Year one

In your first year at Swansea you need to take 120 credits or 6 modules. Single honours English Language or English language and TESOL students should take a minimum of 100 credits (5 modules) from the list below. Students can also take up to 20 credits of college electives – these are modules offered in other departments.Students will be sent a complete list. Joint honours students should take 60 credits (3 modules) from the list below.

The academic year is divided into two teaching blocks called TB1 and TB2. You need an equal number of credits (60) in each teaching block. Each module runs once in a teaching block. The teaching block is given after each title.

Compulsory modules for all degree schemes

ALE114: The sounds of English (TB1)

This module will teach the International Phonetic Association symbols for phonetic transcription. Other aspects of speech will be studies, such as sounds in citation and connected speech, assimilation and elision, stress and rhythm, and elements acoustic phonetics.

Suggested reading:

  • Roach, P. (2010). English Phonetics and Phonology Fourth Edition: A Practical Course. Ernst Klett Sprachen.

ALE100 Grammar and Meaning (TB2)

The module will cover the core areas of English Language: word classes, morphology, grammar and semantics. A significant part of this module consists of learning the language to deal with the scientific study of human languages. Mastering this metalanguage is essential for any course that involves language and forms the basis for the formal study of English language and literature, modern foreign languages and linguistics.

Suggested reading:

  • Duran Eppler, E. & Ozon, G. (2013). English Words and Sentences Cambridge University Press

Compulsory for TESOL degree schemes. Optional for other schemes

In addition to the two compulsory modules above, if you are doing a degree with TESOL in the title, then you also need to take:

ALE108 Language Teaching Methods (TB2)

Learners of English as a Foreign, Other, Additional, Second Language – EFL, EOL, EAL, ESL? There are so many acronyms for this subject, reflecting the huge numbers of learners the world over. Given this, is there just one way of teaching and learning English or are the approaches as diverse as the learners, their backgrounds and their reasons for wanting to use English? These are some of the questions we will be addressing as part of this module. To do this in an informed way, we will first look back at the history of English language teaching to find out how it evolved and why it is still important to be aware of past developments in order to understand current practices. Following that, we will chart contemporary changes and innovations in order to arrive at a clear understanding of the complex, diverse and international English language learning context in which learners and teachers operate today.

Suggested reading:

  • Richards, J. and Rodgers, T. (2014). Approaches and methods in language teaching (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Students can choose from the following options:

ALE115 Language of Everyday Life (TB1)

This course is designed to introduce students to the principled study of texts representing a wide range of genres or registers of everyday language, such as conversation, academic texts, recipes, blogs and micro-blogs, political speeches, news reporting and so on. Rather than focusing on the creative aspects of texts, the course is designed to equip students with the analytical tools to carry out principled descriptions of the linguistic (particularly lexico-grammatical) characteristics of spoken and written texts, and the ways that situational factors influence the linguistic characteristics of texts. The course also introduces students to basic notions in pragmatics, speech act theory, and conversation analysis. Throughout the course, students will practise different kinds of hands-on linguistic analyses, which are essential to succeed in the course.

Suggested reading:

  • Cornbleet, S., & Carter, R. (2001). The language of speech and writing. London and New York: Routledge

ALE116 The history of the English language (TB2)

In this module we discuss the history of the English language from its beginnings to the present day. The English language was brought to these shores by Anglo-Saxon invaders who replaced the existing Celtic languages to a large extent. Old English was then almost wiped out itself by the Vikings who would have replaced it with their language, and we would probably speak Danish today if they had succeeded. Later, English was again fundamentally changed by other invaders: the Normans. We analyse the development of this small language that was only spoken by 7 million people in the 16th century to the world language that it is today and discuss possible scenarios for the future of English across the global.

Suggested reading:

  • Johnson, K. (2016) The History of Early English. Routledge.

ALE120 Studying the English Language (TB1)

How did English become a global language? What exactly is Standard English? What do slips of the tongue reveal about language? ALE120 Studying the English Language answers these questions and many more. The module is an introduction to the diversity and history of English, and to relevant contemporary and classic work in linguistics. Other topics discussed in lectures and the accompanying course-book include the effects of dialect and accent on identity, swearing and offensive names in English, language and gender, language planning and theories about the origin of language.

Suggested reading:

  • Penhallurick, R. (2010). Studying the English language. Palgrave Macmillan

Please note:

  • This is not a comprehensive list and may be subject to change.
  • It is not necessary to buy these books in advance. The university library has copies available (including many online).
  • If you have not previously studied English Language A-level, we would recommend you read the following:
    • Crystal, D. (2002). The English language: A guided tour of the language. Penguin UK.