Yr 11 Lit/Lang home learning – due Friday 1 March

Can you think of any times when you have had to change the way you speak to fit the context (situation)? (Think about social and more formal contexts you have been in.)

You should write your answer in approx. 200 words in the comments box below. The deadline for this task is Friday 1 March.

Mr Legowski



25 thoughts on “Yr 11 Lit/Lang home learning – due Friday 1 March

  1. Rebekah

    The last time I had to change the way I speak was when I had to do a mock job interview for careers day back in December. When being interviewed I had to make sure to fully complete my sentences and to avoid using any fillers such as ‘yeah’ or ‘um’. I also had to use more complex language and had to address the interviewer in a more formal way; in contrast when speaking to my friends prior to the interview I was speaking more informally, using slang and abbreviations of words. I also made sure that I pronounced the words properly and to not drop certain letters (e.g. the ‘t’ in water).
    This is because an interview is a formal setting and I would not be socially appropriate to speak as though I would with my friends and family. I would probably also not get the job.

  2. Alicia

    I can’t remember a time when i have had to change the way i speak except for going to school. I speak differently to all teachers than i do to my friends or family. I usually will speak more formaly to a teacher so that they understand what i am saying whereas i can speak informaly to my friends and family as they know what i am talking about and can understand me when i use abbrieviated words or slang. When i change the way i speak i usually greet teachers differently by saying ‘Hi’ rather than ‘alright’ like i would say to family and friends. This is probably because family and friends are a lot closer to me than teachers so i would feel more comfortable speaking this way and also because my friends and family know me better so they understand that thats the way i speak. Another way i change the way i speak is by pronouncing all of the words when speaking to a teacher rather then dropping certain letters such as ‘T’ in the middle of words such as ‘Water’ or ‘Tutor’. This is probably because i don’t want to come across as someone who is too lazy to pronounce every letter as teachers may think that i will do that in my work aswell.

  3. Lucy

    I would say I have changed the way in which I speak depending on the situations I’ve been in, due to the context. For example, of either being with friends or people I know, to then being with teachers or at a job interview. When I’m with my friends we tend to speak less formally and use a lot of non-standard English, like slang. We also use jokes and sarcasm, which is the complete opposite if I was to be speaking to an employer, as you would have to show them your more serious side, for example not joking around or using sarcasm, and instead being more formal and using standard English. This is because they then think you are responsible, or well educated, etc. Speaking to my parents is another example in which I speak casually with shortened words. Also speaking to a baby, for this you would speak slower, and be more repetitive. I think linking this with stereotyping we tend to speak the way, we would think the other person may speak, for example a chav, or someone posh, so you fit in with them. Lastly I tend to adapt the way I speak if I don’t know the person, as I speak a lot more formal than if I did know them.

  4. sam p

    I usually have to do it most of the time when I get home because when i get home I will automatically change my accent but also I will go back to saying words that I would use in America just so my dad can understand what I am saying. Then whenever I get back into school I will start to use more English words so that people in England know what I am saying. I would say that I use more slang when I am with my friends probably because I pick it up from my friends, whereas with my teachers I will speak a lot more formal just because that is the way teachers usually speak to their students, and I do the exact same with my parents, I will speak to them more formal. I don’t usually change the way I use sarcasm or jokes when I am around people because I think that’s just my personality to joke around and use sarcasm, so that isn’t effected when I am with different people. I think that its not the context that changes the way I speak, I think its how well you know that person which would effect the way I would speak to them.

  5. Emma

    I change the way I speak quite a lot, as I speak differently at home to how I would if I was with my friends. I use a lot of slang when I am with my friends whereas if I was at my Nans I wouldn’t use slang because my Grandad or Nan would correct me and say it isn’t proper English and it’s rude. They may also say it’s lazy, for example dropping the ‘t’ in ‘water’.

    I also change the way I speak, when I’m speaking to a teacher compared with my friends, as I would speak more formally and say ‘Hello’ to my teacher, whereas to my friends I would speak more informally and say ‘Alright’. This is probably because you should to be more polite to your teachers because you don’t want them to think you are rude or irresponsible just by the way you talk, whereas my friends don’t mind you being not as polite as most of my friends use slang too. Also with your friends you use a lot of jokes and sarcasm which you wouldn’t use with your teachers.

