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SPA2026 : Language Diversity in Spain

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Josep Cru
  • Other Staff: Ms Laura Arbones Martinez
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


- To develop systematic knowledge of Spain as a multilingual country.
- To develop critical insights into the role that language diversity plays in Spain cultural, social and political life.
- To introduce appropriate theoretical approaches to the study of language in society.
- To introduce appropriate theoretical approaches to the study of language as a cultural and political phenomenon.
- To further understanding of the roles of nation, identity, and politics in shaping Spanish society, from the perspective of linguistic diversity.
- To further develop skills of argumentation and presentation, in speaking and writing.
- To become familiarised with a broad range of bibliographic and on-line sources for the achievement of these aims.

Outline Of Syllabus

Using a combination of sociolinguistic and anthropological approaches, the module examines linguistic diversity in contemporary Spain with special focus on the role of language in shaping regional and national identities. We explore the management of linguistic diversity and language policy and planning as a cultural, social, and political phenomenon, as it affects the lives of individuals, on the one hand, and the relationship between dominant and minority/regional languages, on the other hand. We will look at education systems in Spain, where minority languages have been introduced, and how these underpin political agendas. Pulling these perspectives together, we will explore people’s attitudes towards language and identity in Spain both at the grassroots and state/regional institutions against the background of increasing societal multilingualism. Theories of the relationship between language, identity, culture, politics, and society, will be related to Spain case studies of language contact, co-existence, and conflict.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Asynchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Present-in-person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Present-in-person (final essay preparation advice)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1671:00167:00Independent study and assessment preparation and completion
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The mix of lectures, seminars, and drop-in/surgery sessions will allow for imparting of key information, learning of critical analytical skills through textual study and application of knowledge through guided research to be presented as group work in class.

Asynchronous lecture materials have showed to be very effective as it allows students to reflect in their own time and bring questions for further discussions in class. There will be practical and dialogical present-in-person sessions with short and focused structured lectured materials. Methodologically, shorter content materials work better among students as they maintain attention and they are more accessible and manageable. Learning outcomes will not be altered and students will be able to meet those outcomes in a more effective and participatory way.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A702500 words in length (10% leeway), including quotations and notes but excluding bibliography.
Written exercise2M30Case study of 1000 words in length (10% leeway), showing grasp of concepts and their application in context.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed mid-semester written exercise provides opportunity for students to engage critically with the course material and to study other literature on the subject. It also gives them the chance to demonstrate understanding of sociolinguistic and social science concepts and the ability to structure an argument in writing, which will be beneficial for the extended final essay. There will also be formative discussions in the seminar sessions.

Reading Lists