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SEL2091 : Sociolinguistics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Daniel Duncan
  • Lecturer: Professor Karen Corrigan, Dr Adam Mearns
  • 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 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module builds on the knowledge of language variation & change and data analysis skills obtained in SEL1032 in order to develop a fuller understanding of sociolinguistics. It introduces this domain of linguistics from two perspectives:
- Microsociolinguistics, the study of language variation and change at the level of individuals, groups, and communities. With particular emphasis on the framework of variationist sociolinguistics, the module explores how linguistic variation is influenced by societal factors like social class and ethnicity.
- Macrosociolinguistics, the study of language at the societal level. With particular emphasis on the sociology of language, the module explores how society shapes broader linguistic outcomes like language maintenance or shift, language endangerment, and the development of pidgins and creoles.
This module refines data analysis skills by further developing quantitative reasoning skills. It adds basic inferential statistics to the analytical toolkit and explores how these are used to refine and test linguistic hypotheses.

Outline Of Syllabus

Two major themes are addressed:
- Language variation and change within individuals and speech communities
- Societal influences on and attitudes toward language status
Specific topics include:
- The variationist paradigm
- Key patterns of language-external influences on language variation and change
- Sociolinguistic fieldwork methods
- Language attitudes and ideologies
- Outcomes of language contact

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 reading163:0063:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study126:0026:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8163Language and Society
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURES: Will be used, primarily, to impart information and provide overall coherence for the module.

SEMINARS: Will be used, primarily, to build skills in linguistic analysis and examine concepts in depth.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log1M20Sociolinguistic interview and reflection, 500 words in total.
Portfolio1A80Quantitative and qualitative research write-up, 3000 words in total.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

-The formative problem solving exercises prepare students for the quantitative analysis in Portfolio 1.
-Reflective log 1 is required to give students hands-on experience in sociolinguistic fieldwork that will be relevant to future independent research.
-The Portfolio assignment is required to assess an understanding of data collection/analysis skills, written communication skills; analytical/problem solving skills; critical thinking/conceptual understanding/knowledge and ability to construct a logical argument.

Reading Lists