English Language: Exploring racism in language

On the AS / A level English Language course, one of the things we look at is how written language works. Seeing how writers use language, we can explore how stereotypes and racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic etc. attitudes can be expressed.

There is a short introductory animated slideshow to introduce the task – exploring how the first newspaper article about Meghan Markle dating Prince Harry represents Meghan.

Then there is a document which has the text and some questions to give you an idea of the kind of things we can look for in language to explore the writer’s attitudes. Finally, there’s a short animated slideshow that shows you some of the interesting language features in the article and how it communicates racist, sexist and classicist (that’s negative stereotyping on the grounds of social class) to the readers.

A tripple-whammy of nastiness – but as English Language students we are not falling for it! Finally, there is a short video by Akala about racism ‘works’ – in it, he touches briefly on language, such as the story about the tutor asking him about his ‘tribe’ – a word they would never has used with a white student!

The resources below are here to help you with this session. The documents can be downloaded to your device and web links can be viewed online. 

What to do when you're finished ?

Keep a copy of your work safe until your first days at college. Bring it with you for your first lesson in this subject. 

Youtube Videos

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