The course aims to provide students with

  • sound knowledge of the complexities involved in applying a range of qualitative research methods to the sociolinguistic study of language use online and offline;
  • an ability to analyse data taken from online and/or offline spaces in an appropriate, critical, curious and reflexive manner;
  • competence to present findings of qualitative research by means of an academic poster.




Lectures: Mondays, 12:30-2:20pm
Lecturing, group discussion, collaborative viewing of data and student poster presentations

Tutorials: Thursdays, 12:30-1.20pm
Student-led group activities and practical workshops

Office Hours
Please make individual arrangements (at least once during the semester) to see Jaspal to discuss your research project and clarify any questions you might have.



Coursework Assessment

Assessment for the course is 100% coursework. This is made up of:

15% - Written reflexive commentary on in-class participant observation (ca. 500 words, submission due 30 September 2018)
25% - Learning journal entry (ca. 1000 words on one or two qualitative research methods introduced in the course, submission due 21 October 2018)
10% - Presentation on semiotic landscapes (ca. two minutes, on 25 October 2018)
30% - Academic poster (one page, submission due on 25 November 2018)
20% - Presentation of academic poster (ca. two minutes, on 26 November 2018)



Course syllabus

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction – Online and offline worlds; qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in sociolinguistics
Tutorial: How to write a learning journal

Week 2

Lecture: Online data collection and new challenges for research ethics
Tutorial: Ideas for research projects

Week 3

Lecture: Developing research questions
Tutorial: In-class group exercises on researchable questions

Week 4

Lecture: Ethnography and participant observation
Tutorial: In-class participant observation       
Submission due 30 September 2018: Reflexive commentary on in-class participant observation (500 words, 15%)

Week 5

Lecture: Discourse Analysis
Tutorial: Practical Discourse Analysis workshop

Week 6

Lecture: Multimodal Analysis
Tutorial: Practical Multimodal Analysis workshop

Week 7

Submission due 21 October 2018: Learning journal entry on one or two research methods (1000 words, 25%)

Week 8

Lecture: Semiotic Landscapes
Tutorial: Student presentations on semiotic landscapes (10%)

Week 9

Lecture: Multilingualism and digital vernaculars on social media
Tutorial: Group activity on emoticons and multilingual online practices 

Week 10

Lecture: Video-conferencing
Tutorial: Video-chat experiment

Week 11

Lecture: Big data and research ethics revisited
No tutorial: Independent study time

Week 12

Lecture: Recap of methodologies and guidance on presenting your research
No tutorial: Independent study time

Submission due 25 November 2018: Academic posters (1 page, 30%)
Week 13

Lecture: Student poster presentations (20%) and closing
No tutorial




General reading
Page, Ruth, David Barton, Johann Wolfgang Unger and Michele Zappavigna (2014) Researching Language and Social Media: A Student Guide. London: Routledge.

Week 1 Introduction
Core reading
Jones, Rodney, H. (2004) The problem of context in Computer Mediated Communication. In: Philip LeVine and Ron Scollon (eds.) Discourse and Technology: Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press, 20–33.
Additional reading
Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2006) Introduction: Sociolinguistics and Computer Mediated Communication. Journal of Sociolinguistics 10(4): 419–438.
Barton, David and Carmen Lee (2013) Language in the digital world & Ten reasons why studying the online world is crucial for understanding language. In: Language Online: Investigating Digital Texts and Practices. London: Routledge, 1–15 & 15–23.
Bolander, Brook and Miriam A. Locher (2014) Doing sociolinguistic research on computer-mediated data: A review of four methodological issues. Discourse, Context and Media 3: 14–26.

Week 2 Online data collection and new challenges for research ethics
Core reading
Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2012) Online data collection. In Christine Mallinson, Becky Childs and Gerard van Herk (eds.) Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications. London: Routledge, 236–250.
Markham, Annette and Elizabeth Buchanan, with contributions from the AOIR Ethics Working Committee (2012) Ethical decision-making and Internet research 2.0: Recommendations from the AOIR Ethics Working Committee. www.aoir.org/reports/ethics2.pdf.
Additional materials
Application Form for Departmental Ethics Review of Undergraduate Research Project required for all empirical research.
Association of Internet Researchers Ethics

Week 3 Developing research questions
Core reading
Sunderland, Jane (2010) Research questions in linguistics. In: Lia Litosseliti (ed.) Research Methods in Linguistics. London: Continuum, 9–28.
Additional reading
Jucker Andreas H. (2009) Speech act research between armchair, field and laboratory: The case of compliments. Journal of Pragmatics 41(8): 1611–1635.

