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Do you love the study of English and feel intrigued by linguistics? Are you looking for a degree that will give you broad-based employability? English language at Northumbria is a fascinating and adaptable subject that opens up a range of career choices.

 You’ll study a range of core modules in the areas of English grammar, discourse analysis, language ; psychology of language, sociolinguistics, and history and varieties of English. There is also a wide selection of option modules so you can focus on the areas that interest you most.

One such area is the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Depending on the number of TESOL-related modules you take, it’s possible to graduate with the degree award of ‘BA English Language Studies with TESOL’, which will give you additional employability.

92% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (Unistats, 2016)

Do you love the study of English and feel intrigued by linguistics? Are you looking for a degree that will give you broad-based employability? English language at Northumbria is a fascinating and adaptable subject that opens up a range of career choices.

 You’ll study a range of core modules in the areas of English grammar, discourse analysis, language ; psychology of language, sociolinguistics, and history and varieties of English. There is also a wide selection of option modules so you can focus on the areas that interest you most.

One such area is the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Depending on the number of TESOL-related modules you take, it’s possible to graduate with the degree award of ‘BA English Language Studies with TESOL’, which will give you additional employability.

92% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (Unistats, 2016)

Course Information

UCAS Code
Q310

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Humanities

Location
Squires Building, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Department / Humanities

Our Department of Humanities includes the subject areas of History, English Literature, English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing and American Studies.

Humanities Video Gallery

Discover more about what you will learn on the course, more about our academics research interests, and hear from current students by watching our videos

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

With a large number of staff who are active researchers, you’ll be learning from experts who are keen to share their enthusiasm and cutting-edge insights. Northumbria is particularly known for expertise in cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics and language learning and teaching.

Our professor of linguistics, Ewa Dabrowska, is the President of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association, which fosters UK-based and international initiatives, and a former editor of Cognitive Linguistics, the major academic journal in the field.

Our academics are well-regarded for teaching as well as their research. 94% of students say that staff are good at explaining things, according to the National Student Survey 2015. The same percentage say that the course is well-organised and runs smoothly.

English Language Student Profiles

Hear what it is really like to study English Language Studies BA (Hons) from our current students.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Your tutors will use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, small-group workshops and individual tutorials. These will be backed up by a well-designed support system that ensures you have a successful learning journey in each academic year. You will not only receive extensive feedback but also ‘feed-forward’ as tutors work with you to explore how you can keep improving on previous work.

Our assessment strategy is designed to support student-centred learning, based on our understanding that everyone has different needs, strengths and enthusiasms. Assessments will develop your communication skills while also testing your grasp of the learning outcomes for each module. Assessment methods will include presentations, learning diaries, written coursework, exams and a final-year dissertation.

A wide range of option modules are offered on this course. To ensure the quality of the student learning experience, some modules are subject to minimum and maximum student numbers.

Staff / Meet the Team

Our students learn from the best inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. The use of TEL enables us to ‘flip’ our classrooms where appropriate, so that contact time is focused on answering questions and applying what you have already learnt.

The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

There are over half a million print books and another 500,000 electronic books available online. The University has invested in specialist linguistics software and further facilities are available at the Institute for the Humanities, in the University’s Lipman Building. These include a resource room, specialist computing equipment and interview rooms. 

University Library

At the heart of each Northumbria campus, our libraries provide a range of study space and technology to suit every learning style.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

At Northumbria you will learn to carry out your own research projects as part of our very strong research-rich ethos, which has enabled the University to climb into the UK’s top 30 for research power in English language and literature.

In your first year you will be introduced to enquiry-based learning, exploring different ways of doing research in linguistics and conducting a partial replication and/or extension of a published study. In your second year there is increased focus on the critical evaluation of empirical studies and alternative research methods. In the final year you will undertake a dissertation on an area of linguistic enquiry that you negotiate with tutors. It’s a test of academic maturity that will enable you to demonstrate independent learning, academic rigour, self-directed purpose and intellectual ambition.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

If you are considering a career in teaching English, we have TESOL modules at each level of the course, as well as the optional ‘Student Tutoring’ module in the second year.

