WRITTEN TASKS

Written task 1 Here is a summary of what you will want to look for in each criterion at both SL and HL. A handy print out for assessing student work is also provided. For the actual descriptors, we refer you to the IB Language A: Language and Literature guide. Criterion A – Rationale – 2 marks It is essential that students include a rationale before the actual task. The rationale must be no fewer than 200 words and no longer than 300 words. The rationale should shed light on the thought process behind the task. Furthermore, it should explain how the task aims to meet one or more learning outcomes of the syllabus. Remember: If the word count of the rationale exceeds 300 words, 1 mark will be deducted. Criterion B – Task and content – 8 marks The content of a task should lend itself well to the type of text that one chooses. The task should demonstrate an understanding of the course work and topics studied. Finally, there should be evidence that the student has understood the conventions of writing a particular text type. Criterion C – Organization – 5 marks Each type of text has a different structure. Nevertheless, all types of texts have conventions and organizing principles. Students must organize their tasks effectively and appropriately. There must be a sense of coherence. Criterion D – Language and style – 5 marks The language of the task must be appropriate to the nature of the task. This means that students use an appropriate and effective register and style. Whatever the nature of the task, ideas must be communicated effectively. Written task 2 (HL only) The following criteria apply to the criticial response that HL students write on one of the six prescribed questions. Criterion A – Outline – 2 marks For the critical response, students are asked to write a brief outline of the task that includes the following: The prescribed question to which the task refers The title of the text, or texts, that the student analyzes The part of the course to which the task corresponds (Parts 1-4) Four or more bullet-points that explain the content of the task Criterion B – Response to question – 8 marks To achieve top marks for this criterion, students must explore all of the implications of the prescribed question chosen. The critical response must be focused on and relevant to the prescribed question. Furthermore, the response is supported by well chosen examples from the text(s). Criterion C – Organization and argument – 5 marks The response must be well organized and effectively structured in order to score top marks for this criterion. The response should make a case and develop it thoroughly. Remember: The critical response must be 800 -1,000 words. If this is not the case 2 marks will be deducted for Criterion C. Criterion D – Language and style – 5 marks The response must be written effectively and accurately. Students should use an academic register and strong style.

ARE YOU READY FOR ANOTHER WRITTEN TASK?

READ THIS SOURCE TEXT PLUS THRE FILM THE SOCIAL NETWORK AND GET READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN PIECE OF WRITING!

The Internet

Types of texts and their characteristics

The Language A: Language and Literature guide suggests we study a range of text types. ‘Deconstructing texts’, as we call it, is one way of exploring the structural conventions of various text types. In this section we ask ourselves: “What kinds of features contribute to the text’s structure?

If you are preparing a written task 1, consult these pages to ensure that your text contains many of the defining characteristics BELOW:

Types of texts and their characteristics

POP CULTURE – SON LYRICS – GENDERED MEDIA

“The Man”

 

[Chorus:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Verse 1:]

I believe every lie that I ever told

Paid for every heart that I ever stole

I played my cards and I didn’t fold

Well it ain’t that hard when you got soul (this is my world)

Somewhere I heard that life is a test

I been through the worst but I still give my best

God made my mold different from the rest

Then he broke that mold so I know I’m blessed (this is my world)

 

[Bridge:]

Stand up now and face the sun

Won’t hide my tail or turn and run

It’s time to do what must be done

Be a king when kingdom comes

 

[Hook:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Chorus:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Verse 2:]

I got all the answers to your questions

I’ll be the teacher you can be the lesson

I’ll be the preacher you be the confession

I’ll be the quick relief to all your stressin’ (this is my world)

It’s a thin line between love and hate

Is you really real or is you really fake

I’m a soldier standing on my feet

No surrender and I won’t retreat (this is my world)

 

[Bridge:]

Stand up now and face the sun

Won’t hide my tail or turn and run

It’s time to do what must be done

Be a king when kingdom comes

 

[Hook:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Chorus:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Ad lib:]

I’m the man

Go ahead and tell everybody what I’m saying y’all

I’m the man

Go ahead and tell everybody what I’m saying y’all

 

[Hook 3x:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

[Chorus:]

Well you can tell everybody

Yeah you can tell everybody

Go ahead and tell everybody

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am

I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

 

 

MASS MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE

Music videos are interesting texts to analyze, as they convey messages through moving image, music and text (song lyrics). Music videos are seen by a wide audience of young individuals over the entire word through various online channels (YouTube) an television (MTV).

