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International Journal of English Language

and Translation Studies


[ISSN: 2308-5460]

Vol-01, Issue-02
[July-September, 2013]

Editor-in-Chief
Mustafa Mubarak Pathan
Department of English Language & Translation Studies
The Faculty of Arts, the University of Sebha
Sebha, Libya

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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460


Table of Contents
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No.
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Title of the Paper / Name of the Author(s)/ Country


Editorial
A Socio-linguistic Perspective to the Language Change of Television News
Broadcasting in Iran
- Shahla Simin, Hosna Kasma ee, Atiye Ezzati, Freshteh Teimouri &
Arineh Minasian, Iran
EFL Learners Difficult Role Transition from Secondary School to University:
From the P erspective and Perceptions of EFL Teachers of TBLT in Western
China
- Feng Teng, China
English Language Teaching and Learning during Holiday Camps: A Case Study
from Malaysia
- Dr. Ria Hanewald, Malaysia
English Metafunction Analysis in Chemistry Text: Characterization of Scientific
Text
- Ahma d Amin Dalimunte, M.Hum, Indonesia
Investigating the Difficulties Faced in Understanding, and Strategies Used in
Processing, English Idioms by the Libyan Students
- Noura Winis Ibrahim Saleh & Dr. Moha mmed Hassan Zakaria ,
Malaysia
MALL (Mobile Assisted Language Learning): A Paradise for English Language
Learners
- Dr. Suneetha Yedla, India
Metaphors about EFL Teachers' Roles: A Case of Iranian Non-English-Major
Students
- Mohsen Akbari, Iran
Mother Tongue Influence : A Thorn in the Flesh of Technocrats in the Global
Market
- Dr. S. Mohan, India
Teaching Creative Thinking Skills
- Dr. Nagamurali Eragamreddy, Libya
The Importance of a Dystopia n Hero in Sara Gruens Water for Elephants
Bassmah Bassam Khaled AlTaher, Jordan
The Leverage of a Proposed Post Process Writing Approach Program on
Developing the EFL Al-Azhar Secondary Students' Writing Skills
- Ismail Ibrahim Elshirbini Abdel-Fattah El-Ashri, Egypt
The Translator's Agency and the Ideological Manipulation in Translation: the
Case of Political Texts in Translation Classrooms in Iran
- Katayoon Afzali , Iran
The Use of Photo-Elicitation Interview in Sociolinguistics: The Case Study of
Awareness about the Use of Borrowings in Tlemcen Speech Community Algeria
- Mrs. Rahmoun-Mrabet Razzia, Alger ia
Uncertainty and Uncertainty Management: the Metacognitive State of ProblemSolving of Professional (experienced) Translators and Students of Translation
Studies
- Zahra Amirian & Moha mad J. Baghiat, Iran
Using Native Language in ESL Classroom
- Dr. Isa SPAHIU, Macedonia

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Page
Number
03
04-08

09-23

24-37

38-49

50-65

66-72

73-82

83-90

91-105
106-119
120-141

142-151

152-161

162-175

176-179

International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460

A Socio-linguistic Perspective to the Language Change of Television News


Broadcasting in Iran

Shahla Simin
Hosna Kasmaee
At iye Ezzati
Freshteh Teimouri
Arineh Minasian
Department of English, Universit y o f Isfahan, Iran
Abstract
Socio linguist ics is descript ive study o f the effect of any and all aspects of societ y including:
cultural norms, expectations and context on the way language is used and the effects o f
language use on societ y. One of the aspects sociolinguist ics focuses on is the effect of the
societ y on the language. Any change in the important aspects of social structure and function
- social organizat ion - is likely to have a dist inctive role in language change. Languages
change for a variet y o f reasons. Large-scale shifts often occur in response to social, econo mic
and po lit ical pressures. However, a language can change dramatically if enough users alter
the way they speak it and Iranian speakers are not except ion to this. Every generat ion brings
about its specific t ype of language, which has its own effect on a variety o f social aspects,
most importantly on Mass Media and Electronic Media specifically o n Televisio n. The
process of change for Iranian media has been particularly explo sive in the first three decades
of the twent y-first century. In this respect, the aim o f the current study is to investigate the
reasons behind the language change o f News Media in Iran and the attitudes of the Iranian
people towards these changes. The results obtained fro m both the qualitat ive and quant itative
data analysis o f the quest ionnaires, distributed among 150 participants fro m different regions
and generations, and interviews, taken o f the 60 selected the participants, showed that 53%
were for, 28% were opposed to and 10% were neutral toward the changes in the language of
the News Media in Iran.
Keywords: mass media, electronic media, language change, socio linguist ics, televis io n

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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460