In your second year you will have the option of studying in another country. North America and mainland Europe are popular places for students to spend a semester, taking modules that will count towards their final degree. This type of international experience will give you an extra edge in the jobs market.

The active learning processes throughout the course will ensure that you cultivate your employability and competence. Every module will help develop transferable skills such as effective time management, excellent communication, good teamwork and high level analysis.

Student Life

A great social scene can be found at the heart of our campuses, featuring award-winning bars and a huge range of clubs and societies to join you'll be sure to meet people who share your enthusiasms.

The Hub / The Student View

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

With highly honed skills in communication and analysis, you will be ready to hit the ground running once you start a career. You can use your degree as a platform to launch a career in an area such as journalism, publishing, advertising, media, PR, cultural administration, finance, law, teaching and the civil service. You can also consider continuing your studies at postgraduate level. If you have chosen the TESOL route then you will be able to move into teaching English as a second or other language.

Whatever you decide to do, you will have strong employability as a result of having acquired the characteristics of a Northumbria graduate. These include critical reflection and self-learning, collaboration and curiosity, and the ability to apply your knowledge to solve problems in ways that are sustainable and ethical.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Language. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Course in brief

Who would this Course suit?

This course is for people who are fascinated by language and want an in-depth understanding of all its dimensions, including its development and power.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

GCSE Requirements:

A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent.  If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a minimum grade 4.

UCAS Tariff Points:

120-128 UCAS Tariff points including one or more of the following:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level:

From at least 2 GCE/VCE A Levels

Edexcel/BTEC National Extended Diploma:

Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Scottish Highers:

BBBCC - BBBBC at Higher level, CCC - BCC at Advanced Higher

Irish Highers:

BBBBB  - ABBBB

IB Diploma:

120-128 UCAS Tariff points including minimum score of 4 in at least three subjects at Higher level

Access to HE Diploma:

Award of full Access to HE Diploma including 18 units at Distinction and 27 at Merit

Qualification combinations:

The University welcomes applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types - for example A level and a BTEC qualification in combination, and if you are made an offer you will be asked to achieve UCAS Tariff points from all of the qualifications you are studying at level 3.  Should the course you wish to study have a subject specific requirement then you must also meet this requirement, usually from GCE A level.

 

Plus one of the following:

  • International/English Language Requirements:

    Applicants from the EU:

    Applicants from the EU are welcome to apply and if the qualification you are studying is not listed here then please contact the Admissions Team for advice or see our EU Applicants pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/european-union/eu-applications/

    International Qualifications:

    If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

    English Language Requirements:

    International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

UK/EU Fee in Year 1**: £9,250

International Fee in Year 1: £15,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Throughout your course you will be expected to purchase primary texts. An approximate cost will be in the range of £200-£300. Optional Modules where you are expected to have DBS clearance will incur a mandatory charge of approximately £50.

FUNDING INFORMATION

Click here for UK and EU undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU undergraduate tuition fee information**.

Click here for International undergraduate tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.

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Modules Overview

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL4007 -

Understanding English Grammar (Core, 20 Credits)

We will begin by asking what language is and how it is organised. What is it that we know when we know how to speak or write a language?

You will learn that language is systematically structured in various ways. You will learn how, as linguists, we can uncover some of those structures by investigating patterns and regularities in the way language is used. By examining everyday written and spoken language, you will learn about how language is organised, in terms of sounds (phonology), word forms (morphology), and sentence structures (syntax).

This module will introduce you to new ways of thinking about language and describing it. The concepts and terminology that you will learn on this module will provide you with an important foundation for studying many other questions and issues in linguistics. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4008 -

Introduction to Language and Literature (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will be studying the dynamic connection between language and literature. You will be introduced to the field of stylistics, which examines literary texts through linguistic analyses. This module focuses on the discussion of how literary effects are created, and how they can be analysed through linguistic means. You will study relevant linguistic theories and frameworks in this module, and will develop their abilities by applying linguistic theories to examine selected literary texts of differing genres.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop a number of transferable skills (e.g. communication, presentation and group work) when studying literary and linguistic texts within a wide range of cultural, social and political contexts. This will help develop your employability skills, as well as to improve your cultural awareness and intellectual openness.

