Language in Society

Module code: ED7046

In this module you will investigate how and why the way we use English varies according to social, regional, and other dimensions (for example, age, gender or social class). We will explore how and why language use becomes more standardised over time, and how this process influences attitudes to different varieties or dialects. We will also look at how the status of English as a global language has been described and theorised, and at the methods used to collect and study sociolinguistic data.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to language variation
  • Standard English and dialects of English
  • World Englishes
  • Multilingualism and language policy
  • Language, gender, and social class
  • Methods in sociolinguistics


  • 15 hours of lectures and seminars


  • Project, 3,000 words (100%) - this will usually involve data collection