Advance reading list for BA English Language joint honours

Language Works A and B

Introduction to Language and SocietyThere are three textbooks that will be very useful throughout the Language Works modules, and you will sometimes be directed to specific sections to read, but in any case they are books that you can browse according to your interests. These books are:

  • Bloomer, A., Griffiths, P. and Merrison, A.J. (2005) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook. London: Routledge. (Both semesters)
  • Montgomery, M. (2008) An Introduction to Language and Society. (3rd edition) London: Routledge. [Alternative edition: 2nd edition, 1995] (Both semesters, but more Semester 1, for Language Works A)
  • Coffin, C., Donohue, J. and North, S. (2009) Exploring English Grammar: from formal to functional. London: Routledge. (Both semesters, but more Semester 2, for Language Works B)

Investigating Language

In the Investigating Language module, we’ll be looking at how to develop your research skills, to prepare you for the kind of research projects you’ll carry out next year and in the third year. The research skills we’ll be looking at divide into two broad areas:

1) Investigating language through reading and writing about scholarly research

Skills you will develop to help you in this regard include: critical reading; writing a literature review; and citing and referencing conventions. You will also consider what makes a good ‘research question’ and what kind of questions you are interested in exploring.

2) Collecting and analysing example of ‘real’ language use

This is the fun part. You will carry out your own projects, using some of the following methods: questionnaires, interviews, discourse analysis and corpus analysis. There’s the opportunity to focus on topics of particular interest to you, and the potential to find out something new.

The module involves weekly seminars throughout the autumn and spring term, on Tuesdays at either 11am or 3pm. (You will be allocated a group once term starts.)

Researching English LanguageIn the first seminar, I shall explain the module structure and what we’ll be covering this year. So don’t worry if you’re uncertain about the module – all will be explained!

There is no need to read ahead of this module, but if you wish to, here are the main books. The module guide will be available at the beginning of term.

Reading list

  • Allan, K., Bradshaw, J., Finch, G., Burridge, K. and Heydon, G. (2010) The English Language and Linguistics Companion. Basingstoke: Macmillan. (Section 5, esp. Section 5.1 and relevant topic specific section(s)).
  • Sealey, A. (2010) Researching English Language: A Resource Book for Students. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Sebba, M. (2000) Focussing on Language: A Student’s Guide to Research Planning, Data Collection, Analysis and Writing Up. 4th ed. Lancaster: Definite Article Publications.
  • Wray, A. and Bloomer, A. (2012) Projects in Linguistics and Language Studies: a practical guide to researching language. 3rd ed. London: Hodder Arnold.

Caroline Tagg, c.tagg@bham.ac.uk