More information

EL4009 -

Approaches to Language Study (Core, 20 Credits)

This module provides an introduction to the study of language. It begins with a consideration of the nature of language including its origins and properties. It then looks at the various levels of analysis open to the linguist starting with the sound of languages and how these are combined, moving on to words and sentences and then examining the construction of meaning. The module also looks at how languages are acquired, how they are stored in the brain and how this knowledge is deployed in communication. From a social point of view we will examine the factors that influence different varieties of a language at any point in time, and also how and why languages change and sometimes die. While the focus will be on English, other languages will be used to illustrate the range of features that languages may incorporate. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4011 -

Doing Linguistics (Core, 20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to linguistics as a science and to a variety of empirical research methods used by linguists. You will learn to record and analyse linguistic data, design experiments, and use basic descriptive and inferential statistics. You will also learn to locate and evaluate information, using printed and electronic media, and improve your IT, communication and team-working skills, which will directly contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4012 -

Introduction to Discourse Analysis (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module, students are introduced to the structure and dynamics of discourse as linguistic interaction. Here the module will examine the linguistics and social conventions surrounding and governing text and talk. As the module develops, students will go on to explore and analyse some of the discourses that shape our society: advertising, political discourse, legal discourse, medical discourse and educational discourse. This will in turn enhance students’ employability prospects in areas such as advertising, publishing and marketing.

More information

EL4013 -

Introduction to TESOL Classrooms (Core, 20 Credits)

The module will introduce you to some of the key concepts and approaches in the English language teaching field. Through a combination of tutor-led input, discussion and reflection upon your own learning experiences, you will develop an understanding of what ‘good learning and teaching’ might be and how teaching may vary with learners of varying levels of English,. You will learn about the different factors, internal and external, that influence language teaching and learning in the classroom. ‘Internal factors’ include individual differences such as age, aptitude, learner motivation, anxiety, and learning strategies; factors which are ‘external’ to the learner include the teacher, syllabus, teaching methodology, coursebook and so forth.

Over the course of the module, you will therefore explore the complexity inherent in an ELT classroom

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities & Social Sciences (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional, 40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

More information

EL5013 -

Language and Society (Core, 20 Credits)

You will examine the social meaning of variation in language use and language perception through the critical evaluation of the main research themes in sociolinguistics. As such, you will pay particular attention to historical, contemporary and emerging empirical research investigating social and regional linguistic variation in the UK and elsewhere; the relationship between language and identity, language and ethnicity, age, gender and social class; the investigation and implications of public attitudes towards linguistic diversity, the conscious and unconscious linguistic choices speakers make in specific contexts, and the development and identification of speech communities; and stylistic variation in language use.

You will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, again in terms of the findings of key empirical research investigating socio-psychological and contextual perspectives to the study of sociolinguistics. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding the role of language in society which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing.

More information

EL5014 -

History of English (Core, 20 Credits)

This module will place Present-day English in an historical context, examining some of the diachronic processes which have shaped the Present-day language. You will learn what earlier forms of English look like, how they differ from Present-day English and how to interpret evidence for language change. The main focus of the module will be on how and why English changes during its history. We will examine the role that speakers play in shaping the language by situating changes within their social context.

Through detailed examination of particular changes, we will identify recurrent patterns of change. You will learn to reconstruct patterns of change from textual evidence. We will engage with the key debates within historical linguistics, by evaluating and critiquing the work of researchers in the field. By engaging you with current research findings and methods, the module will equip you with skills for empirical analysis of historical linguistic data. Practical work with computerised datasets (corpora) will develop key transferrable skills in ICT, data analysis and your abilities to solve problems independently and/or collaboratively. Employers value these skills, so they will enhance your employability.

More information

EL5015 -

Language and Literature (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the field of stylistics. You will study the history and development of modern stylistics, and the key principles and theories of literary linguistics. Surrounding the key principles of texualism and contextualism, you will study three strands of stylistics, namely functional stylistics, narrative stylistics and cognitive stylistics. Within each of these strands, you will study how relevant research methods can help you explore a wide variety of linguistic features in prose fiction, poems, plays and other literary and non-literary discourses.