This lesson invites you to think about what kinds of symbols and images you would include in a music video, based on the lyrics of a popular song by Beyonce, ‘Girls run the world’. Then we will compare your understanding of the text to that of the art director who made the actual music video. Finally, you can read a critical response to this video, as a good example of textual analysis. Through this process, you will gain an understanding of how the language of music videos (i.e. costumes, sound, light and symbols) is used to entertain. This relates to the final learning outcome for Part 1.

 

Critical response
Your understanding of the lyrics may have been very different from the director’s. In the case of the Beyonce video it is quite appropriate to be critical of the portrayal of women. The representation of women seems to show the exact opposite of what the lyrics intend, namely and expression of gender equality. Here you see how Briony Lipton wrote critically about this music video on her blog. Here critical response is a good example of textual analysis. After reading her blog, find another video that you are critical of and try writing a similar piece.

 

READ THE TEXT HERE  Wishful Thinking

 

BLOG ASSIGNMENT

Written task 2 – Briony Liption’s critical response is similar to the kind of essay you could write for a written task 2. You could write a similar essay, focusing on the fourth prescribed question:

“Which social groups are marginalized, excluded or silenced within the text?”
Your answer should discuss the role of Africans, women and men as ‘social groups’ that are marginalized, excluded or silenced within the music video.

 

STEREOTYPES IN MEDIA

TUESDAY 2 JUNE

STEREOTYPES IN MEDIA Images of girls and women in the media are filled with stereotypes about who women are and what their roles should be in society. These stereotypes can be negative, limiting and degrading and impact both how women perceive themselves and how others see them as well. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to critically examine certain media forms and their portrayals of women and girls. Students will consider how media shapes public perception and can perpetuate bias.

Vocabulary: Review the following vocabulary words and make sure students know their meanings.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 5.23.01 AM

PART I WARM UP

1. In the last 24 hours, what different forms of media did you use or interact with?

2. What is media?

Come up with a definition of media as follows: Media is “communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data, or promotional messages are disseminated. Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, billboards, phone and internet.” (BusinessDictionary.com) Based on the definition, you can add other forms of media not included previously.

PART II: STEREOTYPES 1. What is a stereotype? ANSWER: Stereotype is an oversimplified generalization about a person or group of people without regard for individual differences. Even seemingly positive stereotypes that link a person or group to a specific positive trait can have negative consequences.

2. Think of a time when someone made an assumption about them based on an aspect of their identity or perceived identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, physical or mental ability, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religion, economic status or some other characteristic.

3. How was it to talk about a stereotype you experienced? How do stereotypes perpetuate bias and prejudice?  

GENDER STEREOTYPES

1. Did anyone select gender when they were talking about stereotypes? Share stereotypes about women and girls for example.

2. Compare your answer with the map mind below:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 5.31.04 AM 1.

Looking at these words and phrases on the web, what generalizations can you make about the stereotypes of girls and women? 2. Are they mostly positive or negative? How do you feel looking at these words? 3. What are the overall messages that are being conveyed about women and girls?

If we cluster these stereotypes, there are at least three general categories:

  1. Women and girls are weak, emotional, helpless, are not good at fixing things and tend not to be skilled in math and science.
  2. Women and girls are primarily concerned with relationships and, as they grow up, are more focused on romantic/love relationships and their roles as mothers and caregivers, sometimes at the exclusion of other aspirations.
  3. Women and girls must value their physical and sexual attractiveness first above everything else. They have to look flawless and the standards of beauty for women are very different than those for men (i.e. it is acceptable for men to have physical flaws, show signs of aging, be a normal weight or overweight, etc.).
READING ACTIVITY: MEDIA PORTRAYALS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN
  1. Can anyone give me an example of a stereotype of women or girls that is being portrayed in any of the media forms we talked about earlier? Ask for examples from the class.

