Language and Communication




Language and Communication is an interdisciplinary programme within the Faculty of Arts, which centres on the study and use of language in society in a multilingual, globalized world. It thereby focuses on both languages of global import, such as English, as well as those with local significance, and on how they are appropriated and positioned in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia. The programme provides the theoretical foundations and applied contexts for understanding and addressing linguistic and social questions of language and communication. It equips students with the intellectual and practical tools to critically examine, intelligently reflect on, and competently participate in communicative situations, in real-world contexts, such as in the workplace as well as in more informal sites of multilingual communication. The Language and Communication programme takes particular pride in engaging in experiential learning, from internships and projects in courses involving fieldwork in Hong Kong, to initiatives such as overseas field trips. In addressing the need in society for linguistically versatile and culturally sensitive leaders in the 21st-century knowledge economy of Asia’s world city and beyond, the programme aims at honing transferable skills for a wide range of careers, including education, materials development, editing and publishing, public administration, public relations, marketing, the media, event organization, tourism, cultural affairs and global creative industries.

The courses of the Language and Communication programme incorporate a variety of teaching and learning methods, including formal lectures, seminars, small group tutorials, workshops, and online learning. They are mostly assessed by coursework, including oral presentations, in-class tests and quizzes, essays and research projects and portfolios. They are designed to provide students with skills of accurate and historically sensitive analysis, critical reading and thinking, and clear and coherent argument in both writing and speaking.

Students are encouraged to discuss their study plans and course selections with the UG Coordinator, their Academic Advisers, or any teachers in the Language and Communication programme.




Programme Outcomes

On successful completion of the major or minor in Language and Communication, students should be able to: 

  • identify and critique relevant issues in the study of language and communication, and apply theoretical and methodological knowledge to real-world social and linguistic data;
  • critically evaluate established knowledge and creatively apply it to novel, contemporary contexts of communication, in this multilingual, globalized world, in particular in the settings of Hong Kong and Asia;
  • critically reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of their own and others’ viewpoints and communicative practices, and challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about language and communication;
  • identify, appreciate and critically examine the role of diversity in languages and communicative strategies across cultures and time, and how this shapes one’s linguistic identity and comes to bear upon communicative situations, drawing on cross-cultural perspectives in the study of language and communication;
  • use the necessary intellectual, communicative and practical skills to participate in intellectual discussions of linguistic and social issues and collaborate productively in research projects, in and for both institutional and real-world contexts; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of contemporary social and political issues of language and communication in the context of globalization – such as the appropriation and positioning of languages of global significance, in particular English, and the fine balance struck with other local languages, with a view to sustainability in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia, – which allows for intelligent, significant and responsible contributions to society.



Syllabus for students admitted in 2019-20

Below is a summary of the full syllabuses. For the full syllabuses with course descriptions, please click here.

*New courses added to the relevant course list shall also be counted towards the major/minor for students admitted in the earlier cohort(s).


First-year Prerequisite

Students intending to declare a major or minor in Language and Communication in the second year must pass at least one introductory LCOM course from List A “Historical and Theoretical Foundations” (6 credits) in the first year.

Admission to all introductory courses is on the basis of academic record including a minimum Level 5 in English Language in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination, or an equivalent score in another recognized English proficiency test.


Major in Language and Communication (78 credits)

To complete the requirements of the major, students must take:

  1. 30 credits of introductory courses (including the first-year prerequisite), normally taken in the first two years of study, which consist of:
  2. (a) 12 credits from List A (of which at least 6 credits must be from LCOM as a first-year prerequisite);
    (b) 6 credits from List B;
    (c) 12 credits from List C; and

  3. 48 credits of advanced courses, which consist of:
  4. (a) 24 credits from the ENGL and LCOM course lists below (of which 12 credits must be from LCOM, and 12 credits from either ENGL or LCOM), which must include a capstone course to be taken preferably in the final year;
    (b) 24 credits from any other programmes from the list below (i.e. which are not ENGL and LCOM courses).


Minor in Language and Communication (36 credits)

To complete the requirements of the minor, students must take:

  1. 18 credits of introductory courses (including the first-year prerequisite), which consist of:
  2. (a) 6 credits of LCOM course from List A (first-year prerequisite);
    (b) 6 credits from List B;
    (c) 6 credits from List C; and

  3. 18 credits of advanced courses (of which at least 6 credits must be from LCOM).


Introductory Courses

List A: Historical and Theoretical Foundations
The courses in this list will introduce students to the history and organization of diverse areas of linguistic scholarship. Students will acquire a general overview of selected areas and issues, including major theoretical distinctions or classifications and their historical development over time.