  6. Elouisa

    Some examples of casual contexts I have been involved in, where I feel it is acceptable to speak informally and more spontaneously, are talking to and greeting friends and family members and talking to most people that are the same or a similar age to myself. On the other hand, formal contexts I have been involved in are interviews for jobs and colleges where I have been the interviewee, and talking to people in public places such as shop owners, restaurant waiters, receptionists, etc. Likewise I think it applies that I speak formally to strangers also, as I tend to use manners towards members of the public, but this is in a more spontaneous way compared to that of how I speak to interviewers. Furthermore, I believe that it could be argued whether or not students in general speak to their teachers casually or formally. This is because we naturally speak to teachers and most adults in the school formally in order to show politeness, but it could be said that this is also with some casualness as we speak to these people most (or perhaps every) day that we are at school, so we become used to talking to them and therefore more confident talking to them.

  7. Megan

    I often change the way I speak, depending on the situation. For example, I talk differently to my nana and grandpa as to how I would talk to my mum and dad. Although, if I said anything they thought would be rude or not correct they wouldn’t correct me, I just feel as it I should talk properly around them, because I respect them a lot and don’t want them to think I don’t know how to speak properly etc. In contrast, I speak more informally to my mum because we have more informal conversations, than the conversation I have with my nana.
    I would also change the way i spoke, if I was speaking to my nieces and nephews. For instance, if I was talking to my friends, I would usually speak informally using slang, and sometimes swear words, and I would usually greet them by saying “hey” or “alright?”. However, I wouldn’t want to influence them into using slang, considering they are still quite young. So I normally greet them by saying their name in a really high pitched, funny voice.

  8. Lorna

    I change the way I speak when I am with my grandparents and family I don’t see very often because they are older than what my friends are and you need to respect your elders. I also change the way I speak when I am at different golf clubs because it is polite and good etiquette within the golf club, if you speak to people nicely then they will speak nicely to you. I speak differently when I am with my friends because I pick up the words that they use and then I use them in my speech. When I went to Plymouth University with the school I spoke more politely because I was in a place where everybody spoke properly. When I had my interview at South Devon College I spoke properly and I remembered my manners. Another place where I would change the way I speak is at school because I speak totally different to my teachers than what I do to my friends for example to my friends I would say ‘Alright’ but to a teacher I would say ‘Morning Sir’ or ‘Morning Miss’. You also change the way you speak when you go for a job interview because you always need to make a good first impression. Lastly you change the way you speak when you are being served by somebody because you say ‘Yes Please’ or ‘Thank You’.

  9. Holly

    Generally i am quite a formal person and like to use good english, however with my friends i am completely informal and swear a bit too often probably… But i also pick up the words they use, or immitate an accent (Irish and Welsh are the ones i’m best at), also the impersonation of chavs is big in-amongst my friends; ‘sick one famalam’ and ‘init blad’ are two of the favourites! I think we do this because we relax a bit when we are with people we know, and people who don’t judge us for talking like a loonatic (like interviewers do) so it makes using informal language acceptable. Nevertheless i am formal with most adults, especially those that derive impressions from teenagers before they even say anything, for example, the older generation. I have to talk to my Grandma formally, even though she is family, because she is very conservative about her thoughts and isn’t afraid to point out that: ‘You are talking like a halfwhit’ or ‘say that properly!’. This is because she was brought up stricktly, but nowadays we are open to many more influences such as more cultural diversity and swearing isn’t so widely frowned upon as it was… Well mum hates it, it can be a useful indecator to when someone is really angry if you know they don’t swear a lot, but now most of time you can’t tell! However i do try to use proper english and try to be fluent, because its a bit embarrassing when people from outside Britain are more fluent than some of us!

  10. Jake

    As emphasized by peers on many occasions, i am commonly very posh (apparently), which is likely to be due very simply to the fact that i am very shy. However, i would not consider this a voluntary form of adapting my language. A better example of adapting my language would be around friends, as i often will keep a watch on my language, as i aim not to be too informal in respect of the possibility that a teacher may walk by (with an unfortunate experience of my own resulting in detention). Most thoroughly of course around my relatives. With my grandparents i maintain a formal, yet slightly casual English, both to maintain respect, to avoid insult but still show that i am comfortable around them. The relatives from my fathers side are much more varied. While his brothers have no care of swearing or slang, i am not afraid of informal or swears, because i am very comfortable around them. Whereas, with my dad’s sisters, i am considerably more careful, after my aunt broke my uncle’s nose for “swearing in my house!”. I maintain the respect also because i thoroughly respect them, and also wish to be comfortable around them, meaning that although i shall avoid swearing around them, i have no worry of various informal context. This supposedly exposes how i develop my language around the level of respect/ how comfortable i am with those around me, making it the pivoting point in my variation of formalities.

