Part I English Language
Part I English Language (LING102) will introduce students to the English language – how to describe it, how it varies and how it functions in a variety of contexts. You will not only study the traditional linguistic areas of English (e.g. lexis, grammar, phonetics), but also areas that are often overlooked (e.g. letters, spellings) and areas that have more recently come to the fore, such as pragmatics or conversation analysis.
You will learn about and apply linguistic frameworks in the analysis and explanation of variation in English, both present-day and, to a lesser extent, historical. In order to study this variation, you will become conversant with crucial descriptive concepts, such as accents, dialects, registers, genres, and styles, as well as possible explanations for variation.
You will learn about the role of practices and contexts in shaping the English language, for example, how new TV genres have come about; and also about the functions of English, for example, how it can be creatively exploited for the purpose of constructing a joke. Finally, you will learn about the teaching of English, especially as a foreign language.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- analyse and explain variation in present-day English (e.g. accents, dialects, registers, genres, styles), focusing both on more traditional areas of language (e.g. lexis, grammar) and areas that have only recently been explored (e.g. conversational acts, discourse);
- analyse and explain the role of practices and contexts in shaping the English Language;
- analyse and explain how English has varied over time;
- appreciate aspects that are distinctive of English compared with other closely related languages (e.g. German, French, Italian);
- describe and understand the various functions of English;
- understand the issues involved in teaching English;
- assess critically 'facts' about English;
- apply basic linguistic descriptive frameworks;
- appreciate different ways of studying the English language.
The course is arranged in a series of blocks. Throughout you will be encouraged to assess critically 'facts' about English, and you will be introduced to a range of methods by which evidence about English can be derived.
|Visual English||Letters and punctuation, spelling in society and its development, multimodality|
|English vocabulary||The word, the lexicon and its development|
|Structures of English||Grammar and grammatical inflections, nouns and noun phrases, verbs and verb phrases, the structure of sentences, grammar and its development|
|Sounds of English||The sounds, the sound system, sounds of English: Sounds and their development|
|Conversational English||Conversational routines and politeness, the systemics of conversation|
|English dialects||Dialect and speech community, regional British accents and dialects, class, accent and dialect in Britain, dialectal change and the rise of “standard” English, multilingual Britain, International Englishes, restructured Englishes|
|Media English||Genre, genres and their development in English, political speeches and other oratorical genres, newspapers and other print media, new TV genres, advertising, new internet genres,|
|Creative English||Creativity, style and stylistics, poetry, pop song lyrics, narrative and the novel, oral narratives, conversation in plays and film, “everyday” conversation|
|Changing English||The origins of English, the phases of development, recent change|
|Teaching English||Theory and practice, TEFL, TESOL|
|Investigating English||The corpus-based approach, transcribing sounds and conversation, Dialect surveys in Britain, text and practices, Stylistic analysis, computers and corpora|
There will be 4 pieces of CWA evenly spread throughout the 25 week course, plus a final exam. The 4 pieces of CWA, representing a range of types, are as follows:
Short answer test (10%);
2 x Essays (20% each);
Group presentation (10%).
The exam will comprise a wide-ranging three-hour exam worth 40%.
The key book for this course is:
Culpeper, J., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R., Katamba, F. and T. McEnery (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context. Palgrave
This book is comprehensive; every block of LING 102 is covered by one or more chapters. It spans 728 pages and 40 chapters, each written by a member of our department, yet it is also affordable.