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BA English Language and English Literature / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
History and Varieties of English
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Linguistics & English Language|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
The module aims to:
- Demonstrate how the English language varies historically from its origins to the present day in terms of orthography, word order, sounds and vocabulary
- Discuss the links between socio-cultural background and language variation and change
- Provide a practical introduction to resources and methods for the study of language change
- Explore regional and social variation in the development of the English language, with a particular focus on ‘standard’ vs ‘non-standard’ varieties of English.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
Teaching and learning methods
11 hours (1 hour per week) of the material for this course unit will be delivered online.
Knowledge and understanding
By the end of this course students will:
- have a thorough knowledge of the history of the English language from the 5th to the 21st centuries
- describe some of the main differences between the development of Standard English and some ‘non-standard’ varieties of English
- Understand the role of certain major sociohistorical events in the development of language structures
- recognise regional, stylistic and diachronic variation in linguistic data
- retrieve and analyse historical material
- support an argument using evidence and reasoning
- Carry out linguistic investigations using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including close textual analysis, variationist methodologies, and the basics of corpus linguistics.
- Perform simple statistical tests and data analysis in excel
- Summarising and presenting findings in a style appropriate to linguistics
Transferable skills and personal qualities
The coursework and final exam will enable students to develop the skills of independent study and learning.By the end of this course students will be able to:
- Develop the skills of independent study and learning, time management and the ability to work towards deadlines.
- Confidently analyse new data
- Succinctly report on data analysis
- Analytical skills
- This unit equips students with skills of data analysis that can be applied in a wide range of contexts: students learn how to look for patterns and structures, and interpret change in terms of social and structural pressures and constraints. Students will learn how to explain and justify their analyses verbally and in written form. These skills are relevant for all jobs that require data analysis and reporting.
- Students who go on to become teachers of English will have acquired the knowledge about earlier stages of English and about changes affecting English that forms the backbone for teaching modules on language change
|Mid-term take-home exam (exercises, data analysis, short written questions)||30%|
|Final take-home exam (exercises, data analysis, short written questions, longer essay questions)||60%|
Gramley, S. 2012. The History of English. An introduction. London: Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Marije Van Hattum||Unit coordinator|