Comparing different modes

Students compare examples of English in use, including various written and spoken examples, and analyse them according to a scale.


  • Familiarise students with looking at examples of real English language in use.
  • Analyse examples of real English language in use.
  • Consider several features of English language in use, including standard-ness and formality.

Lesson Plan

In this task, students will need to look at a range of data. Some of the data will be from written texts, some will come from blended mode texts, and other data will be drawn from spoken conversations. Students are also presented with a continuum of features, from planned to unplanned, standard to non-standard, formal to informal, and distant to friendly.

Each slide in the Activity page in the right hand menu presents an example of English in use, drawn from our corpus. Each slide also presents each continuum of features. You can move the circle-shaped marker from one end of each continuum to the other so as to mark your students' decisions on each continuum.

For each text, students should think about where they would place each text on each continuum of features. For example, on the dimension which has planned at one end and unplanned on the other, they will need to think about how planned or unplanned the extract appears to be.

To decide on this, they’ll need to look at the extract and think about the type of language that’s used and the features that might indicate whether it’s been prepared beforehand or just written or spoken without much planning.

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Englicious (C) Survey of English Usage, UCL, 2012-15 | Supported by the AHRC and EPSRC. | Cookies