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Module

SEL3094 : Accents of English

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Hannah Leach
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

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

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00Asynchronous lecture content delivered online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion801:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Skills-based workshops delivered online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous lecture discussions delivered online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00PiP discussion hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study841:0084:00Guided reading
Total200:00
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..

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M251250 word report OR academic poster
Research paper1A753000 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.

Reading Lists

Timetable