LSMEW-English in the World

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

Module Convenor: Prof Jane Setter


Summary module description:
This course looks at how English has developed as an international language in terms of societal roles and linguistic features since the time of Elizabeth I.

To provide students with an understanding of the role of the English language in the contemporary world.
To locate this understanding in a knowledge of the historical, economic and social forces which have shaped this role.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of his module it is anticipated that the student will be able to:

  • describe and analyse the context in which the English language developed into an international language
  • discuss the relationships between standard English, literacy, and the economy
  • identify the ways in which English has been spread throughout the world
  • describe identify the principal international varieties of English
  • discuss and evaluate the notion of "official language" and "national language"
  • discuss the desirability or otherwise of English as an educational medium of instruction
  • critically assess a range of views on the global dominance of English
  • organise their knowledge and articulate their arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage students, and especially those for whom English is their first language, to reflect upon the role of English in the world today, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of this from individual, national and international perspectives.

Outline content:
The social, historical, economic and political context in the spread of English is considered. Different varieties of English around the world are examined: international varieties of English and English-influenced Creoles are described from the perspective of sounds systems, vocabulary, and grammatical patterning. There will be opportunities for students to use knowledge of linguistics gained elsewhere in the course to analyse and identify samples of 'international Englishes'. The various attitudes and opinions that surround English are also considered; its status as an official language, a national language, a standard language, and its role in education is scrutinised. Core approaches to English as an International language (EIL) are examined. Finally we shall consider the costs and benefits of English as the language of the global village, its competitors on the world stage, and the future of English.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Interactive lectures with online support.

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 80
Set exercise 20

Other information on summative assessment:

  • A weekly online multiple choice test answering questions relating to specific course reading (10%);
  • Participation in a research study on an aspect of English in the World (10%)
  • A 3,000-3,500 word assignment (80%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-sbumission by 1st September 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

Things to do now