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SEL3056 : Language in the City

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • 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


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion168:0068:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading196:0096:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8676Metropolitan Sociolinguistics
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 will, therefore, focus on problem-solving/numeracy. They also aim to enhance interpretation of sociolinguistic approaches to language and society, improve oral presentation skills and build team-work. Projects utilizing corpora projects will also be planned and developed in seminars.

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
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MPresentation of essay project in seminar
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.

The formative oral presentation further develops the student’s ability to synthesize information and present it coherently in an oral setting. (Approx. 5 minutes of presentation + 2 for questions)

Reading Lists