1. Introduction
The main tradit ions in the study of the Language of Media have plenty to say about two
sorts of changes (necessarily inter-related): social change(s) and language change(s). In a
societ y, different generations bring about their specific t ype of language (due to the change(s)
applied to the societ y in the era). Therefore, it could be claimed that all the ideo logical
loadings of linguist ic varieties, at different levels of language, change under the influence o f
social change(s). And this pheno menon has its own effect on variet y o f social aspects, most
importantly on mass media and electronic media.
As Kamaruzaman Jusoff and Nurul N. Sahimi beaut ifully state: Televisio n is an
important tool for most people, young or old, as today most of the information is delivered to
the public via this techno logy. It can now be assessed easily via cables or satellite, which
could provide consumers wit h every t ype of informat ion they need, eit her for work, leisure,
interest, and so on. With the emergence of this media, and the production of various
programs, televisio n has caught the attention of most of the people (Kamaruzaman &
Sahimi, 2009, pp.151-157).
With this background, the focus o f this study is to find out the extent to which televisio n
news programming is under the influence o f audience speaking st yle, that is, "how they use
different linguist ic st yles to appeal to their respective audiences" (Robertson, 2000, p. 3. As
Bell (1991) pointed out that the audience is usually the most important factor in cho ice of
language style; The essence o f st yle is that speakers are often primarily responding to their
audience in the language they producethe audience are arguably the most important and
certainly the most researched co mponent of mass communicationcommunicators do work
with an idea o f the audience they are speaking to and what they want (p.14). The results o f
this study po int out the centralit y o f the audience in the language of Televis io n programs
(especially news programs). The results obtained fro m this study could be supported by the
manifestation of audience design in the language and st yle used by the anchors.
2. Review of Literature
Since 1958 a lot of data has been gathered which po ints to the fact that the change of the
language o f media is dependent on the language change o f a societ y i.e. the way people
speak a fact which is overt ly in relat ion wit h the circulat ion of different generat ions of the
societ y. The main reason behind this change is, as Giles and Powesland put it, "The theory o f
accommodation".
The acco mmodat ive act provides the sender (speaker) with rewards
referred to in general terms as the receivers (hearers) approval (Giles and Powesland,
1975, pp. 232-233). In other words, Acco mmodat ing is that the speaker can gain the reward
of the hearers approval. The original theory of acco mmodat ion relates to interpersonal
encounters, but can also be applied to the mass media (Bell, 1984). The theory of audience
design - a socio linguist ic theory was proposed by Bell (1984) which has grown up out of
the accommodat ion model ment ioned earlier. Bell (1984) proposes that the kind o f st yle that
a speaker uses is primarily dependent on the audience wit h who m they are speaking to, as
opposed to other factors such as amount of attention paid to speech. Therefore, Speakers
design their style primarily for and in response to their audience (Bell, 1997, p. 14).
Speakers respond primarily to their audience in designing their talk (Bell, 1991, p. 15).
Mass co mmunicators are under considerable pressure to win the approval of their audience
in order to maintain their audience size or market share (Bell, 1991, p. 15). And the reward
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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460


of the broadcaster in this case speakers respond primarily to their audience in designing
their talk is that they gain an audience who watch their program which ult imately leads to
large viewing figures. In other words, the broadcaster(s) needs the audience. In order to
achieve this goal they must acco mmodate to their audience by beco ming similar to them.
The audience design approach developed fro m one particular study that Bell (1991) carried
out on st yle. The study looked at the st yle o f language used in radio news broadcasts in New
Zealand. Because o f the structure of the broadcast ing system in New Zealand, different
radio stations broadcasted their programs fro m the same studio, and also used the same
news-reader for the different programs (Bell, 1991). In mass co mmunicat ion, a
broadcasters individual st yle is routinely subordinated to a shared station st yle whose
character can only be explained in term o f its target audience (Bell, 1991).
According to the data analysis o f this study, the three news broadcast ing programs - the
Morning News on IRIB1, The Evening News on IRIB1, and The 20:30 News on IRIB2
witnessed a change o f st yle in their language in order to meet the needs of their perceived
audience.
3. Methodology
3.1 Participants
The participants were 150 in number ranging fro m 20-40 years o f age, both males and
females who were provided with quest ionnaires. And a group of 60 part icipants were
rando mly chosen amo ng them to be interviewed. All the part icipants were the Iranian who
were fo llowing the news program broadcast ing by National TV of Iran.
3.2 Data Collection Procedures
The data co llected for the purpose of this study was recorded and analyzed fro m three
different news broadcasting programs; The Morning News, The Evening News, and the 20:30
news. The Morning News contains short news bullet ins, targeted at adults and young-adults,
running for about fifteen minutes on IRIB1. And the target viewers o f the Evening News on
IRIB1 a news program are adults (mostly) and also young-adults; and it runs for about
forty-five minutes. The 20:30 containing short news bullet ins alongside a 'magazine'
program runs on IRIB2 for about 60 minutes, aimed at viewers belo nging to different age
groups (ranging fro m teenagers to adults). An average of two Morning News bullet ins per
day, the who le program o f 20:30 news, and so me of the stories from each Evening News
broadcast were recorded and then were analyzed.
3.3 Results
The results obtained from the co llected data, lead us to this conclusio n that these changes
made in the news broadcast ing programs have had a positive effect on the viewers' rat ings o f
these programs, since the st yle and language conveyed an everyday like face-to-face
interact ions. And as for the statist ics, about 85% of the participants were for these changes
and informalit ies contained in broadcast ing of the news. Even though these changes appealed
to a significant number o f the part icipants 85% - they also declared that these change o f
style and language o f the news broadcast ing got influenced fro m the foreign news
broadcasting st yles. Foreign news broadcast ing channels such as: VOA, BBC and so on. And
15% of the participants mostly elderly people believed that the language o f the news must
have a formal tone to it. This is while, those 85% of the part icipants who were appealed by
the changes, found those changes appealing since they conveyed an everyday like sense of
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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460