THURSDAY 4 JUNE

Read the text below:

PRETTY LIES: TV TELLING US WHAT WE NEED COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

  • What is the meaning of the title “Pretty Lies: Telling Us What We Need?”
  • Why was it difficult for Trisha (the author) and her family to figure out what product was being sold?
  • What is the connection between the advertisement and the product, according to Trisha?
  • How do advertisers use certain images to get people to buy products?
  • In the advertisement Trisha describes at the beginning of the essay, what stereotyped portrayals of women were used?

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT 

  1. You will investigate how women and girls are portrayed in various forms of media. You will then report your findings to the class a few days once you have done your research and analysis. Select one category from the list of media. For example:
    • Television or Internet Show: Students will watch one hour-long show or two half-hour shows
    • Movie: Students will watch one full length movie
    • Magazine Advertisement: Students will look at five magazine advertisements
    • Television Commercial: Students will watch five television commercials
    • Web site: Students will look at one website and examine at least three separate pages
    • YouTube videos: Students will watch five short (5 minutes or less) or one longer YouTube video.
  1. Complete the MEDIA CONTENT ANALYSIS WORKSHEET

FRIDAY 5 JUNE

CLASS DISCUSSION  (After completing the homework)

  • What stereotypes about girls and women did you find?
  • What stereotypes about girls and women were dispelled?
  • Were the stereotypes positive overall, negative overall or a combination?
  • Were you surprised by your findings? Why or why not?
  • Do you have any general thoughts or conclusions about how women and girls are portrayed in the media?
  • What do you think is the impact of these messages on individuals (especially girls and women) and society at large?
  • Do you think producers of media have a responsibility to portray women and girls in ways that defy stereotypes? Explain.
  • Go back to the semantic web and the overall categories of stereotypes. Do your findings reflect those stereotypes? Are there additional portrayals?
  • What did you learn by doing this activity?
  • How can people (as the consumers of the media) avoid being manipulated by the media and not internalize the messages being conveyed about girls and women?

You can answer these questions in your blog.

TUESDAY 9 MAY

PART III

Read the following text below:

 

SUMMARY OF THE TEXT: 

In December 2012, a 17-year-old New Jersey high school girl asked all the female students to show up for school without makeup, to feel good enough about themselves and, for one day, not try to look like a models or actresses. Another teenage girl from Maine started a change.org petition for Seventeen Magazine to “give girls images of real girls.” The magazine responded with a promise not to alter the body size or face shape of its models and to be more transparent in what they do to photos.Collaborative work In small groups discuss the last discussion question in more depth by answering the following questions:

  • How can people (as the consumers of the media) avoid being manipulated by the media and not internalize the messages being conveyed about girls and women?
  • What can we do to influence these companies to present a more balanced portrayal of girls and women?
THURSDAY 11 (ON PAPER) AND FRIDAY 12 JUNE (ON BLOGS)
WRITING ACTIVITY: LETTER OF COMPLAINT OR PRAISE
Write a letter of complaint or a letter of praise to the company who created the television show, ad, magazine, website, etc. your worked on previously. It is just as important to affirm when the media gets it right and has a positive portrayal as it is to complain when we don’t like what they did. For example, you may want to write a letter to Lions Gate Entertainment and praise them for making a movie with a strong female lead character in The Hunger Games. In your letters, you should explain what you discovered in your analysis, how you reacted, what negative (or positive) portrayals of girls or women you saw and your suggestions for what the company should do to improve their portrayal of girls and women. In addition, you should find the company information (name, address, CEO, etc.) in order to address the letter correctly. Go through the feedback and revision process to ensure that the letters are well written, comprehensive and thoughtful. Share some of the letters with the whole class and then write the final version in your blogs (500 -600 words) AFTER RECEIVING YOUR TEACHER’S FEEDBACK.