ENGL1011.   An introduction to the study of meaning (6 credits)
ENGL1015.   Introduction to English linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1017.   Introduction to sociolinguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1018.   Language and gender (6 credits)
ENGL1037.   Persuasion (6 credits)
ENGL1045.   “Community” in Sociolinguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1051.   English sounds (6 credits)

LCOM1001.   Introduction to language and communication (6 credits)
LCOM1002.   Language, communication, society, field (6 credits)
LCOM1003.   Theorizing communication (6 credits)
LCOM1004.   Introduction to pragmatics (6 credits)

List B: Critical Reading, Analysis and Writing
The courses in this list will introduce students to the practice and methods of critical reading, analysis and writing, focusing on different areas of literary and linguistic study. Students will acquire a basic grasp of analytical distinctions and terminology, and learn to ask questions and construct critical arguments.

ENGL1014.   Imaginary geographies: The art of writing place (6 credits)
ENGL1026.   Adaptation: From text to screen (6 credits)
ENGL1027.   Analyzing discourse (6 credits)
ENGL1028.   Awakenings: Exploring women’s writing (6 credits)
ENGL1030.   Dramatic changes: Versions of Renaissance literature (6 credits)
ENGL1031.   English grammar(s) (6 credits)
ENGL1032.   Late Victorian Texts and Contexts (6 credits)
ENGL1033.   Intercultural communication (6 credits)
ENGL1034.   Language and prejudice (6 credits)
ENGL1035.   Language crimes (6 credits)
ENGL1036.   Meaning and metaphor (6 credits)
ENGL1038.   Practice of criticism (6 credits)
ENGL1039.   Realism and representation (6 credits)
ENGL1040.   Rewriting and writing back (6 credits)
ENGL1041.   Modernity and literary modernism (6 credits)
ENGL1042.   World Englishes (6 credits)
ENGL1043.   An introduction to 20th-century English Poetry (6 credits)
ENGL1047.   The English lexicon (6 credits)
ENGL1048.   Crime stories (6 credits)
ENGL1049.   Early English sonnets (6 credits)
ENGL1050.   An introduction to qualitative research methods in sociolinguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1052.   Introduction to theatre studies (6 credits)

List C: Introductory Courses from other programmes
African Studies
AFRI1001.     Foundations in African Studies (6 credits)
AFRI2004.     Introduction to African linguistics (6 credits)

China Studies
SINO1003.    Greater China: A multi-disciplinary introduction (6 credits)

Comparative Literature
CLIT1008.      Ways of reading: Film, literature, and culture (6 credits)
CLIT1010.      Ways of thinking about culture and society (6 credits)

European Studies
EUST1010.   Foundations of European Studies (6 credits)

General Linguistics
LING1000.     Introduction to language (6 credits)
LING1004.     Language structure for language learning (6 credits)
LING2004.     Phonetics: Describing sounds (6 credits)
LING2009.     Languages of the world (6 credits)
LING2034.     Psycholinguistics (6 credits)
LING2050.     Grammatical description (6 credits)
LING2056.     Sociolinguistics (6 credits)

Global Creative Industries
GCIN1001.    Introduction to global creative industries (6 credits)

Hong Kong Studies
HKGS1001.   Hong Kong’s long twentieth century (6 credits)

Japanese Studies
JAPN1011.    Introduction to Japanese studies (6 credits)

Korean Studies
KORE1021.   Introduction to Korean culture and society (6 credits)

CHIN1311.    Introduction to translation (6 credits)
CHIN2333.    Culture and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2352.    Language contrast and translation I (6 credits)
CHIN2364.    Bilingualism and law: Perspectives from translation (6 credits)

Students should note that LING1000 is the pre-requisite for the five other introductory LING courses. However students who have completed any introductory course in List A may enroll in these LING courses without the pre-requisite LING course.



Advanced Courses

In order to enroll in any advanced courses in English Studies or Language and Communication, students must normally have completed 18 credits of introductory courses, with at least 6 credits from both List A and List B.

Students should note that they bear the responsibility of fulfilling the necessary pre-requisites, if any, for advanced courses in other programmes. Students who have completed any introductory course in List A may however enroll in some of the advanced LING courses in the list below without having to do the pre-requisite and/or introductory LING course(s), though it may still be preferable to do so.