Through learning about the different ways in which stylistics theories and methods develop over time and interact with different academic disciplines, you will further develop and enhance your critical analytical skills and creative thinking when approaching complex and diverse issues in language use.

More information

EL5016 -

Psychology of Language (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will critically analyse, review and develop your knowledge and understanding of key principles, arguments and research methods connected with psycholinguistics, which explores the relationship between language and mind. You will continue to consolidate your understanding of how data from empirical investigation relates to theory by developing your ability to use evidence to defend or refute an argument about the nature of language and language processing. You will further explore the universal characteristics of language, place language in its biological and social contexts and be expected to apply ideas from empirical research to reach potential solutions to complex problems.

More information

EL5017 -

The sounds and structures of English (Core, 20 Credits)

The module seeks to introduce you to linguistic theory while building on their knowledge of the phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax of English. The module begins with an examination of English sentence structure from the perspective of generative grammar and then looks at how this underlying structure is realised in morpho-phonological form. You will acquire the ability to examine linguistic phenomena from a theoretical point of view and understand the interfaces between different levels of analysis.

More information

EL5019 -

Critical Approaches to Language Study (Optional, 20 Credits)

On this module, you will develop the knowledge and skills you need to undertake an independent research study. The module will help you prepare for the dissertation module, particularly if you are going to do an empirical study.

You will have the choice of investigating any language/linguistic topic and you will be able to advance your understanding of research design and implementation through critical evaluation of research methods. This will sometimes involve looking at a news story about a piece of linguistic research and the original research, and exploring how scientific results are sometimes misrepresented in the media. At the end, you will be able to understand and evaluate studies conducted by others as well as be able to design an experiment to answer a research question of your choice. Research skills will enhance your employability skills.

More information

EL5020 -

Classroom Skills for TESOL (Optional, 20 Credits)

There is currently no summary for this module.

TE5507 -

Student Tutoring (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will learn how to be a tutor of students in schools or colleges. You will develop your skills in communicating effectively with children or young people. As part of this process you will learn how to evaluate your own learning of how to support these pupils’ learning over a series of lessons. You will be learning how to transmit your own enthusiasm for learning in a professional context to pupils within the schooling system. You will learn about the issues facing teachers and other professionals within the school, college or learning centre. Learning how to apply your existing skills and knowledge in a work related context will be an important focus of this module for you. Knowing how to determine which skills and knowledge are relevant, and make appropriate use of these in the work context, will be a major learning opportunity for you.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities & Social Sciences (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional, 120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional, 120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

EL6024 -

English Language Dissertation (Core, 40 Credits)

This module will offer you the opportunity to complete a large scale independent research project (10,000 words) on an English Language or Linguistics topic of your choice. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a large scale research project; how to identify suitable research questions and methods; how to apply these methods appropriately to primary and/or secondary materials; and how to structure and write a sustained academic argument, following academic conventions appropriate to the discipline.

In designing and implementing your research project, you will draw on skills and knowledge developed during the programme. The dissertation will allow you to work independently, drawing on the advice and guidance of a designated supervisor.

Students will develop abilities that are highly valued by employers. These include the abilities to think and work systematically and independently, to interpret data and arguments, and to communicate coherently verbally and in writing.
Throughout your dissertation project, you will therefore draw upon, and, in your final submission demonstrate, key transferable skills which are essential for employment in the contemporary world, ranging from intellectual, to organisational, to communication skills.

More information

EL6025 -

TESOL Syllabus and Materials Design (Optional, 20 Credits)

There is currently no summary for this module.

EL6027 -

Second Language Acquisition (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) through the study of central themes: age and SLA, individual differences in SLA, and similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition processes. As such, you will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, most especially in terms of the findings of recent empirical research investigating social and contextual perspectives to the study of SLA.

You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and classroom discussion, the main influential theories and most important research findings in SLA. You will also focus upon different approaches to conducting empirical research in second language acquisition. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding second language learning which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing, key skills for the world of work

More information

EL6028 -

The origins and evolution of language (Optional, 20 Credits)

In addition to linguistics, this module brings together ideas from evolutionary biology, palaeontology and its subgroup palaeobiology, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, primatology and computer science. Evidence from these and other sources is used to understand when and why language emerged in our ancestors.

