Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Introduction to Language Study
Code ENGL107
Coordinator Dr DJ Oakey
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 4 FHEQ First Semester 30


This module aims to provide students with specialist skills in the linguistic analysis of language data which will enable students to identify and describe examples of linguistic variation in English. Students will develop specialist skills allowing them to select the correct phonetic symbols (from the International Phonetic Alphabet) and linguistic terminology when discussing linguistic phenomena. The module seeks to embody an approach to learning that empowers students to discuss linguistic variation in relation to relevant and appropriate scholarly work and to recognise the expressive resources of language. Students will develop subject-specific knowledge that will allow them to explain how relevant theoretical concepts (topical and ethical) apply to real language data.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will acquire analytical skills and vocabulary appropriate to university-level work and be able to use them appropriately in relation to a range of sources from different historical periods and social contexts.

(LO2) Students will gain the ability to construct and support argument in written or spoken forms suitable for academic work and be able to participate constructively in group discussions.

(LO3) Students will gain awareness of cultural, theoretical and historical contexts of literature and language use.

(S1) Students will gain the ability to analyse and interpret sophisticated texts closely and critically.

(S2) Students will gain the ability to construct and support argument in both written and spoken forms.

(S3) Students will gain the ability to write with appropriate subject knowledge, using appropriate approaches and terminology.



Key topics will typically include: the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), phonetics, phonology (of RP versus other varieties of English); standard versus non-standard grammatical constructions, variation in non-standard varieties according to factors such as (typically) age, gender, region, class, style, historical period, ethical issues relating to the collection and study of English Language data, etc.

New topics will be introduced in asynchronous sessions with accompanying exercises that will be worked through and discussed in synchronous sessions. Some sessions may typically include practical elements where students are shown how to use specialist resources (i.e. online corpora) and/or software (such as Praat, etc.). Weekly readings will also accompany the topics introduced on this module and will complement and expand on material discussed.

Content will all be made available electronically, mostly through Canvas. Weekly readings will (where possible) be made av ailable from library e-books. Wherever possible and appropriate, chapters, readings, etc. will be digitised via the library’s digitisation services.

Students are expected to do all assigned weekly readings. Additional texts on the reading list will be optional and predominantly used by students when doing their assessed work. However, students will also be encouraged to find their own supplementary resources in addition to that provided on the reading list.

Students may also be asked to complete readings in preparation for teaching sessions. Students will typically be given a worksheet to complete in advance.

Students will also be expected to download lecture slides and other material to supplement their learning and notetaking. Lecture. It is expected that they will review these resources over the course of the semester and in preparation for their take-home exam.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Whole-cohort sessions used for the transmission of information, facts, and concepts central to studying English Language and for interactive tasks such as group work, etc.. Students will have 2 one-hour whole-cohort sessions per week (all of which will be synchronous).

Small group synchronous session for discussion of module topics. Pre-work will be required. This work will be flagged up in the whole-cohort sessions and distributed via Canvas. In some of these sessions (depending on staff availability and specialist expertise) students will normally be able to make use of specialist resources (e.g. online corpora). There will be a 1-hour synchronous session per week.

Independent study time should be spent reading around the subject matter (indicative reading lists will be provided), preparing for the synchronous session (completing worksheets) and working towards the assessment (formative, coursework and take-home exam).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 267


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Open-Book Exam (Extended)/Take-Home Paper Scheduled by SAS, 24 hours duration, re-sit opportunity, anonymous  24    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Online Article Essay aimed at general (i.e. non-linguist, non-specialist) audience, taking the form of an online article. Skills/knowledge tested by this assessment are: • Course essay or dissertati    25       
Collaborative group presentation Students will deliver a 10-minute group presentation within one of the synchronous sessions where they discuss some of the topics and issues introduced in the previou  10         
Mock Ethics Application Completion of mock ethics application. Students fill in facsimile ethics form based on a case study provided in the question. Issues discussed will relate to module content re    25       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.