EL4009 - Approaches to Language Study

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What will I learn on this module?

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.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of interactive lectures and seminars. Key themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures, supported by seminars that allow further group working and discussion of linguistic tasks. All topics and debates within the module will be supported by reference to set readings, which you will read outside of class to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the field.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials and seminar tasks will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback on your ideas and understanding throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessments will also provide an opportunity for learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module aims to introduce you to the different approaches that linguists adopt in the study of language and the terminology employed. Thus, lectures, seminars and tasks will develop your academic knowledge and skills, to help you attain the module learning outcomes. Your academic development will also be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and the module tutor (i.e. reading around the topic, and discussing and reflecting upon what you have read).

The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are made available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar/workshop activities.

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the technical terminology and concepts necessary for the study of language.
2. Demonstrate the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of English and languages more widely.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Show an understanding of a variety of approaches to the study of language

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Demonstrate the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will present your ideas during seminars and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers on any perspectives you share Such formative feedback will enable you to test and form your own understanding of language study.
Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments
1. 2 x 2 hour online exams
Your progress is assessed by way of two online tests at the end of each semester; these assessments cover the full range of knowledge and skills that students are expected to have acquired in the module.

The assessment will be part of the learning process, and addresses all five MLOS.

Feedback will be provided using the eLP

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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