LVTI-GREATER MANCHESTER

READING TASK 1 : WORDLISTS                                               

PAC wordlist 1 (vowels, 127 items)

PAC wordlist 2 (consonants, 65 items)

READING TASK 2 : THE TEXT                                          

A Christmas interview                                                              

If television personalities are anything like the rest of us, all they really want to do in Christmas week is snap at their families, criticize their friends and make their neighbours' children cry by glaring at them over the garden fence. Yet society expects them to be as jovial and beaming as they are for the other fifty-one weeks of the year. If anything, more so.

Take the Reverend Peter Smith, the TV vicar who sends out press releases in which he describes himself as “the man who has captured the spirit of the age”. Before our 9 a.m. meeting at his media office on Crawshaw Avenue, South London, he faced, he says, a real dilemma. Should he make an effort to behave like a Christian, throw his door open, offer me a cup of tea or should he just play it cool, study his fingernails in a manner that shows bored indifference and get rid of me as quickly as possible? In the end, he did neither.

“As a matter of fact, John”, he says in a loud Estuary English twang, “St Francis said, ‘At all times preach the gospel and speak whenever you have to’. But hey, he didn't mean ‘Be on your best behaviour and be happy all the time’. I could have been extra-polite to you, but the real me would have come out as I was talking. You cannot disguise what you are.”

“And what are you then, Peter?”

“Well, I'm a Christian, John. I've been one since I was 14. And I know for sure that Christianity will be judged more on what you do rather than what you have to say about it.” In many ways, Peter Smith looks exactly how you'd expect a high-profile television personality to look: tall, handsome, clean-cut and evenly sun-tanned. He doesn't wear a dog-collar. In fact, when doing his various religious programmes on Sunday mornings, he has been known to wear a black leather jacket instead, in casual mode. Today, the look is more business-like: metal-rimmed glasses, a grey suit, a blue open-neck shirt, and fashionable black shoes with large buckles. Smith is 44 but he looks a mere 24.

During the whole interview, Peter Smith stressed the need to be on the side of the poor and the needy. He also talked about his forthcoming trip to China and the masses waiting for his message there. I ventured a few questions relating to the charity trust he founded some ten years ago and which, it is generally agreed, employs eight hundred staff and runs schools, hospitals and hostels around the world. I did mention criticisms in the press of the way charitable organizations are run these days but tried not to sound hostile. He just sighed in answer to my remarks and said: “I'm only human, John. God knows I do my best and often fail, But it's no skin off my nose if our enemies sneer at some of the good work we do. Truth will out.”

Semi-guided conversation

Between the informant and the interviewer, with the help of the usual PAC information sheet

Free conversation

Between the informant and a relative or friend or colleague

Thematic conversation

Between the informant and the interviewer, in a more relaxed semi-conversation style to fit the themes of language, work, urban life and identity and to back up some of the linguistic issues which are at stake.

The questionnaire is built so as to lead the informant towards free conversation with the interviewer. Three sets of questions are used relating to urban life, work and language. Along with the classic PAC information sheet, this is meant to enable the interviewer to draw a sound sociolinguistic portrait of the informant based on his/her level of integration and relationship to his/her neighbourhood and the city, his/her social status and other work-related matters, and the way he/she feels about a possible supralocal norm and the linguistic environment and practice surrounding him/her.

The thematic questionnaire :                    

 The PAC/LVTI original protocol and additions are liable to some slight changes as :

  • the specific LVTI need to take account of the speech of children and teenagers implies a few adjustments to this type of informants with:
    • the construction of a school version of the protocol for Manchester Grammar School (recording of pupils from year 7 onwards) and an equivalent high standard school for girls, together with two boys and girls lower achieving schools in Greater Manchester
    • another suitable level of protocol for primary schools (children aged 5-11), with a shorter version of the text and the design of map tasks. The LVTI map tasks were designed after models taken from the Human Communication Research Centre Map Task Corpus, Universities of Edinburgh & Glasgow http://www.hcrc.ed.ac.uk/

 

                             LVTI Maptask 1                                                                LVTI Maptask 2

 

  • Other adjustments are needed when various levels of literacy or concentration spans have to be taken into account, or when a specific group of population is under study:
    • a new version of the PAC reading task (text) was built and validated
    • conversation may be favoured (to the detriment of reading tasks) in order to inspire the informant’s confidence and avoid any fatal break in conversation (this happens with some underprivileged speakers)

The nature of the LVTI questionnaire and themes implies that everything should be done to encourage the informant to use spontaneous speech or at least a more relaxed style of speech. In other words, some of the questions may be skipped in the interests of the conversation (but answers may be obtained at other moments of the interview!)

