English FAL Matric Revision: Expressing viewpoints, attitudes, and assumptions

Revision Notes: CAPS Grade 12 Mathematical Literacy – Critical Language Awareness

Expressing Viewpoints, Attitudes, and Assumptions


Critical Language Awareness (CLA) is essential for understanding and evaluating language within various contexts. It helps students recognize the viewpoints, attitudes, and assumptions embedded in texts, which is crucial for effective communication and critical thinking.

Key Points

  1. Viewpoints: Opinions or perspectives presented by the author or speaker in a text.
  2. Attitudes: The feelings or beliefs expressed by the author or speaker.
  3. Assumptions: Underlying beliefs that are taken for granted by the author or speaker.
  4. Generalizations: Broad statements that apply to many cases, often leading to stereotypes.
  5. Divisiveness: Language that creates a divide between groups of people.
  6. Facts vs. Opinions: Distinguishing between objective statements and subjective beliefs.
  7. Inferred Meanings: Identifying meanings that are implied but not explicitly stated.

Real-World Applications

  1. Advertising: Analyzing how advertisements use language to persuade consumers.
  2. Media: Understanding bias and perspective in news articles.
  3. Political Speeches: Evaluating politicians’ language for assumptions and viewpoints.

Example Problem and Solution
Problem: Identify the viewpoints, attitudes, and assumptions in the following text: “Without exception, taxi drivers in this country do not obey traffic regulations.”
Viewpoint: Taxi drivers do not obey traffic regulations.
Attitude: Negative assumption about taxi drivers.
Assumptions: All taxi drivers are lawless by nature, which is a generalization.

Common Misconceptions and Errors

  1. Fact vs. Opinion: Mistaking opinions for facts. Always look for evidence supporting statements.
  2. Generalizations: Avoid using broad statements without evidence as they lead to stereotypes.
  3. Assumptions: Not recognizing underlying assumptions that influence the viewpoint.

Practice and Review

Practice Questions:
1. Read the following sentence and identify generalizations: “All teenagers are addicted to their phones.”
2. Analyze this statement for attitude and assumption: “We must hire a lawyer because they have a lawyer.”
3. Determine the viewpoint in the sentence: “Everyone knows that climate change is a hoax.”

1. Generalization: The statement assumes all teenagers without exception are addicted to their phones.
2. Attitude and Assumption: The attitude is defensive, and the assumption is that having a lawyer is necessary because the other party has one.
3. Viewpoint: The viewpoint is that climate change is not real.

Examination Tips:
– Keywords: Look for absolute terms like “all,” “everyone,” and “always” which often indicate generalizations.
– Time Management: Allocate specific times for reading, analyzing, and answering questions.

Connections and Extensions

  • Links to Other Topics: CLA skills are vital in history for analyzing primary sources, in literature for understanding character motivations, and in science for evaluating scientific claims and media reports.
  • Interdisciplinary Links: Encourage looking at medical studies for language that presents findings in a biased or unbiased manner and their impact on public opinion.

Summary and Quick Review

  • Critical Language Awareness: Identifying viewpoints, attitudes, and assumptions in language.
  • Key Aspects: Generalizations, divisiveness, fact vs. opinion, and inferred meanings.
  • Practical Application: Media analysis, advertising, and political speech evaluation.
  • Common Pitfalls: Misinterpreting opinion as fact and failing to recognize generalizations.

Additional Resources

  • Online Articles: “Breaking Down Media Bias” on MediaBiasFactCheck.com
  • Educational Videos: “How to Identify Bias and Assumptions in Texts” by Khan Academy
  • Supplementary Platforms: Coursera or EdX courses on media literacy and critical thinking

For more detailed explanations and practice questions, students can consult their textbook examples【4:0†source】【4:3†source】【4:9†source】.

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