You will study the following core modules:
This module will allow you to consider the relationship between language and society, i.e. the interaction between the social domain on one hand and the linguistic domain on the other. The module will also examine the ways in which language varies, both according to the user and the way it is used, the purpose and context in which language is used and its social implications. These relationships are multi-faceted and highly complex, but may be seen in two overarching general principles: (i) the recognition that language is fundamentally a social phenomenon; (ii) that language is subject to change and variation.
Spoken and Written Discourse
This module will introduce you to key concepts in spoken and written discourse, techniques of analysis, and the pedagogic applications of these. We will be looking at the characteristics of written and spoken discourse and how they differ from one another. These differences should have a significant impact on the way teachers treat language in the classroom. We will learn that the written form is not simply ‘spoken language written down’ and that the differences between these two forms are a lot more complex than you might imagine.
You will also choose one optional module from a range which typically includes:
This module considers a number of issues in corpus linguistics, including: the compilation of a corpus; the information to be gained from concordance lines and collocational information, and how this can be interpreted; the implications for theories of language of observations made from a corpus; contrasting approaches to corpora, and the theoretical assumptions behind each; current applications of corpora, mainly language teaching and/or translation, but also stylistics, ideology and forensic linguistics; possible future directions in corpus linguistics.
This module considers the purpose of language testing and aims to provoke some thoughts on the subject of measurement. It will cover the principles of testing, including testing terminology and some elementary statistics in order to equip participants with the critical skills necessary for the evaluation of language tests and, more generally, claims made in research articles based on statistical analysis of data. Topics covered include:
- What tests are and why we need them?
- What constitutes a valid and efficient test?
- Testing the skills of reading and writing
- Different measures of correlation
- Understanding and evaluating related to testing
The study of lexis is the study of vocabulary in all its different aspects. Vocabulary is typically seen as individual words, whereas lexis is a somewhat wider concept and consists of collocations, phraseology and formulaic expressions.
You will start by considering questions such as; what is a word, what isn’t a word, where does a word stop and a phrase begin? The module also looks at the mental lexicon, how words are stored in the brain and how the mental lexicon works.
The module also covers topics such as: how words are used to label and order things; how culturally specific this area of study can be; the relationship between words and their meaning; the process of word formation; the importance and ubiquity of multiword units, lexicalised sequences and lexical bundles; and the implications that findings of recent corpus based research have for the teaching of lexis.
This module provides an overview of the major issues in the area of Multimodal Communication. Particular reference will be made to current theories that take into consideration a diversity of communicative modes – language, image, music, sound and gesture – and to how these theories relate to the concerns of teachers and researchers in Applied Linguistics. Gesture and body language, for example, are discussed in relation to spoken discourse, and photography, visual design, colour, typography and layout are considered in relation to written discourse. The module also discusses the multiple and mixed modes of communication afforded by current computer technologies.
Second Language Acquisition
This module introduces the main theoretical concepts and research findings underlying second language acquisition and the implication these have for classroom practice. It covers some of the key theories regarding how people think languages are learnt and by extension how they are best taught. It explores the ways and the extent to which these theories will apply to the your own and other teaching situations. The later parts of the module consider issues associated with the complex nature of the classroom environment and how that influences learning and also learner characteristics, learning styles and strategies, etc., all of which influence the way in which languages are learnt.
Please note that the optional modules listed on the website for this programme are intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.