A correlation between unequal power relations and the way language is used.

E300A: English Language and Literacy (I)

TMA: Semester 1, 2009 2010

TMA 02: 15 points
Cut-off date: end of week 13
[Prepared by Course Chair: Prof. Najib Al-Shehabi]



Commenting on language and power in analyzing discourse, the author of Language and Power, Norman Fairclough, observes that there is a correlation between unequal power relations and the way language is used.

1. Quote and discuss one encounter that displays power in discourse. This should NOT be from your study material. Students can choose either a spoken face-to-face encounter, or an example from the media, which could be written or spoken.
2. Categorize areas of constraints enacted through discourse.
3. Provide examples of language indicators of power in the quoted discourse.


Student notes:

 This TMA is to be written in about 2000 words.
 The main source of study material for this topic is Chapter 3 ( Discourse and power ) of Norman Fairclough s reader: Language and Power (L&P).
 Other chapters of the same source, (L&P), contain relevant material, especially chapters 4, 5 and 6.
  Part Three: Discourse Analysis in the Course Guide (pp. 53-77) also contains very useful remarks.
 Audio-cassette I, Band 5, is also helpful as it provides an informal introduction to discourse analysis.
 Students are welcome to provide examples and perhaps new categorizations extracted from their own cultural/linguistic background. These will be considered as an added asset.


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.