Week 4 Ethnography and participant observation
Core reading
Varis Piia (2016) Digital ethnography. In: Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Tereza Spilioti (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Digital Communication. London: Routledge, 55–68.
Additional reading
Androutsopoulos, Jannis. 2008. Potentials and limitations of discourse-centred online ethnography.Language@Internet. http://www.languageatinternet.org/articles/2008/1610/androutsopoulos.pdf.
Levon, Erez (2012) Ethnographic fieldwork. In: Christine Mallinson, Becky Childs and Gerard van Herk (eds.) Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications. London: Routledge, 69–79.
Nardi, Bonnie (2010) An ethnographic investigation of World of Warcraft. In: My life as a night elf priest: An anthropological account of World of Warcraft. XXXX, 27–35.
Postill, John (2017) Remote ethnography: Studying culture from afar. In: Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway and Genevieve Bell (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. London: Routledge, 61-69.

Week 5 Discourse Analysis
Core reading
Spilioti, Tereza (2011) Beyond genre: Closings and relational work in text-messaging. In: Crispin Thurlow and Kristine Mroczek (eds.) Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 67–85.
Additional reading
Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2013) Participatory culture and metalinguistic discourse: Performing and negotiating German dialects on YouTube. In: Deborah Tannen and Anna Marie Trester (eds.) Discourse 2.0. Language and New Media. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press, 47–71.
Herring, Susan C. (2004) Computer-mediated discourse analysis: An approach to researching online behaviour. In: Sasha A. Barab, Rob Kling and James H. Gray (eds.) Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning. New York: Cambridge University Press, 338–376. http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/cmda.pdf.
Jones, Rodney H. (2001) Beyond the screen: A participatory study of computer mediated communication among Hong Kong youth. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. personal.cityu.edu.hk/~enrodney/Research/ICQPaper.pdf.

Week 6 Multimodal Analysis
Core reading
Machin, David and Theo van Leeuwen (2016) Sound, music and gender in mobile games. Gender and Language 10(3): 412–432.
Additional reading
Jewitt, Carey (2009) An introduction to multimodality. In: Carey Jewitt (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis. London: Routledge, 14–27.
Jones, Rodney. H. (2005) ‘You show me yours, I’ll show you mine’: The Negotiation of shifts from textual to visual modes in computer-mediated interaction among gay men. Visual Communication 4(1): 69–92.

Week 7 Reading Week
Please use Reading Week to catch up on readings you might have missed and to do your own literature research on topics you are interested in.

Week 8 Semiotic Landscapes
Core reading
Lee, Carmen (2015) Digital discourse@public space: Flows of language online and offline. In: Rodney H. Jones, Alice Chik and Christoph A. Hafner (eds.) Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age. London:Routledge, 175–192.
Additional reading
Jaworski, Adam and Crispin Thurlow (2010) Introducing semiotic landscapes. In: Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space. London: Continuum, 1–40.

Week 9 Multilingualism and digital vernaculars on social media
Core reading
Barton, David and Carmen Lee (2013) HELLO! BONJOUR! CIAO! HOLA! GUTEN TAG! Deploying linguistic resources online. In: Language Online: Investigating Digital Texts and Practices. London: Routledge, 42–54.
Additional reading
Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2006) Multilingualism, diaspora, and the Internet: Codes and identities on German-based diaspora websites. Journal of Sociolinguistics 10(4): 520–547.
Lenihan, Aoife (2011) ‘Join our community of translators’: Language ideologies and/in Facebook. In: Crispin Thurlow and Kristine Mroczek (eds.) Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 48–66.

Week 10: Video conferencing
Core reading
Longhurst, Robyn (2017) Chapter 5 – Families friends and loved ones. In: Skype: Bodies, Screens, Space. London: Routledge.
Additional reading
Cserző, Dorottya (2016) Nexus analysis meets scales: An exploration of sites of engagement in videochat interviews. In: Jaspal Naveel Singh, Argyro Kantara and Dorottya Cserző (eds.) Downscaling Culture: Revisiting Intercultural Communication. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 337–365.
Licoppe, Christian and Julien Morel (2012) Video-in-interaction: ‘Talking heads’ and the multimodal organization of mobile and Skype video calls. Research on Language and Social Interaction 45(4): 399–429.  

Week 11: Big data and research ethics revisited
Core reading
Jones, Rodney H and Christoph A. Hafner (2012) Chapter 2 – Information everywhere. In: Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction. London: Routledge, 19–34.
Additional reading
boyd, dana (2014) It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Pariser, Eli (2011) The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You. New York: Penguin.

Week 12: No assigned readings

Week 13: No assigned readings



Last updated: 5 July 2018