LVTI is meant to favour recordings in public places and ecological situations such as home interactions and work environment.

LVTI-GREATER TOULOUSE

 READING TASK 1 : WORDLISTS                                               

 PFC wordlist (94 items)

READING TASK 2 : THE TEXT

Le Premier Ministre ira-t-il à Beaulieu ?

 

"Le village de Beaulieu est en grand émoi. Le Premier Ministre a en effet décidé de faire étape dans cette commune au cours de sa tournée de la région en fin d'année. Jusqu'ici les seuls titres de gloire de Beaulieu étaient son vin blanc sec, ses chemises en soie, un champion local de course à pied (Louis Garret), quatrième aux jeux olympiques de Berlin en 1936, et plus récemment, son usine de pâtes italiennes. Qu'est-ce qui a donc valu à Beaulieu ce grand honneur ? Le hasard, tout bêtement, car le Premier Ministre, lassé des circuits habituels qui tournaient toujours autour des mêmes villes, veut découvrir ce qu'il appelle "la campagne profonde".

Le maire de Beaulieu - Marc Blanc - est en revanche très inquiet. La cote du Premier Ministre ne cesse de baisser depuis les élections. Comment, en plus, éviter les manifestations qui ont eu tendance à se multiplier lors des visites officielles ? La côte escarpée du Mont Saint-Pierre qui mène au village connaît des barrages chaque fois que les opposants de tous les bords manifestent leur colère. D'un autre côté, à chaque voyage du Premier Ministre, le gouvernement prend contact avec la préfecture la plus proche et s'assure que tout est fait pour le protéger. Or, un gros détachement de police, comme on en a vu à Jonquière, et des vérifications d’identité risquent de provoquer une explosion. Un jeune membre de l'opposition aurait déclaré : "Dans le coin, on est jaloux de notre liberté. S'il faut montrer patte blanche pour circuler, nous ne répondons pas de la réaction des gens du pays. Nous avons le soutien du village entier." De plus, quelques articles parus dans La Dépêche du Centre, L'Express, Ouest Liberté et Le Nouvel Observateur indiqueraient que des activistes des communes voisines préparent une journée chaude au Premier Ministre. Quelques fanatiques auraient même entamé un jeûne prolongé dans l'église de Saint Martinville.

Le sympathique maire de Beaulieu ne sait plus à quel saint se vouer. Il a le sentiment de se trouver dans une impasse stupide. Il s'est, en désespoir de cause, décidé à écrire au Premier Ministre pour vérifier si son village était vraiment une étape nécessaire dans la tournée prévue. Beaulieu préfère être inconnue et tranquille plutôt que de se trouver au centre d'une bataille politique dont, par la télévision, seraient témoins des millions d’électeurs."

 

Semi-guided conversation

Between the informant and the interviewer, with the help of the usual PFC information sheet

Free conversation

Between the informant and a relative or friend or colleague

Thematic conversation

Between the informant and the interviewer, in a more relaxed semi-conversation style to fit the themes of language, work, urban life and identity and to back up some of the linguistic issues which are at stake.

The questionnaire is built so as to lead the informant towards free conversation with the interviewer. Three sets of questions are used relating to urban life, work and language. Along with the classic PFC information sheet, this is meant to enable the interviewer to draw a sound sociolinguistic portrait of the informant based on his/her level of integration and relationship to his/her neighbourhood and the city, his/her social status and other work-related matters, and the way he/she feels about a possible supralocal norm and the linguistic environment and practice surrounding him/her.

The thematic questionnaire:

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