This course introduces students to a core set of research methodologies used in sociolinguistic research. Quantitative research collects and analyses numerical data, while qualitative research involves non-numerical data and attempts to resist the seductions of quantification. Students will acquire theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in a number of research methods and approaches for examining different aspects of language use in its social and societal contexts. These may include interviews, surveys, ethnography, observation, discourse analysis, conversational analysis and multimodal analysis. Students will learn how to develop research projects, pose research questions, collect data and reflect on research ethics.
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Describe a range of methodologies and processes used in empirical research in sociolinguistics
- Critically read and evaluate research examining different aspects of language use in its social and societal contexts
- Develop and conduct research on a sociolinguistic topic of their choice using suitable data collection and analytical methods and approaches
- Present and discuss findings of their own research in a critical and reflexive manner
This course comprises of lectures, group discussions, student-led activities and presentations.
Attendance and participation (10%)
Language-use profile of a speech or discourse community (groupwork) (20%)
Research project: proposal, poster + presentation (50%)
Written reflection (20%)
Research fundamentals and research ethics, speech and discourse communities, methods of data collection, multimodal analysis and linguistic landscapes, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, multilingual spaces and practices, ecolinguistic approaches.
Key readings will include selected chapters from: Holmes, J., and Hazen, K. (Eds.) (2014). Research methods in sociolinguistics: A practical guide. Wiley Blackwell.
Other required and recommended readings will be provided throughout the course. Students are expected to source additional readings related to their research topics.