American Studies
AMER2002.    The road in American culture (6 credits)
AMER2014.    A dream in the heart: varieties of Asian American culture (6 credits)
AMER2022.    What’s on TV? Television and American culture (6 credits)
AMER2033.    Asia on America’s screen (6 credits)
AMER2038.   American film, from Golden-Age Hollywood to New Hollywood and beyond (6 credits)
AMER2040.    Creating culture in the world: American creative industries in the age of globalization (6 credits)
AMER2041.   How the West was won: The frontier in American culture and literature (6   credits)
AMER2042.    Consuming culture: decoding American symbols (6 credits)
AMER2043.    Born in the USA: U.S. youth cultures (6 credits)
AMER2045.    Film beyond the mainstream: American art cinema (6 credits)
AMER2048.   American literature (6 credits)
AMER2055     From slavery to the White House: African American history and culture (6 credits)

China Studies
SINO2007.    Creative Industries in China in a Global Context (6 credits)

Comparative Literature
CLIT2001.      Comparative studies of literary and visual narratives (6 credits)
CLIT2025.      Visual cultures (6 credits).
CLIT2026.      Digital culture (6 credits)
CLIT2045.      Colonialism/ Postcolonialism (6 credits)
CLIT2050.      Globalisation and culture (6 credits)
CLIT2064.      Hong Kong culture: Popular arts and everyday life (6 credits)
CLIT2074.      Film and ideology in contemporary China (6 credits)
CLIT2083.     Film art, language and culture (6 credits)
CLIT2096.      Ethics of film and literature (6 credits)

English Studies
ENGL2002.   Language in society (6 credits)
ENGL2004.   English syntax (6 credits)
ENGL2007.   Literary linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL2030.   New Englishes (6 credits)
ENGL2039.   Gender, sexuality and discourse (6 credits)
ENGL2047.   English discourse structures and strategies (6 credits)
ENGL2048.   Language and jargon (6 credits)
ENGL2050.   English corpus linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL2057.   Text and image (6 credits)
ENGL2103.   Language and digital media (6 credits)
ENGL2104.   Language in the USA (6 credits)
ENGL2112.   An introduction to the history of English (6 credits)
ENGL2115.   Theories of language acquisition (6 credits)
ENGL2117.   English phonology and morphology (6 credits)
ENGL2123.   Language and identity in Hong Kong (6 credits)
ENGL2125.   English construction grammar (6 credits)
ENGL2126.   Law, meaning, and interpretation (6 credits)
ENGL2127.   Language and the law (6 credits)
ENGL2129.   English as a language of science (6 credits)
ENGL2130.   Signs, language and meaning: Integrational reflections (6 credits)
ENGL2138.   Language and globalization (6 credits)
ENGL2140.   Ideologies of language in early modernity (6 credits)
ENGL2141.   Doing discourse analysis (6 credits)
ENGL2146.   Cognitive semantics (6 credits)
ENGL2158.   Language processing and learning (6 credits)
ENGL2160.   Sovereignty in law, theory and culture (6 credits)
ENGL2161.   Language rights and linguistic justice (6 credits)
ENGL2166.   English phonetics (6 credits)
ENGL2168.   The law of signs: Interpretative controversies in legal semiotics (6 credits)

European Studies
EUST2010.   European Identity (6 credits)
EUST2015.   From cinema to society: Understanding Europe through film (6 credits)
EUST2016.   Creative industries in Europe in a global context (6 credits)
EUST2017.   World War I (6 credits)
EUST2030.   The modern imagination in Europe (6 credits)
EUST3012.   The EU as a global actor and EU-China relations (6 credits)
EUST3015.   The dark side of European civilization: the Holocaust (6 credits)
EUST3018.   European empire: Comparative British and French imperialism (6 credits)
EUST3020. The making of the West: From Descartes to Rorty (6 credits)

General Linguistics
LING2003.     Semantics: Meaning and grammar (6 credits)
LING2013.     Language typology: The study of linguistic diversity (6 credits)
LING2022.     Pragmatics (6 credits)
LING2023.     Discourse analysis (6 credits)
LING2036.     Child language (6 credits)
LING2037.     Bilingualism (6 credits)
LING2040.     Languages in contact (6 credits)
LING2048.     Language and cognition (6 credits)
LING2058.     Topics in Cantonese linguistics (6 credits)
LING2060.     Languages of China (6 credits)
LING2061.     Linguistic fieldwork (6 credits)
LING2062.     Linguistic research methods (6 credits)
LING2065.     Endangered languages: Issues and methods (6 credits)
LING2069.    Origins of language (6 credits)

