analysis of a blog

My grade 11 Language and Literature class are doing online language, so it's time to analyze a blog as a text.

I had already given students a guide to looking at nonfiction texts and a way of breaking down cultural context, and we reviewed the basic method of analysis:
I went on blogger.com, started hitting the 'next blog' button, and found this:


LLYMLRS fit my needs perfectly: it's personal and definitely about creating community. I printed the post and the first 10 comments and gave it to students with the following guiding questions:

  • What features of the post strike you as being significant? Of those, which can you describe in terms of our techniques?
  • How does Lily, the author of the post, present her identity in terms of social class and sophistication?
  • On LLYMLRS, you need to have a real identity to make a comment, and even then the comment will go to moderation the first time you comment. How does that affect the cyberculture of the site's community, and how is that reflected in the comments?
  • How can we see the nonstandard English in terms of identity and community rather than judgement?
  • What is the purpose of the post and the blog more generally? What details support that?
  • How would you describe the tone of the post, and why is that significant?
  • How does the post reflect the advertising value of the post and downplay it at the same time?
I have to say that this went smashingly well. At first they were highly judgmental about the language errors and the tone, but once they applied the stuff we had done about language and identity, prescriptivism vs. descriptivism and syntax/diction analysis, they were able to articulate interesting and thoughtful analysis of the post.

I did a 'What I know/think/wonder' exercise on the way out, and one student wrote, 'I think that I can't read anything anymore without thinking about how the language works.' Music to my ears.

Comments

  1. I'm finally catching up with reading more of your excellent blog posts. Thanks for sharing your teaching and helpful resources. I'm vowing to get organised and blog more, especially with so much to learn and share from the IBDP language and literature course.

    Just curious - have you ever had students analyse one of your own blog posts?

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  2. Thanks. I wish I had more time to post more. Just finished advertising as part of part 2. It went very well. Doing Part 2 FOAs next week.

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