LS2LNM-Language and New Media

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 and LS1ELS English Language and Society
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Rodney Jones


Summary module description:
In this module, students will explore the ways digital media are changing the way people use language. Students will be introduced to a range of theories from sociolinguistics, media studies and discourse analysis and will learn to apply these theories to analysing authentic texts and interactions. Among the topics covered in the module are genres and registers of mediated communication, social networking and online identity, multimodal and multimedia communication, mobile communication and wearable computers, and online tracking and surveillance.

This module aims to equip students with the theoretical and analytical tools to analyse and reflect critically on their own digital literacy practices and those of others, and to apply their findings to broader debates about the impact of new media communication on the way we use language and how this affects our social relationships. The module also aims to help students become more proficient, reflective and critical users of new media.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will be able to:

1) describe and explain key theories of sociolinguistics, media studies and discourse analysis relevant to the analysis of new media communication, including mediated and multimodal discourse analysis, conversation analysis, software studies, and critical discourse analysis;

2) analyse authentic texts, conversations and social practices mediated through new media, explaining how media affect linguistic forms, patterns of social interaction, the construction of social identities and the formation of communities and social networks;

3) conduct research on language and new media using a variety of text based and ethnographic approaches to the ethical collection, selection and analysis of data from naturally occurring language use;

4) apply the findings from research on new media language to discussions and debates about the effects of new media on things like learning and literacy, social relationships, privacy, globalisation, and social and economic equality;

5) communicate and debate about issues concerning language and new media using a variety new media genres and formats including social bookmarking, blog posts, and digital video.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
Mediation; reading and writing hypertext; multimodal and multimedia communication; genres and registers of new media language; participation frameworks and conversational patterns in new media interactions; face and politeness in new media communication; attention structures in new media communication; online cultures and intercultural communication; language and mobile communication; games and gaming cultures; social networking and online identity; collaboration and peer production; remix and intertextuality; virality and the flow of information; language and online surveillance.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Interactive lectures, small group discussions, online discussions, project work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
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 25
Portfolio 50
Oral assessment and presentation 25

Other information on summative assessment:
1) Students will write one paper of around 1000 words on a topic of their choice approved by the instructor. 25%

2) Students will keep reflective blogs in which they will write weekly posts (of approx. 200 words each) critically reflecting on reading assignments and applying ideas from the readings to their own new media language practices and those of their friends. (50%)

3) Students will work in groups to conduct a mini research project on some aspect of language and new media. They will report the findings of their project in the form of a ten-minute YouTube video. (25%)

Formative assessment methods:
Students will receive on-going feedback from the instructor and from other students in the form of comments on their reflective blog posts.

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:

    Resubmission of coursework by 17 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: 13 September 2017

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