module specification

LN7062 - Patterns in Global Sociolinguistics (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Patterns in Global Sociolinguistics
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
200 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon
Autumn semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module is designed to equip students with a critical and informed understanding of the complex ways in which language and languages are configured in societies around the world. The scope of the module is global. Students are encouraged to think critically about the sociolinguistic patterns of their own country and speech community, and to reflect upon how these have come about. Students are encouraged throughout to become active sociolinguistic observers and researchers as they go about their daily lives. Students will become aware of the patterns and principles which underlie language use, language choice, language planning, language attitudes and language policy. They will identify the core terminology and theoretical frameworks of sociolinguistics. They take a critical, informed view of issues surrounding the use and teaching of English worldwide and read about matters of language and language education in societies in order to develop responses to the problems.


The module will cover areas such as:

Dialects, accents, regional and social varieties; individual and societal bilingualism, and code-switching; Language change mechanisms: How languages spread, shift, change, grow and die; language planning: corpus status and acquisition planning; Speech variation: issues of power, politeness and gender; Languages in conflict. Language, identity and the nation state. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will have access to a dedicated module site where they will find learning activities and online forums They will have access to the university library website and make use of electronic journals, ebooks, databases and full text journals. Support for developing and improving IT skills as well as information on other web based study support, is available on the library website. Students will have a nominated tutor who will support and guide them through the module and who they can consult by email, telephone or Skype.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1 – write coherently on matters of language and language use and identify and analyse the social patterns and social pressures which typically underlie such discourse.

2 – integrate technical vocabulary of the field of sociolinguistics, at a level appropriate to postgraduate study in descriptions and analysis of patterns of language use in a range of national contexts.

3 – integrate personal contributions in an evaluation of specific debates surrounding the cultural, political and linguistic implications of the spread of English, and to the general discussion of language and language education worldwide.

Assessment strategy

Students write an extended essay guided by set questions or with the option to develop their own interests.


Books and articles:

Cutting, J. (2014) Pragmatics. Third Edition. London: Routledge

Kissau, S. (2006) Gender differences in second language motivation: An investigation of micro- and macro-level influences. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 9 (1), PP. 73-96

Hymes, D. H. (1971) ‘On communicative competence’. In J. B. Pride and J. Holmes (eds.) Sociolinguistics. London: Penguin Books Inc

Meyerhoff, M. (2011) Introducing Sociolinguistics. Second Edition. London and New York: Routledge

Nazari, A. (2007) ‘EFL teachers’ perception of the concept of communicative competence’. ELT Journal. 61/3. PP. 202-211

Seedhouse, P. (2013) Conversation Analysis. In Bayley, R. et al. (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: OUP, pp. 91-111

Talbot, M. (2010) Language and Gender. Second Edition. Cambridge: Polity Press

Wardhaugh, R. (2010) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Six Edition. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell


ELT Journal
International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Journal of Applied Linguistics
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
Modern Journal of Applied Linguistics
Journal of Sociolinguistics
Journal of Sociology of Language
The Modern Language Journal
Journal of Language Teaching and Research
Language Learning Journal
TESOL Journal
Research in Language and Social Interaction
Language and Society
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
International Journal of the Sociology of Language