TUESDAY 16 JUNE (CV IS BACK)

STEREOTYPES IN COVER MAGAZINES One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is ‘stereotypes’. For this topic, we look at how various ethnic or gender stereotypes are created in the media. We study the use of language and images in combination with particular roles in film and advertisements. Lessons on this topic explore how racial and gender stereotypes are reinforced in various ads through the use of particular images. Furthermore it is important to study the role of stereotypes in the Language A: Language and Literature course for several reasons. First of all, we need to make sophisticated comments on the audiences that texts target, meaning we must be nuanced and sublte in our analyses. Secondly, several forms of assessment, such as the written task 2, ask us how different readers may interpret the same text differently. Again, this requires a certain level of understanding and political correctness. Here are some guiding questions to help us in our understanding of stereotyps and textual analysis. Guiding questions How are stereotypes created in the media? How do the media reinforce stereotypes? How are the media critical of stereotyping? What do you associate with powerful women? How are these associations based on stereotypes that have been generated by the media. How do the media generate these stereotypes? These are the kinds of questions we aim to answer in this lesson. We will be looking at a specific text type, namely magazine covers, and asking ourselves how the language of magazine covers helps construct the stereotypes that we hold of powerful women. This will allow us to understand how the mass media use language to influence our understanding of power and gender, which ties in to the third learning outcome for Part 2. Let have a quick glance at the following slides taken from Training Workshop in Bahamas. http://www.soencouragement.org/annick/slides/Gender%20Stereotypes%202PDF.pdf Who’s the most powerful woman? Below you see FOUR pictures of women on the covers of magazines. Angela MerkelMichelle Obama Tyra BanksJulia Gillard Gender, power and magazine covers Ask yourself how the language of each magazine cover determines our understanding of gender and power through language. By language, consider the following devices that can be used to construct meaning on magazine covers. Analyze the use of these devices in constructing body language lighting font caricature setting inclusion of symbols facial expressions color dress / clothing layout copy (language of the text) HOW POWER OR WEAKNESS IS CONSTRUCTED? COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING CHART  POWERFUL WOMEN – CHART The stereotype Judging by the language of magazine covers, there seem to be many unfavorable characteristics that we associate with powerful women. ‘Icy’, ‘cold’, ‘distant’, ‘closed’ are a few of the words that may have come up in your analysis of these images. Are these the definitive characteristics of powerful women? If so, how does that put women in a difficult position in life and on the work floor? Here are some questions that you can answer in light of the article below. How true are the stereotypes that Brenna Coleman presents in her blog? After watching the trailers for Disclosure and The Proposal, do you think differently about your first answer? How do the magazine covers add to the stereotype that Brenn Coleman presents? READ THE TEXT HERE Media Portrayal of Women
Brenna Coleman
2010 THE DISCLOSURE TRAILER THE PROPOSAL TRAILER STEREOTYPES IN FILMS DISNEY BLOG ASSIGNMENT Written task 1 – After studying the different ways in which magazines and films reinforce the idea of stereotypes in media, choose a film, a magazine cover or song lyrics, evaluate how it portrays a specific stereotypes, what elements it uses to achieve this purpose and what are the implications for people who read or watch this. Write between 600 – 800 words.

BIAS: Single mothers

Bias can be very subtle, and subtle bias can be more dangerous than overt prejudice. In February 2012, an article appeared in the New York Times on the growing numbers of single-parent families, with a specific focus on one town in Ohio. It was criticized by Slate Magazine for hiding its judgmental bias behind a veneer of liberal thinking.

In this lesson we will explore both the original article from the New York Times and the criticism that followed, looking for examples of bias. We will study how the mass media use language to inform and persuade, which is the third learning outcome for Part 3. In doing so, we will develop an awareness of the potential for ideological influence in the media.

 

SPOT THE BIAS NOW!
A series of de-contextualized quotes has been taken from the New York Times article, titled ‘For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage’ (see below). Paying particular attention to the connotation of words, and implicit messages, reflect on the meaning of these quotes based on your own experience and knowledge. After reflecting on their meaning, read the full article,next to each quote write your comments about possible bias.

 

Single mothers

A. It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal.
B. Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America.
C. Meanwhile, children happen.
D. She described her children as largely unplanned, a byproduct of uncommitted relationships.
E. I want to do things with her, but I end up falling asleep.

