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ENGL7109 - Language variation across society and speakers
Instructor(s)
Semester
2021-2022 Second Semester
Credits
6.00
Contact Hours per week
2
Form of Assessment
100% coursework
Time
Tuesday , 1:30 pm - 3:20 pm , MB201

This course will explore how language use varies within and between societies and speakers. We will examine the effect of social factors, such as social class, age, gender and sexuality, on individual speakers, and on how these speakers cohere into a variety of speech communities, social networks and communities of practice. Our investigation will embrace both the micro-interactional dynamics of speech, including an account of how individuals themselves speak differently according to addressee, setting and purpose, as well as macro-social approaches, such as when governments attempt to plan language use for the countries and speakers they govern. While the focus will be on the English language and English-speaking societies, the course will also consider language contact between English and other languages.

 

Topics

  • Linguistic variation and change in monolingual societies
  • Linguistic variation and the individual
  • Variation in language choice within and between multilingual societies at the macrosocial and micro-interactional levels
  • The variable outcomes of language policy and planning
  • Contextual and situational factors influencing language use

 

Objectives

Students will learn how to describe and interpret patterns of linguistic variation with reference to a range of social factors across a variety of monolingual and multilingual communities. They will compare and contrast the theoretical approaches that seek to account for such variation, and in so doing develop the ability to understand current research within the discipline. Finally, the course will provide students with the means to conduct their own investigation into linguistic variation.

 

Organisation

Activities

No. of Hours

e.g. Lectures (contact hours)

       Tutorials (contact hours)

       Assessment

       Self-study/Readings

12

12

50

50

 

Assessment

Assessment method

Type of assessment (e.g. description of assignment)

Weighting (%)

  1. Essay

Individual research project

50%

  1. Critical commentary

Response to an article or text commenting on language use

20%

  1. In-class test or short essay

Students can choose to be tested either on their knowledge of specific concepts discussed on the course or via the completion of a short essay

30%

Total

100%

 

Texts

Relevant course readings will be distributed to students throughout the course. Students are also expected to engage in their own independent research.


Instructor(s)
Semester
2021-2022 Second Semester
Credits
6.00
Contact Hours per week
2
Form of Assessment
100% coursework
Time
Tuesday , 1:30 pm - 3:20 pm , MB201