Module Catalogue 2018/19

SEL3372 : Language and ethnicity in twenty-first century Britain

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Heike Pichler
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
SEL2091Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language
Pre Requisite Comment

SEL2091 must be taken as a pre or co-requisite.

Co Requisites
Code Title
SEL2091Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language
Co Requisite Comment

SEL2091 must be taken as a pre or co-requisite.


This advanced module in sociolinguistics examines the relationship between language and ethnicity. It introduces students to key studies exploring the language-ethnicity interface as well as the major methodological and theoretical frameworks for studying ethno-linguistics. Students will learn to apply these frameworks to the analysis of observed patterns of ethno-linguistic practice. The module also examines the potential effects of ethno-linguistic practice in institutional settings, and defines sociolinguists’ role in combating ethno-linguistic discrimination.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will cover the following:
1.       key terms and concepts in language and ethnicity research
2.       key methodological and theoretical frameworks for studying ethno-linguistics
3.       the origins, development and structural characteristics of selected ethnolects
4.       the role of ethnicity in language variation (and change)
5.       societal repercussions of ethno-linguistic diversity

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module, it is anticipated that students will be able to:
1.       use correctly and with confidence the key terms and concepts associated with ethno-linguistics;
2.       apply the practical and conceptual tools acquired for studying language and ethnicity to the analysis and interpretation of novel datasets;
3.       describe the origins and developments of selected ethnolects, and identify their structural characteristics;
4.       summarize, describe and evaluate the methods, results and implications of selected case studies in ethno-linguistics;
5.       recognise and explain the role of ethnicity in language variation & change;
6.       clarify and give examples of the effect of ethno-linguistic variation in different social and institutional contexts.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will have developed the following transferable skills:
1.       problem-solving skills (responding to technical failures; developing strategies for dealing with badly distributed data);
2.       analytical skills (identifying variation; developing a coding schema; interpreting results);
3.       numerical skills (quantifying patterns of variation; interpreting quantitative patterns of variation);
4.       IT skills (working with specialized computer software; using Excel to visualize quantitative data in graphs/tables);
5.       communication skills & writing skills (communicating research results effectively; writing coherently to develop a convincing argument and defend evidence for it).

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Numeracy : Present
    • Literacy : Present
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Assessed
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Decision Making : Assessed
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Present
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
  • Application
    • Occupational Awareness : Present
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Assessed

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used, primarily, to impart information and provide an overall coherence for the module. They focus on enhancing students’ knowledge base in linguistics. Seminars are used to consolidate students’ understanding of the lecture and reading materials. They focus on developing students’ transferable skills in linguistic data analysis. Both lectures and seminars support the linguistic data analysis conducted for the final essay. Guided independent study is also used for the preparation and completion of assignments.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A703,000-word essay
Poster1M18group poster presentation
Written exercise1M12lecture & seminar participation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercise ensures that students engage critically and regularly with the topics introduced in class. The group poster presentation allows them to engage closely with a topic of their choice, and present the result of their research in a concise format. The final essay allows students to explore selected themes in greater depth, while giving them the opportunity to enhance their analytical and writing skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 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 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.