 

THE FULL ARTICLE IS HERE For Women Under 30

 

SEE ANSWERS HERE

BIAS: Euphemisms

How are people manipulated through language? Have you ever noticed how politicians can make something sound nicer that it really is? They do this by using euphemism. We don’t tell people that a family member ‘died’. We say they ‘passed away’. Soldiers do not accidentally kill fellow soldiers. Instead we refer to ‘friendly fire’. The world is full of euphemisms like these.

What is the harm in using euphemisms? In this lesson we will explore the role of euphemisms and war, reading an extract from an essay and viewing an interview with a NATO strategist. Euphemisms relate well to the second learning outcome for Part 2, where we become more aware of the potential for political influence of the media.

War of words
The following essay title ‘Words and Behaviour’ by Adolus Huxley describes the effects of using euphemisms during war time. Read the following extract and answer the questions below.

What is Huxley’s main concern?

Why should we care about the language used to describe war?

EXTRACT HERE Words and Behaviour
Aldous Huxley
1930

 

Find the euphemisms
Listen to the following interview with Jamie Shea, NATO spokesman on the Kosovo War in 1999. Notice how he uses the euphemisms listed below. What do these words really refer to? There are more euphemisms than given in this list. Make a longer list as you listen to the interview and answer the discussion questions below.

 

Historical overview about the conflict: Kosovo lies in southern Serbia and has a mixed population of which the majority are ethnic Albanians. Until 1989, the region enjoyed a high degree of autonomy within the former Yugoslavia, when Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic altered the status of the region, removing its autonomy and bringing it under the direct control of Belgrade, the Serbian capital. The Kosovar Albanians strenuously opposed the move.

 

WORD USED                                                               WORD OR MEANING INTENDED
A. through thick and thin
B. throw in the towel
C. in the wake of
D. no-brainer
E collateral damage

 

Check your ANSWERS HERE

 

 

COMPREHENSION: Check for understanding
1. After viewing the interview answer the following questions to check for understanding.
2. Why did Jamie Shea believe that the NATO operation in Kosovo would have been a success?
3. Why was the Kosovo war particularly significant for NATO?
4. Why did NATO believe the public would support the war?
5. How does Shea view the media’s role in wartime?
6. What effect does following international law have on the effectiveness of airstrikes?
7. Were there any other euphemisms you could find?

 

 

WRITTEN TASK – Write a letter from Aldous Huxley to Jamie Shea persuading him to leave his job for ethical reasons. Provide Jamie Shea’s response as if he were writing during the war, or ten years later. Write between 200 and 250 words. If you finish this activity, you earn 2 points for your next evaluation.

 

IMAGE BIAS

CAN IMAGES BE BIASED TOO?

The Matching Game

In this activity, the goal is to match the images with their respective headlines. Images help shape how we read a story and through this activity one can see exactly how much images influence our expectations of the corresponding story. In some instances, the images chosen may reflect the bias of the Journalist and/or news source.

 

http://www.umich.edu/~newsbias/imgbias.html

 

How to detect IMAGE BIAS?

 

deadCivilian

 

This “dead” civilian is pulled from the rubble. Yet only minutes earlier, the same man is seen scrambling over debris at the scene. The “dead” man is even sweating and holding his hat by his side. The New York Times was subsequently forced to issue a “correction”. The photographer then said that the problem was with the caption. The caption should have read that the man was not killed but rather injured and that the injury occurred not during an Israeli attack, but during rescue operations. Yet even that correction seems weak since the man in the picture appears in numerous media pictures without a scratch.

 

ambulance

Another photograph that appears to have been staged was the following of an alleged Israeli attack on a Lebanese ambulance. The picture became the story and was picked up by media outlets around the world. However, after analyzing the photograph, a number of experts have questioned its accuracy. It would be very hard for an Israeli air to ground missile to hit the exact center of the ambulance, where a ventilation hole happens to be, and not cause more internal damage. Yet once the photo was out, people found that accusations that Israel was attacking civilian vehicles were easier to believe.