  11. Alysa

    I personally end up changing my speech really often accidentally due to the way that people speak around me. I had to change the way that I speak slightly at an interview for college on Friday to make sure that I didn’t use abbreviations such as ‘totes’ for totally, which I end up accidentally using fairly often, and words such as ‘innit’ due to the fact that I tend to be really lazy when it comes to speech and merge my words together as well. I change my speech when I’m around my friends to a more jokey sort of approach. Becky and I tend to make funny noises and act out as different people which I definitely would not do to anyone outside of my friendship group. I also speak differently when on the phone to my family up North as the slang terms and the accent are different and I pick it up really quickly and it stays for the rest of the night which can be weird to witness for my family here in Devon sometimes, but it’s all sub-conscious. I don’t mean to change the way that I speak and the words that I use, but I’m so used to doing it, for some reason that I have no idea of, that it seems to just come naturally to me. My family tend to speak really informally to me as well, I insult my cousins often by calling them ‘a bum’ and my grandparents give us all nicknames and joke around, I think I’ve heard my uncle try to impersonate a chav stereotype once or twice for a whole day each time, which just says everything about the formality of my family. Though my mums boyfriend always picks up on my language if I say ‘me and mum’ for instance, he’ll tell me it’s improper English and that I should say ‘mum and I’, so I think that I’m open to both sorts of language use, informal and formal, quite regularly.

  12. Dylan Matthews-Evans

    Personally i believe that i speak quite formally to most people however i do think that how i speak changes with certain people. For example i think i speak more formally to my parents and to teachers in comparison to my friends or my brother. An example of this would be how i greet different people, i would say hello or occasionally hey to my mum or a teacher however i would say “hi” a lot and things like “alright”. I think i do this because i feel more comfortable and as if i do not have to convince or almost prove myself as much to my friends as i do with other people like teachers. I also think i try to speak to people with the same level of formality as the person who is speaking to me, i do this because i think it helps people understand me if i speak similarly to them, obviously not in accent but i try to change and use the same sort of dialect as the person i am speaking to. I think the way i’m brought up played a large impact on how i speak and also how i speak to different people. Personally i think i was brought up in a rather strict environment and i was always taught to speak to people older than me with manors as it shows respect, i think this is a major reason why i speak to people the way that i do. I also enjoy fitting the classic stereotype of a British person and how posh they are and i find it amusing to see there reaction.

  13. Kirsty

    I think that the way I speak doesn’t really change due to the context I am in, but the language I use may. With my friends I will use more informal language like slang and use more swear words where as with a teacher I would use a more formal choice of words but I still don’t change the way I actually speak. The only time where I would change the way I talk would be an interview for college, because I want to work in media, where a clear voice is very important and it is also very important to use grammatically correct sentences so when I go to an interview I will talk more clear and formal.

  14. Emily littlejohns :)

    The last time I remember changing the way I speak to fit a certain situation. Would have been my interview for south devon college. I changed the way I speak a lot whilst at this interview and talking to people I had never met before, to try and make a good impression. I changed the way I spoke from very informal, which is the way I would talk and act like with my friends in everyday life. To speaking very formal and also very clearly and confidently Aswel. I tried not to mumble, and also to pronounce all of my words and letters very correctly. For example I said ‘yes’ instead of just ‘yh’ and when I left the interview I said ‘thank you very much’ as a pose to me just saying ‘thanks’ or ‘bye’ if I had left my friends after talking to them. I thank that the way you speak really does depend on the person you are talking to and the situation that you are in, but that is a good example of the last time my speech changed in a situation.

  15. emily h

    The last time I chose the way I spoke was my last trip to bristol, I find that when I am around my friends and family with really strong bristolian accents I tend to develop the same sort of speech as them. For example I began dropping ‘t’s in words such as water, which sounded more of ‘war’. I also find that in this situation I tend to drop some words completely, I would say phrases such as “s’later, I’m going down shops”. As becky said, I remember our mock. Interviews back in december where I did my best to speak clearly and fluently, I find that when I am with strangers especially adults, I need to speak clearer with a better pronounciation. Furthermore, I felt that complex language was more appropriate, that way I come across as though I understand fully he question that I have been presented with.

  16. emily h

    The last time I chose the way I spoke was my last trip to bristol, I find that when I am around my friends and family with really strong bristolian accents I tend to develop the same sort of speech as them. For example I began dropping ‘t’s in words such as water, which sounded more of ‘war’. I also find that in this situation I tend to drop some words completely, I would say phrases such as “s’later, I’m going down shops”. As becky said, I remember our mock. Interviews back in december where I did my best to speak clearly and fluently, I find that when I am with strangers especially adults, I need to speak clearer with a better pronounciation. Furthermore, I felt that complex language was more appropriate, that way I come across as though I understand fully the question that I have been presented with. This contrasted with the bristolians as they tend to use more slang and are less pronouciated as the words just join together as one. I feel that this was the case because an interview is a more pressured environment where you are talking to a stranger who has experience in interviewing, and knows what looks and sounds good on behalf of the interviewee.

