module specification

LN7062 - Patterns in Global Sociolinguistics (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
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
144 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   3,000-word essay.
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

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 module will encourage students to think critically about the sociolinguistic patterns of their own context and speech community, and to reflect upon the influence of historical, ideological, and political factors in the development of these patterns. The module will also help students develop the necessary skills to become active sociolinguistic observers and researchers in order to identify, explore, and discuss patterns and principles which underlie language use, language choice, language planning, language attitudes, and language policy. By doing so, students will also familiarise themselves with the core terminology and theoretical frameworks of sociolinguistics. Finally, students will be expected to take a critical and informed view of issues surrounding the use and teaching of English worldwide and investigate matters of language and language education in a number of contexts in order to develop responses to current language-related problems.

In this module, you will:

  • Explore the relationship between language and society and its influence on English language teaching theory and practice
  • Examine the role that the spread and distribution of English has in educational and governmental language planning and policy
  • Develop a critical understanding of the ideological underpinnings of the spread of English
  • Evaluate the extent to which different theoretical and applied aspects of sociolinguistics can influence English language curricula and teaching practices

Prior learning requirements



The module introduces students to the study of language and society and the different possible relationships between them (LO2). Some of the topics covered in this module include language and gender; linguistic variation and change; and language planning and policy (LO4). Students will also explore the impact of the spread of English in social and educational contexts by investigating the role of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), multilingualism, and globalisation in current English language teaching practices (LO1, LO3). The module also pays special attention to issues of correctness, standardisation, and language attitudes, and their impact in educational and social policy (LO3).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students enrolled in this module will be encouraged to engage with recommended readings in preparation for each class. As the module adopts a blended-learning approach, students will have access to a dedicated module site (Weblearn) where they will find learning activities, class materials, lesson recordings, and online forums where they can interact with peers and tutors in synchronous and asynchronous ways.

Our students will have access to the university library website and make use of electronic journals, e-books, 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 in person, by email, or via a designated video-conference software.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. contribute confidently, and in an informed and critical way, to the debate surrounding the cultural, political, and linguistic implications of the spread of English, and to discussions of language and language education worldwide (LO1)
  2. integrate technical terminology 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 contexts (LO2)
  3. critically evaluate the impact that the sociolinguistics of the English language have had in the field of English language teaching (LO3)
  4. situate themselves within their own professional environments as applied linguists and language specialists, and use this wider context to contribute productively to the debates and discussions taking place in that context (LO4)