Critical Discourse Perspectives

Module code: EN7518

In this module you will build on the Block 2 module, Discourse Analysis, to investigate critical approaches to the analysis of discourse, in particular Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and its main branches (e.g. the approaches of Fairclough, Wodak, and van Leeuwen). You will explore key theoretical and practical issues, such as how social situations impact on language use and how language use constitutes social situations. Through a range of practical activities you will have opportunities to develop and apply CD analytical skills to authentic written and spoken texts. In addition you will explore the relevance of CDA in educational and language learning contexts, and consider the implications of critical approaches for language teaching and language learning.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Critical Discourse Perspectives
  • Fairclough’s model of CDA
  • Other approaches to CDA
  • Critical and Post-Structuralist Approaches to Learning and Identity
  • Critical Analysis of Classroom Discourse
  • Criticisms of Critical Discourse Analysis


  • 5 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 2 hours of tutorials
  • 5 hours of project supervision
  • 128 hours of guided independent study


  • Assignment, 3,000 word essay (100%) 


With the prior agreement of the module leader(s) the assessment for two option modules may be combined in a single submission of 6,000 words.