interact ion. Therefore, nowadays people most ly prefer to watch news programs which are
easily understood in daily talk format and only elderly people are not happy wit h such
changes.
4. Discussion and Findings
During the first two decades o f the Islamic Republic of Iran, The language of news
program(s) was narrative, which includes others (the third person, e.g.' they). In this type
of tone, one does not expect the audience to be addressed or referred to as they would be in
face-to-face interact ions. In this study, the three news programs were analyzed to see how the
language o f the news has changed over time and whether this standard news narrative is still
being used consistent ly. In accordance to our data analysis, three t ypes of audience
reference(s) were being used in the st yle and language of the news program(s):
- Direct reference to the audience only
- References inclusive of the audience & the news reader
- Talk(s) about the audience
Alo ngside these references made to the audience, there were two other unique features
developed in the 20:30 news program:
- Commands, direct ions and instructions, which are directed to the audience, by the use
of statements as: "Check out our website", "Send us your thoughts through "
- Role plays: (small sketches acted out by the presenters).
Other than these features, an interest ing fact about the language o f these programs is the use
of informal vocabulary (slang, vernacular language and informal standard language). The use
of this t ype o f vocabulary informal vocabulary in the news serves to conversat ionalise the
news (Robertson, 2005). Robertson states: Fairclough (1995) stated: Conversationalisat ion
is also realized in a variet y of linguist ic features. Most obvious are items o f co lloquia l
vocabulary (p. 20 ). This t ype of vocabulary informal vocabulary makes the news
more accessible to the audience because it uses the type o f language they use in their
everyday lives, and therefore its the vocabulary they can relate to personally.
According to the informat ion obtained fro m the data analysis (observat ions, recordings,
then fo llowed by quest ionnaires and interviews), all three news programs contained the
audience reference which seems to be quite appealing to their targeted viewers. The
audiences are encouraged to take active participation (as opposed to just being passive
viewers) and their interest plays a big part in conversat ionalis ing the format of the news, as
these features are used in (everyday) face-to-face conversation(s). The ratings o f the morning
and the evening news (on IRIB1) have increased quite significant ly after taking up this
feature. The informal vocabulary in the news programs which is used to informalise the
news in order to appeal to the audience was only contained in the morning news (on IRIB1)
and the 20:30 news (on IRIB2). The informal vocabulary used in the language of these
programs attracted audience o f all generations and of course helped the viewing rates. Role
plays are used to inform and at the same t ime entertain the audience and add humor was
only contained in the 20:30 news program. Unlike the unscripted sketches during chats in the
evening news (on IRIB1), role-plays are used in the actual news stories themselves, which
lead into interviews and quite naturally to audience reference. These two features help
creating a face-to-face interact ion in the at mosphere o f the program. The 20:30 News, by
containing these features is observed to be an interest ing and appealing program to its
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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies ISSN: 2308-5460


targeted audience. An interest ing fact is that according to statistics, 60% of the populat ion of
Iran watches this program.
5. Conclusion
The results obtained fro m this study make one fact apparent that the changes in the societ y
and generat ions, direct ly lead to the changes made in the language of media. The language of
the news programs. The theory o f acco mmodation the fact that the speaker(s) can gain t he
audience's approval seems to be the main reason behind these changes (informalising and
conversationlizing) made in the language of the news programs. As Giles and Powseland
say, The accommodative act provides the sender (speaker) wit h rewards referred to in
general terms as the receivers (hearers) approval (MacMillan Press,1975, pp. 232-233).
About the Authors
Shahla Simin is a PHD candidate in TEFL. She has over 14 years o f teaching experience and
has published various research papers in ISI journals such as Co mparat ive literature and
culture and other language/linguist ics related journals and has also presented papers in many
nat ional and internat ional conferences. Her research interests lie in pragmat ics,
sociopragmat ics, discourse analys is, semiotics, and Language teaching issues.
Atiye Ezzati, Hosna Kasmaee, Fereshteh Teimouri and Arineh Minasian are
undergraduate students in English literature. They have published and presented papers in
nat ional conferences. Their areas o f major research interests are: socio linguist ics, and
Language teaching issues.
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Bell, A. (1997). Language Style as Audience Design. In Coupland, N. and Jarworski,
A Socio linguist ics a reader and course-book. MacMillan Press, ch.19; pp. 242-244.
Bell, A. (1991). The Language of the News Media: Blackwell; Ch 2, pp. 9; p.84-85,
89,Ch 6 pp. 104-106, 109, 157-158.
Bell, A. (1991). Audience Acco mmodat ion in the Mass Media. In Giles, H, Coupland,
J. & Coupland N. (eds) Bishop, Hywel, Nikolas Coupland and Peter Garrett.
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