to a group or indeed opposition to a group.

Is it a stable marker or an indicator?

It is a stable marker. It has been around for over a century and show little sign of being about to disappear. It was spread through the BBC and imperialism. There was language shift when this variant became more commonplace through the twentieth century. As Professor Joan O’Sullivan observed in Unit 1 Lesson 1 language shift can occur due to economic reasons. People started to adopt a non-rhotic accent since it improved their job prospects.

There was a slight shift away from the variant about ten years ago but people have shifted back to it. This is called down shifting where people turn their backs on a prestige variant and adopt the variant common in a vernacular accent. Those who turned away from it are now in their 30s. This is like Eckhart’s model of stages of language variation.

Does it have overt or covert prestige?

It has overt prestige because RP is the prestige accent as would be defined as Meyerhoff. It has connotation of being the code of the state bearing people. Some consider a rhotic accent in the UK to have covert prestige. Some RP speakers have downshifted and adopted a Mockney or Jafaican accent. This is downward convergence towards a non-Standard accent may also be due to demographic factors. More Afro-Caribbean immigration to the United Kingdom brought influences form the Antilles to bear. People from upper middle class households were felt to be effete. Using a rhotic accent gave them street cred.

The status of this prestige is non-Standard. This is unusual in that the over prestige variant is non-Standard. Most Anglophones speak with a  rhotic accent.

Are there any indexical values associated with this marker?

Does it contribute to the enregisterment of this variety?

Yes, it does.  This style has an indexical value. The social characteristics are part of the speaker’s identity. A speech feature points to a cluster of social attributes. RP hints at being educated. Individual speech features are not socially meaningful in their own right as Coupland noted. You will notice this later when you hear David Crystal. He illustrates this. It is similar to Coupland’s study of travel agents in Cardiff. It was meaningful in this case when David Crystal was motivated to shift his style wen speaking to the students about a certain topic and downshifting to his normal accent later.

Support your example with transcriptions of speech.

Examples of RP can be found below. There may be an element of audience design in the way these people speak. As Alan Bell said the speakers may be speaking in a way they think they audience will like. They are conscious of the status of the audience the speakers’ style is responsive. Bell found this in relation to New Zealand radio broadcasts in 1984.

Christopher Hitchens is speaking to an audience in the United States of America. This might alter his pronunciation. He might be over egging his accent as it plays well in the United States.

Christopher Hitchens begins by saying –

”Thank you for that fantastically generous introduction, Can I first ask all those who are volunteers to start moving and block all the exits please. Um You know who you are. There are stewards and marshalls waiting for you.  Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends   you probably thought that you had already paid to come here. I know I have not drawn the most popular straw in being the one    between you and Noam and the question and answer session but the fact is we at covert action quarterly are quite old hands and we are not allowed to get a captive audience get away that lightly. Um we would like you to make a pledge ,if you can, and we will be passing buckets and baskets around for you to put in money or cheques or I owe yous or any other kind of paper currency. I don’t know for example. If I can just start the ball rolling here.  How many people would pit their hands up and admit they pay for the home delivery of the Washington Post? That is quite a lot. I do it too.  I reckon what? 250 doll for that a year to have a great wodge of consensus dumped on your doorstep. …”



Notice how the letter ‘R’ is not pronounced by him when it is usually word by him unless it is word initial or preceded by a consonant.


David Crystal speaks with a northern English version of RP. This man is delivering a lecture on behalf of the British Council. He may be on display mode. The speech is possibly stylised. Crystal changes styles through the speech. At one time he speaks in a hyper lective style and speaking in his mild northern accent at another stage. There as ingroup referee design at one stage. He was ‘talking posh’ when he intensified his usual speech pattern when he was speaking about the 18th century attempt to acquire an upper class accent. That was the linguistic code and identity was granted greater prestige. This was away from the speech style of his audience who are not native Anglophones. The man himself is a native speaker of English.

Cystal is proving Coupland’s point that style is a verb not a noun.  The man is styling himself through his manner of speech. Crystal drew on his understanding of social difference ti make social meaning and explore identity. He was fulfilling his agentive role. His style changed according to the situation.


Here is a transcription of some of his words.

” Yes absolutely and class. Class? Class. Class. Yes absolutely. It is implicit in a lot of what we said and when you actually ask   ‘ Why was it that RP developed in the first place?’ It is entirely a matter of a class accent that evolved quite consciously remember….    ”




Below two young women in London speak in RP. They are being filmed but it seems that they are not feeling self-conscious as they are relaxing at a café – drinking and smoking. The observer paradox does not seem to be severe here.  They are in Chelsea which is one of the most upper class areas of London. Therefore to speak RP there would not be at all unusual. It might be that they are using such variants to fit in with those around them. I have only transcribed the first person to speak.

Here is a transcription of the first minute.

” No. Ok    and then takes the other side. That’s what they do. That’ s what they do. Tell me  you get this . Did I not explain it? It is so clear. This is the defender. Well that’s what they do but obviously they have to    move a bit they can’t always . Just try, just try. Do you want me to go through it again?    I know it is so thrilling for you. It is so thrilling. The last defender is here. His teammates are like these two and they are all at the back. Here is the last defender ….     ”