Language, Discourse, and Society

Module code: ED7004

Module co-ordinator: to be confirmed

In thios module you will study the central concepts in sociolinguistics, such as dialectal variation and standardisation. We will critically evaluate the role of English as a global language policy and planning in national, educational, and other social contexts, and we will analyse variation in language use within specific communities and social networks. We will explore key concepts and issues in the study of discourse and their role within the developing field of applied linguistics, as well as collecting and critically analysing a variety of authentic spoken and written discourse types. We will axamine issues of language and discourse in educational and other contexts and consider the relationship between discourse, power, and ideology.

Topics covered

  • Language change and variation
  • Standard English
  • World Englishes
  • Bilingualism and language choice
  • Language planning and policy
  • Language and gender
  • Field methods in sociolinguistics
  • Introduction to spoken and written discourse
  • Discourse and genre
  • Discourse and pragmatics
  • Analysing talk
  • Register and style
  • Analysing multimodal texts
  • Critical discourse analysis


  • 15 two-hours of seminars
  • 2 one-hour tutorials


  • Essay, 3,000 words + textual analysis, 3,000 words (100%) - or a 6,000-word assignment combining the two