Analysing Language in Social Contexts

Module code: ED7803

This module explores how language and society interrelate. It offers you the opportunity to study a range of contemporary sociolinguistic issues and will introduce you to approaches and methods for collecting, analysing and interpreting language and discourse data. The module consists broadly of two parts, with a sociolinguistic focus in the first part (addressing e.g. issues in language variation, language and gender, multilingualism, and data collection); and a discourse analytic focus in the second part (addressing e.g. characteristics of spoken and written genres, the ways meaning in discourse can be implied rather than stated, and the use of language to convey power and ideology). 

We also consider some ways in which teachers can raise their students’ awareness of social and discursive aspects in the use of language.

Topics covered

  • Language variation and standard English
  • Language and gender
  • World Englishes
  • Multilingualism and language policy/planning
  • Collecting and analysing sociolinguistic data
  • Genre and register (including computer-mediated discourse)
  • Analysing talk
  • Discourse and Pragmatics
  • Corpus approaches to discourse
  • Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
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