Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL3094 : Accents of English (Inactive)

SEL3094 : Accents of English (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Hannah Leach
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Code Title
SEL1027Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology
Pre Requisite Comment

Familiarity with basic articulatory phonetics is an essential prerequisite for this course. You should know how to:
(a) describe consonants in terms of voicing, and place and manner of articulation
(b) describe vowels in terms of their height, frontness/backness, and rounding
If you need to revise this subject, refer to your first-year phonetics textbook.

Please ensure that you are completely comfortable with the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). You are strongly advised to keep a copy of the IPA chart at all times, so that you can look up any phonetic symbols you don’t know. In addition, you are expected to know the IPA symbols for the sounds of English without reference to the chart.

Although there are no additional formal pre-requisites for this course, students will be expected to be able to discuss papers in phonetics, phonology and sociolinguistics.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module explores the phonetic, phonological and sociolinguistic features of accents of English. We'll be looking at the particular sounds which differentiate varieties of English, and how to identify linguistic and social factors which may play a role in shaping this variation. Each week, we'll focus on a different aspect of English accents, including particular sounds, phonological processes, and aspects of accent spoken in particular geographical areas. We'll be using quantitative methods to look at variation in particular accents, as well as more advanced phonetic tools available in linguistics.

Outline Of Syllabus

- Introduction to Accents of English: phonological and socio-historical overview
- Vowels: lexical sets, monophthongs, diphthongs, shifts, splits and mergers
- Consonantal variation (including t-glottalling, th-fronting, h-dropping)
- Language change across the lifespan
- Multiethnolects in the UK
- The North/South divide and boundaries and borders in the UK
- Linguistic discrimination
- Articulatory and acoustic phonetics
- Quantitative methods of analysis and map-making
- How to run a research project

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- Familiarity with the phonological, phonetic and sociolinguistic literature on accents of English
- Ability to understand the theoretical implications of variation in language
- Familiarity with the quantitative and phonetic methodological issues relating to sociophonetic research

Intended Skill Outcomes

Quantitative research methodology
Phonetic analysis (auditory and acoustic)
Data collection

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion801:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study871:0087:00Guided reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The mix of teaching methods is geared towards developing knowledge of key theoretical concepts in asynchronous lecture sessions, discussing aspects of the lecture in the synchronous online sessions, whilst delivering quantitative and analytical skills-based teaching in the workshops, split between asynchronous instruction and synchronous coaching..

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M251250 word report OR academic poster
Research paper2A753000 word research project or equivalent (option of conducting project in pairs, 4500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-term assessment will require students to demonstrate their data analysis skills using cutting-edge linguistic software, as well as presenting their results using their quantitative skills. Should they have issues running the specialist software due to campus access restrictions, they can choose to create an academic poster instead, showing research skills and synthesis of content into presentation format.

The write-up of their final project will test students' ability to run their own research project, and show independent analysis and interpretation of their findings. Choice of questions will include standard essay questions, research questions, design-your-own project and audio-visual project options.

The option of conducting to final project in twos allow those more comfortable with group work to hone their teamworking skills and produce a more in-depth piece of analysis, whilst also allowing those who prefer to work alone to do so.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 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 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.