SEL8639 : Ethno-linguistic variation

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This advanced module in variationist sociolinguistics examines the complex relationship between language and ethnicity. It provides students with a critical overview of key studies exploring the language-ethnicity interface and introduces them to the diversity of methodological and theoretical frameworks for studying ethno-linguistic variation and change. Students will learn to apply these frameworks to the variationist analysis of an ethnic variety of UK English. 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.       methodological and theoretical frameworks for studying ethno-linguistic variation and change
3.       the origins, development and structural characteristics of selected ethnic varieties of English
4.       the role of ethnicity in language variation and changethe construction and negotiation of ethnic identities through language usesocietal repercussions of ethno-linguistic diversity

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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1004,000-word essay with coding and data analysis
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay allows students to explore selected themes in greater depth, while giving them the opportunity to enhance their analytical and writing skills. The word limit for the final esssay is slightly below the recommended threshold for MA work of this weightening. This is because preparation of the essay involves a time-consuming coding process. The word limit does thereofre not reflect the actual work that goes into the preparation of the essay.

Reading Lists