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This subject examines how social and cultural factors influence language, and the role language plays in structuring and representing social categories across cultures. It examines how society and language shape each other: how language represents and enables social interaction, and how social interaction influences the form of language. Specific topics to be covered include socially determined variation in language styles and registers, language varieties reflecting social class, gender and ethnic group. It also examines factors affecting language choice such as, bi- and multi-lingualism, and factors of language contact and change.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- have attained in-depth knowledge of how social factors influence language;
- have engaged with debates around sociolinguistic research methodology;
- have deepened their understanding of social and cultural diversity through problematising language use across different social and cultural practices;
- have broadened and applied research skills utilising a variety of primary and electronic sources, and developed awareness of intellectual integrity and research ethics in sociolinguistic research;
- have further honed writing abilities across a variety of text types and multimodal presentation skills;
- have participated in individual and group-based data-related activities within and outside the classroom.
At the completion of this subject, students should:
- have developed the ability to form judgments from conflicting evidence;
- have developed an openness to new ideas and possibilities;
- have improved their oral and written communication skills;
- have developed their ability to step outside their own language and culture.
Last updated: 22 November 2023