Global Creative Industries
GCIN2002.    Commercializing creativity: A cultural critique (6 credits)
GCIN2006.    Fashion and luxury: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)
GCIN2007.    Film and media: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)
GCIN2008.    Advertising: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)
GCIN2011.    Understanding Hong Kong TV industry (6 credits)
GCIN2014.    Communication strategies in advertising (6 credits)
GCIN2018.    Publishing industry in digital age (6 credits)

Hong Kong Studies
HKGS2001.   Speaking of Hong Kong: Global voices (6 credits)
HKGS2002.   Hong Kong identities in local, national and global contexts (6 credits)
HKGS2004.   Hong Kong’s economic growth: A modernisation and internationalisation miracle (6 credits)
HKGS2005.   An anthropology of Hong Kong’s belief systems and religious practices (6 credits)
HKGS2007.   Geographic challenges: The ‘space premium’ and Hong Kong society (6 credits)

Japanese Studies
JAPN2031.   The media and Japan (6 credits)
JAPN2045.   Sex, gender, and technology in Japan (6 credits)
JAPN2050.   Creative industries in East Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan) (6 credits)
JAPN2057.   Multi-cultural advertising (6 credits)
JAPN2058.   Understanding popular culture in Japan (6 credits)
JAPN2081.   Japanese literature (6 credits)
JAPN2082.   Japanese film and society (6 credits)
JAPN2083.   Contemporary Japanese society and culture (6 credits)
JAPN2084.   Studies in Japanese culture (6 credits)
JAPN2090.   Growing up in Japan: Youth, culture and society (6 credits)
JAPN2091.   Introduction to pre-modern Japan (6 credits)
JAPN3035.   Revolutionary origins of modern Japan (6 credits)
JAPN3036.   Medicine and disease in Japanese history (6 credits)
JAPN3039.   Japanese popular music and Hong Kong society (6 credits)

Korean Studies
KORE2026.  Topics in Korean culture and society (6 credits)
KORE2027.  Creative industries in Korea in a global context (6 credits)
KORE2033.  Modern and contemporary Korea (6 credits)

Language and Communication
LCOM2001.   Theories of language and communication (6 credits)
LCOM2002.   Language in the workplace (6 credits)
LCOM2003.   Language and politeness (6 credits)
LCOM2004.   Language, communication and the media (6 credits)
LCOM2005.   Language, communication and globalization (6 credits)
LCOM2007.   Visual communication (6 credits)
LCOM2008.   Health communication, ‘healthy’ communication (6 credits)
LCOM2009.   Language and religion (6 credits)
LCOM2011.   The language of news media (6 credits)

PHIL2075.     The semantics/pragmatics distinction (6 credits)
PHIL2230.     Philosophy and cognitive science (6 credits)
PHIL2410.     Mind and language in Chinese thought (6 credits)
PHIL2610.     Philosophy of Language (6 credits)

CHIN2331.    Choice of words in translation (6 credits)
CHIN2332.    Translation in Hong Kong society (6 credits)
CHIN2339.    Translation for administration and business (6 credits)
CHIN2340.    Film translation workshop (6 credits)
CHIN2341.    Translating writings on art (6 credits)
CHIN2342.    Interpretation workshop II (6 credits)
CHIN2343.    Legal interpreting (6 credits)
CHIN2344.    Short stories: East and West (6 credits)
CHIN2345.    Syntax-based translation (6 credits)
CHIN2346.    From page to stage: A workshop on drama adaptation and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2347.    World literature and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2348.    Bilingual studies in media and popular culture (6 credits)
CHIN2351.   Translation criticism (6 credits)
CHIN2356.    Language contrast and translation II (6 credits)
CHIN2357.   Bilingual communication in translation (6 credits)
CHIN2358.    Journeys to the East: Translation and China in the literary imagination of the West (6 credits)
CHIN2363.    Advanced translation workshop C-E (6 credits)
CHIN2366.   Advanced theories of translation (6 credits)
CHIN2367.   Advanced translation workshop E-C (6 credits)
CHIN3311.    Translation and the study of Chinese literature (6 credits)
CHIN3312.    Travel writing, literature, and translation (6 credits)

Capstone Courses
LCOM3001.   Cultural dimensions of language and communication (capstone experience) (6 credits)
LCOM3004.   Language and communication field trip (capstone experience) (6 credits)
LCOM3005.   Internship in language and communication (capstone experience) (6 credits)
LCOM3006.   Extended essay in language and communication (capstone experience) (6 credits)



Course offerings and time-table

Please see for course offerings and time-table of 2019-20.



UG Coordinator

Dr. Brian King
School of English
The University of Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3917 4474
Fax: (852) 2559 7139



Last updated: 22 July 2019