The module starts with a very brief overview of the Western philosophical context in which debates over language are embedded. This context is used to examine how different linguists in the twentieth century approached the study of language, and the issue of whether language is a social or a cognitive (an external or an internal) phenomenon. We then look at theories of evolution and hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny (i.e. Homo sapiens and all the ancestral species since our split from the last common ancestor with any extant species ). Turning to the actual evolution of language, we examine comparative data from other animal communication systems and the cognitive and physiological pre-requisites that are necessary for language. The final part of the module focuses on theories of language evolution, and in particular the debate between nativist and non-nativist accounts of language.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives on language evolution which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

More information

EL6029 -

World Englishes (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module will examine the role of English in the world today, as you learn about the development of English as a world language and also as a language which has many global and local varieties.

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts of the global expansion and development of English and Englishes, and will explore types of variation across Englishes (variation across time, places and spaces). You will examine the emergence of new standard Englishes, and further develop your understanding of the debates surrounding standard language ideology. You will also explore the internationalisation and globalisation of English, examining the ways in which English is ‘marketed’ as the language of opportunity, but also acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ in our contemporary globalized world. You will examine the role of world Englishes in language death, and discuss possible future scenarios for new and world Englishes.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives about English which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6030 -

Language Variation in the British Isles (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the major variations of accent and dialect found in the English language as spoken in the British Isles. You will consider in detail how certain of these can be described, as well as considering the question of the standard forms against which variations are measured, and the influences of modern media and communications. You will also have the opportunity to improve your skills in phonemic and phonetic transcription, and revisit certain suprasegmental features and aspects of connected speech, considering these as supplements to the description of accents.

Throughout the module, you will consider numerous recorded samples of spoken English, investigating these under the guidance of your tutor, with each lecture and seminar having direct relevance to your module assessment, which takes the form of a case study of the accent and dialect of an individual speaker (or possibly more than one speaker), chosen by you. Thus, the case-study assessment develops directly your ability to plan and undertake projects under guidance, a key skill for the world of work.

More information

EL6032 -

Variation, Change and Corpus Linguistics (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn how to use recently developed corpora of written or spoken language to investigate patterns of grammatical variation and/or change. You will learn what a corpus is, and the research skills necessary to use it. These skills including how to identify research questions and hypotheses, how to select research methods appropriate to particular hypotheses (including qualitative and quantitative approaches to corpus data), how to select and evaluate appropriate sources of corpus data, how to extract relevant data from the corpus to test a research hypothesis, and how to interpret those data in the light of theories of language variation and change. Through the practical experience of using corpora you will gain on this module, you will learn about the issues involved in conducting this kind of research, so that you will be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular research techniques, methods or strategies that are applied within corpus studies of language variation and change Not only will this enable you to see how research in this field is conducted, it will provide you with opportunities to develop key transferable skills in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of large datasets, the interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data (particularly quantitative reasoning skills), the use of computerised databases and tools for statistical analysis, and the presentation of research data and analysis both verbally and in writing. Working in small groups will enhance your abilities to collaborate with others, to justify and take decisions, to manage a research project and to work independently.

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EL6034 -

(Critical) Discourse Analysis (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will extend your knowledge of discourse analysis in relation to the construction of ideological meaning in discourse. The module draws in particular on the framework of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), including its extension in Multimodality and Appraisal Theory, and seeks to apply the tools of SFG to (Critical) Discourse Analysis .

In undertaking the module, you will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts in which texts are produced and consumed. Using the tools of analysis acquired in the module, you will also be given the opportunity to analyse a selection of texts on issues in the public domain around the time of studying. Analyses will focus on (a) how speakers/writers represent situations and events, (b) how they position themselves with respect to the situations and events they describe, and (c) how they organise discourse. You will also examine and critically reflect upon how discourse reflects ideology at every level. In this way, you will come to understand and evaluate a number of perspectives about the discourses you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities & Social Sciences (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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