LS2LAG-Language and Gender

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Christiana Themistocleous


Summary module description:

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the sociolinguistic research on gendered language over the last 40 years. It will examine the various theories that attempt to account for gendered linguistic differences from the earlier essentialist approaches to the latest contemporary paradigms and will explore gendered discourse in various contexts of everyday life.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module it is anticipated that the student will be able to:
•discuss the key areas of sociolinguistic research on language and gender;
•demonstrate their knowledge of key terms and concepts;
•demonstrate understanding of the links claimed to exist between a speaker’s use of certain linguistic features and their gender;
•describe and critically evaluate sociolinguistic theories that attempt to account for gender differences in language;
•analyse original data;
•organise knowledge and articulate arguments effectively in writing.

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage students to think about the potential connections between particular ways of using language and one’s gender. As well as examining research evidence that suggests such a connection, students will study new developments in the area which question such a straightforward link between gender and language. Students will also gain experience in collecting and analysing original data.

Outline content:
We will begin the course with a study of the historical and theoretical background to the study of language and gender within the larger area of sociolinguistics. We will examine various theories that attempt to account for gendered differences in language, and look at the key pieces of research in this area. This will include a focus on the following: discourse features and turn taking; narratives and storytelling; politeness. We will then move on to contemporary theories in the area that move beyond the binary distinction of men and women, to how speakers perform their gendered identity. This includes a focus on workplace discourse to examine how leadership and power are enacted within masculine and feminine workplaces.

Recent changes in language and gender studies, such as the incorporation of the Community of Practice framework to analyse language use, will be addressed. We will also look at gendered discourse in media and written texts using approaches such as Critical Discourse Analysis.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures with seminar-style discussion, practical sessions and guided independent study.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Report 30
Set exercise 10

Other information on summative assessment:
1) Multiple Choice tests on Blackboard (10%);
2) One 1,000 word report (30%);
3) One 2,000 word assignment (60%).

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework by 21 August in the year the course is taken.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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