LSMFLS-Foundations of Language Study

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

Module Convenor: Prof Jane Setter


Summary module description:
This module aims to familiarise MA students with the phonetic and phonological systems of the English language (General British accent) and to increase the sophistication of participants' understanding of the ways in which the English language can be described grammatically at phrase and sentence level. Participants will be introduced to the major formal and functional units involved in the articulation/production of sounds, syllables, stress, intonation, words and the construction of sentences. Special areas of study in Grammar will be the Verb Phrase (including tense, aspect, modality and valency of the English verb) and the Noun Phrase (including determiners and modification).

The module aims to:

- familiarise students with the phonetic and phonological systems of the English language
- familiarise students with systems for transcribing English sounds
- develop awareness of how grammar is used
- develop awareness of how grammar is analysed

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

- the ability to identify and explain the major elements and structures of English at the levels of phonetics and phonology;
- the ability to transcribe spoken English from a variety of sources using appropriate notation;
- a critical understanding of how major formal and functional units may be used to describe the construction of sentences, and an ability to apply such categories to parse English sentences;
- an awareness of how meaning is constructed through morphological and syntactic properties of the Verb Phrase;
- an understanding of the concepts of tense, aspect and modality in the English verb;
- an awareness of the formal and functional components of the Noun Phrase, and of premodifiers and determinatives in particular;
- the ability to discuss critically issues which arise from such analyses, with reference to pedagogic contexts;
- the ability to organize their knowledge effectively in writing under timed conditions.

Additional outcomes:
Through access to web-based materials, students will have an opportunity to develop IT skills

Outline content:
In English Grammar: the description of language: levels and units, word classes. Grammar: types of grammar; data used for grammar. Levels of grammatical analysis: function and form in clause and phrase. Means of expressing grammatical relationships: inflection and word order. The Verb Phrase: the structure and communicative grammar of the verb phrase, including tense, aspect, modality and valency. The Noun Phrase: noun classes and categories, determiners, modification.

In English Phonology: The elements and domains of the English sound system; standard English phonemes (consonants and vowels) and their principal allophones; systems for transcribing these sounds; some sounds of other varieties of English and how they relate to the system of Standard English; principles of assignment of English stress and intonation in words and sentences; methods of transcribing English stress and intonation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is carried out through interactive lectures, task-base seminar discussions, where students analyse examples, and independent study using web-based support.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25
Practicals classes and workshops 15
Guided independent study 160
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Practical skills assessment 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Written Exam - Grammar: 25%, Phonology: 25%
Practical skills assessment - Grammar: 25%, Phonology: 25%

Formative assessment methods:
Weekly exercises are available online to support students' learning. Students do a mock broad phonetic transcription from dictation in Week 8.

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:
If module failed because of failure in examination, re-examination by exam to be taken by 1 September. If module failed because of failure in assignment, re-submission of assignment by 1 September.

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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