Module Catalogue 2023/24

SEL3056 : Language in the City

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Daniel Duncan
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The module aims to:
- Examine the role of demographics, development, and public policy in driving language variation and change in metropolitan areas
- Introduce advanced terms, concepts and premises underlying sociolinguistic research, with particular respect to the variationist paradigm
- Give a broad understanding of sociolinguistic fieldwork techniques
- Apply the terminological distinctions, principles, methods and concepts used within these sub-disciplines to actual and novel case studies that explore the inter-relationships between language and society.
- Further explore specific topics at the community and national level.

Outline Of Syllabus

This course provides an advanced study of sociolinguistics through a focus on language variation and change in metropolitan areas. Key topics include:
- Theoretical approaches to space and place
- Indexical uses of language
- Relations between urban structure and linguistic variation
- Recent theoretical and methodological developments in metropolitan areas and their linguistic consequences

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of this module students will:
- Understand relevant tools for sociolinguistic/sociological analyses.
- Have an advanced understanding of the manner in which linguistic variation is structured in society.
- Have an advanced understanding of concepts associated with understanding language and its function in society.
- Have in-depth knowledge of a selection of case studies relevant to this field of study.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

- Understand theoretical and experimental concepts relevant to appropriate paradigms and apply them to actual and hypothetical case studies.
- Read critically and evaluate/apply different quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistic approaches to new data.
- Understand concepts relevant to these sub-disciplines of linguistics/English Language and apply them to actual and hypothetical case studies.
- Present arguments in written form.
- Understand and produce graphs/tables.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion168:0068:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading199:0099:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8676Metropolitan Sociolinguistics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will be used, primarily, to impart information and provide overall coherence for the module.

Small group teaching will be used to develop a deeper examination of lecture materials, as well as to build skills in linguistic analysis, with a focus on problem-solving/numeracy. They also aim to enhance interpretation of sociolinguistic approaches to language and society. Projects utilizing corpora will also be planned and developed in seminars.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log2M33Reflective photojournal, 1000 words
Essay2A652500 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M2Submission of DECTE Access form
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The reflective log assignment assesses the student's ability to synthesize information concisely and present it coherently.

The essay tests written communication skills; analytical skills; critical thinking/conceptual understanding/knowledge and ability to construct a logical argument.

The DECTE corpus, which will be used in the essay, requires submission of a form to gain permission to access it.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.