  17. Connor

    The last time I had to alter how I speak was at my latest job interview. I tried my best to avoid non-verbal fillers (for example, “urm” and yeah”) to make sure I sound clear, concise and confident. I also attempted at using more complex language to impress the interviewer and to make myself sound more intelligent. Oftentimes I have to pay attention of how I pronounce letters because I have the tendency to drop letters while talking to someone: most noticeably is how I say “water”, I pronounce it as ” wawta’ “. I try my best to avoid dropping letters and murmuring because it portrays to the interviewer that I am informal, possible bored and not taking the situation seriously. In turn, by talking formally, people leave with good (or better) impressions of me. I also try my best to sound confident and positive by occasionally emphasizing words and sometimes cracking a joke (if possible). On the opposite side of the scale, when I talk to my friends I am much more informal and childish when I speak; the majority of our conversations are “full to the brim” of slang, non-verbal fillers and mispronounced words. If I used such language when talking to an interviewer – then it would indefinably leave a negative impression of myself (on the interviewer). In conclusion; talking formally in a situation such as job interview (or something similar) can leave a good impression on the interviewer by making yourself sound more confident, positive, clear and intelligent.

  18. Polly

    As with many people I have alter my language and formality depending on situations, for example when I went to visit Kennicot open evening I had to talk to teachers about the subjects I’m in interested in and what qualifications I would need to take such courses. Therefore my language became more formal and pronouced in contrast to the way in which I would ordinarily talk to my friends.
    Similairly when we had our mock interviews in school I used more formal and pronouced language to give a better impression of myself to my interviewer. In addition I tried to project my voice more to perhaps make myself seem more confident and speak clearly to the interviewer. Specfically I made sure I omitted any incomplete utterances and slang words from my vocabulary to sound more intelligent and collected.

  19. josh

    I do not tend to change the way i speak a lot, however there are some exeptions. The last time i changed the way i spoke was for a formal interiview for the Royal Navy. I changed the way i spoke by cutting out the slang and trying to pronounce all my words fully. I did this to make myself come across in a better form. I also change my accent dependant on were and who i am with. So if i am with friends and family from the Middlands my accent will change slightly. I think i speak with more formality to adults. For example when greeting an adult i would say “Hello” when on the contrary when greeting my friends i would say “alright” which is a less formal way of saying hello. I think the way in which people speak is dependant on the situation they are in. If you were going to an interview you would try and speak as fromally as possible this would make you come across in a cleverer manor.

  20. Izzy Lane

    I think that my speech will deffinatley change around other people. For example if i am talking to friends i will probably greet them with a insult as we know each other well and we are used to this. Whereas if i greet my teacher it will be a formal good morning as you feel you should have some respect for a teacher that is different for a friend. Last time i changed was from walking home with my friends to coming in the door of my home. This is because my family expects me to talk in a certain way.

  21. Katie

    My own speech does adjust to who I am talking to, or the context i’m in, the main example of this is when i’m talking to my parents friends, teachers, or to other adults. I tend to become more formal than i would be around others of my own age, or those who are younger than me. For example, when talking to adults I dont yuse any slang and I would always make sure I knew what I was saying before I actually said it. Also, when greeting adults I would greet them more formally instead of the informal way i would greet my own friends.

  22. Naomi

    I have noticed that the way I speak changes constantly depending on the situation I am in. For example, the main thing I have noticed is that my pronounciation of ‘t’ and ‘h’ changes when I am with my family or my friends. When I am with my friends I have noticed that I put less effort into talking properly and may use words that I wouldn’t use at home. I think this may be to because I self consitiously mimick the way they talk. But when I am home I will be careful not to use ruder words and put more effort into talking in proper english. Recently I have also had a mock interview and I tried hard to talk using proper english and to come across as enthusiastic and confident. This was too give a good impression of myself. So I have noticed that my formality and pronouciation changes depending on a situation or the person I am talking too.

  23. Aaron C

    I change the way I speak based on the context and who I am speaking too for example I talk to my friends differently to as I would talk to a Parent or teacher .Often speaking with a lot more slang to friends than would with a teacher I would also greet them more formally than a friend and not just say “alright” or “hey” but rather a “hello how are you?” or “Good Afternoon” etc The last time I purposely changed the way I spoke would have been when I was at Kingsbridge Open evening I tried to speak well with proper English and more formally with no slang to give a good impression to the teachers as i may be studying there and first impressions are key.


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