Language in Society

Module code: EN7525

In this module you'll investigate how and why the way we use English varies according to social, regional, and other dimensions (for example, age, gender or social class). You'll explore how and why language use becomes more standardised over time, and how this process influences attitudes to different varieties or dialects. You'll 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
  • Language policy and language planning
  • Language and gender
  • Methods in sociolinguistics


  • 5 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 2 hours of tutorials
  • 5 hours of supervised time in lab/studio/workshop
  • 128 hours of guided independent study


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


Or a joint assignment of 6,000 words when combined with EN7526 Discourse Analysis.