Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

1.9 Intended audience

The intended audience is linked closely to the purpose of the text. If a text is trying to persuade its readers to buy children’s toys, it is likely to be aimed at children and parents and perhaps grandparents. If an advert is trying to sell beer it will not be aimed at under-18s. At least, legally it shouldn’t!

When it comes to entertainment, audiences watch or read the things they enjoy. Arsenal fans watch Arsenal and Tom Cruise fans watch Tom Cruise films. People who love poetry read poetry and cycling fans read cycling magazines. Interestingly, the writer’s intended audience isn’t always the one that reads the text. For example, the Harry Potter books were initially aimed at older children and young teenagers, but they have been read by millions of adults around the world.

Audiences can be categorised by age, gender, interests/hobbies, work and language, among other things. The reason you are reading this text is because you are interested in studying and improving your English. You are the intended audience of this text.

Activity 9 Match the audience

Allow about 5 minutes

Match the intended audience to the appropriate text.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. Students on an Introduction to Psychology course

  2. Football fans

  3. Pop music fans

  4. Vegetarians or those cooking for them

  • a.Magazine called Pop & Rock News

  • b.Book called 50 Vegetarian Favourites

  • c.Book called Introduction to Psychology

  • d.Newspaper report on a football match

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = d
  • 3 = a
  • 4 = b

And do the same for these ones:

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. Older people

  2. Young children

  3. A manager

  4. Parents

  • a.List of local schools

  • b.Advert for cruises for the over-50s

  • c.Online course on how to be a good supervisor

  • d.Advert for cartoon film

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = b
  • 2 = d
  • 3 = c
  • 4 = a

Activity 10 Check what you’ve learnt: the texts you read

Allow about 10 minutes

1. For each of the following texts, select its main purpose from the options given.

a. Advertisement for a car

a. 

instruct


b. 

persuade


c. 

inform


The correct answer is b.

b. Instructions for a new printer

a. 

instruct


b. 

describe


c. 

persuade


The correct answer is a.

c. Leaflet with flat-pack furniture

a. 

instruct


b. 

describe


c. 

persuade


The correct answer is a.

d. OXFAM appeal advert

a. 

instruct


b. 

describe


c. 

persuade


The correct answer is c.

e. Review of a new film

a. 

instruct


b. 

describe


c. 

inform


The correct answer is c.

f. Letter from a friend telling you about her new flat

a. 

instruct


b. 

describe


c. 

persuade


The correct answer is b.

2. Read the following two texts.

Can you identify the format of each text (or where it might have come from), its purpose and the intended audience?

Text A

Text on a postcard
Figure 6 Text A
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

This is a postcard. Its purpose is to inform and the intended audience is friends or family.

Text B

Excerpt from Passport Office information
Figure 7 Text B
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Discussion

This comes from a passport information leaflet.

Its purpose is to inform.

The intended audience are people travelling to the country in question.

Now that you’ve thought about different types of text and their intended audience, you’ll now look at deciding what and how to read.

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