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:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Christiana Themistocleous


Type of module:

Summary module description:
The module aims to introduce students to the relationship between language and society and the study of language as a social phenomenon. Students will become familiar with diverse areas of sociolinguistic enquiry.

This module aims to develop an awareness of the concepts, theories and approaches involved in the study of the relationship between language and society. Students will also gain a critical understanding of the research methods involved in the study of linguistic phenomena. They will also learn how extralinguistic/social factors, such as social class, age, gender, identity, influence language use in the society.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to demonstrate:

- Familiarity with major research and case studies conducted within the field of sociolinguistics;

- Systematic understanding and knowledge of sociolinguistic terms and concepts;

- Knowledge and understanding of a range of theories/approaches developed to explain and analyse sociolinguistic phenomena;

- Knowledge and understanding of a range of research methods which can be used and adapted in order to investigate sociolinguistic phenomena;

- Ability to discuss critically and evaluate sociolinguistic theories/approaches and methodologies;

- Ability to collect and analyse authentic data using relevant theories/approaches. 

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage students' critical analytical skills. Students will also have the opportunity to improve their group work and communication skills through discussions and exercises set in class.

Outline content:

The module will begin by looking at regional and social dialectology and familiarising students with different accents and dialects in the UK. Then we will focus on quantitative approaches to sociolinguistic research by looking at language variation and change and stylistic variation. Students will then learn different models used for the investigation of multilingual speech communities (Sociology of Language, Ethnolinguistic vitality and Linguistic Landscapes) and they will become familiar with the outcomes of language contact. Issues such as language maintenance, language death and revitalisation will also be addressed. We will then turn the focus on social aspects code-switching, and we will look at different models that have been developed to explain and analyse language choice (e.g. ‘Markedness Model’, ‘Conversation Analysis’ and ‘Translanguaging’). Throughout this module we also examine language attitudes, language and power and language ideologies. All these issues will be introduced with reference to recent sociolinguistic research. Students will learn how to collect and analyse data using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
One two-hour lecture per week. During the two-hour sessions, discussion topics and data-driven exercises will be set.

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 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will carry out one small-scale research project (3,000-3,500 words) by collecting and analysing their own original data. A list of research topics will be provided.

Formative assessment methods:

Research project outline

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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination by exam by 1st 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: 20 April 2018


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