Year three

There are no compulsory modules for BA English Language degree scheme students.  There are compulsory modules for TESOL and BSc Applied Linguistics and English Language students (see list of compulsory modules at the end of the page).

Single honours students should take a minimum of 100 credits (5 modules) from the list below. Joint honours students should take 60 credits (3 modules) from the list below.

ALE306: Second language acquisition

This module examined second language learning from a psycholinguistic perspective. Students will be introduced to some of the key theories in second language acquisition and examine some of the factors that influence SLA, e.g. the role of the first language, age, working memory capacity, motivation, aptitude etc. This module builds on preliminary investigations into language acquisition in ALE211 (Psycholinguistics) although this is not a pre-requisite.

ALE308: Issues in current ELT

ALE308 provides an insight into the English Language Teaching profession as it exists right now demonstrating how academic teaching and learning theories are applied int he classroom. The module is suitable for students who are interested in working in the industry as well as those who have an interest in how EFL is taught. Course content reflects current issues discussed at recent IATEFL conferences and covers methodology, material design, teaching vocabulary, English as a Lingua Franca, English Next and assessment. Students are guided through selected chapters in the most recent textbooks, journal articles, digital media and the blogosphere so as, by the end of the module, to be able to start to participate in the topical, professional discussion at the most recent conferences and to recognise various themes as being aligned to the module content.

EN-376: Prehistory, history and language

This module has three sections.

  1. The origins of language – focusing especially on the ideas of Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker and Terrence Deacon. This section gives us an in-depth insight into the theories of the fundamental character of language.
  2. the search for the Indo-European – focusing on rival theories (for example Colin Renfrew, JP Mallory, Marija Gimbutas) on the origins and spread of Indo-European languages. This section provides an in-detail understanding of research into the language “family” that gave us English.
  3. The Old English to Middle English question – what is the evidence that led language historians to identify a boundary between so called “Old” and “Middle English.” This section is about the historical processes that changed the grammar, vocabulary and spelling of English enormously in the Middle Ages.

ALE316: Language in the media

This module builds upon work that you have done on discourse analysis during years 1 and 2, applying it to a range of media texts, including television interviews, documentaries, political debates, social network sites, and participatory news sites. You will use several of the main theoretical frameworks in Discourse Analysis to do so. For example, you will draw upon the micro-analytic methods of Conversation Analysis to examine how political interviews on television and radio phone-in programmes are routinely structured: How are they opened and closed?; How are ‘neutral’ questions posited?; and How are answers evaded? Likewise, using Im-Politeness theories, you will examine verbal conflict and aggression in online political deliberation. You will also learn about the similarities in the use of narratives across genres as diverse as documentaries, news and talkshows.

The course will improve your data collection and discourse analytic skills. It will also teach you to assess critically the impact of media discourse upon contemporary society (and vice versa) and to evaluate discursive practices whereby identities are legitimised and/or challenged within the media.

ALE317 (TB1) Doing a Research project

ALE317 prepares students for the dissertation, which is written in the module ALE318.It introduces students to a range of methodologies used in research in general and in applied linguistics in particular, and prepares them for the conducting and writing up of their own piece of research.

ALE318: Dissertation/ Research project

In this module, students will conduct an empirical research project in Applied Linguistics under supervision. This will entail collecting and analysing data, as well as writing up their projects in an 8,000 word dissertation.

ALE319: Computer-Assisted language learning

This modules gives students a thorough overview of tolls and activities used in the fast expanding field of CALL. In the practical part, various CALL activities are explored and evaluated in view of their usefulness both for classroom use and for independent study.

ALE322 Language policy and planning

This module looks at why we might need to plan for a language and how this might feed into policy. We will consider language planning from the point of view of both status planning (how a language is used within its community), corpus planning (the structure of a language) and acquisition planning (efforts to enable individuals or groups to learn a language). Attention will be given to bodies and institutions, which are involved in making language policy and examples from different language communities in the world will be studied. Throughout this module, we will explore the complex factors and implications of planning and policy: implications for equality and diversity, innovation versus conservative approaches and from a regional/national level to the international stage.

ALE320: Atypical Speech and Language (new for 2021/22)

Developmental or acquired conditions can affect how language is processed and produced. In this module, we will scrutinise the language output and comprehension of people with conditions, such as dementias, aphasias, cognitive impairments.

ALE321: Forensic Linguistics (new for 2021/22)

Forensic Linguistics is the study and analysis of language used in legal settings. This can include authorship attribution, where systematic analysis of language features in key documents can help to profile or identify the author, and the use of discourse analysis to scrutinise speech and writing used in and around legal processes. The use of forensic linguistic evidence in specific court cases will be scrutinised, and language-focused policies and practices relating to legal settings will be evaluated.

Compulsory Modules for BSc Applied Linguistics and English Language students

  • ALE316: Language in the Media
  • ALE317: Doing a research project
  • ALE318: Dissertation (Research project 2)
  • ALE320: Atypical speech and language
  • ALE321: Forensic linguistics
  • ALE322: Language policy and planning

Compulsory Modules for BA TESOL students

  • ALE308: Issues in current ELT
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