Year two

In the second year there are compulsory modules for students on TESOL degrees and the BSc Applied Linguistics and English Language (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.

ALE200: Tools for English language teaching

This module builds on the knowledge of language teaching methodologies formed in ALE108. The module aims to develop students’ ability to analyse and use language teaching materials, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to choose tools for teaching and learning in the language classroom. Students will learn how to plan language lessons and incorporate appropriate learning activities; and will learn to respond appropriately to different language teaching contexts. Please note: this module may not be taken in combination with ALE204 or ALE225.

Suggested reading:

  • Harmer, J. (2007) The practice of English language teaching (4th Edition). Harlow: Pearson Longman.
  • Scrivener, J. (2011) Learning teaching: The essential guide to English language teaching (3rd Edition). Oxford: Macmillan Education.

ALE202: Sociolinguistics

This course introduces students to the field of sociolinguistics – the study of language in society. The course aims to raise students’ awareness of the many and complex ways that linguistic choices are associated with social and situational factors. The course surveys the history and approaches to sociolinguistics, and explores some of the major issues and debates in the field, including how language varies according to factors like gender, ethnicity, social class, and education, and how factors like power, inequality, and cultural difference shape human interaction and affect the social outcomes of different types of interaction. We will critically consider the notion of variation, examine the dynamics of language in macro-social settings and micro-interactional contexts, and explore the ways that the mutually constitutive relationship between language and society is mediated through language ideology and identity construction.

Suggested reading:

  • Mesthrie, R., et. al. (2009) Introducing sociolinguistics (2nd Edition). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

ALE204: Teaching practice (CELTA) – by application/ interview only

This module is designed for students who wish to train to become English Language Teachers through taking the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).

In order to take this module, students must first be accepted on to the Cambridge CELTA course. The teaching of this module will contain the content of the Cambridge CELTA with the addition of a final exit examination. Students should complete the CELTA application form and admission task available here. This course will last 10 weeks between October and December and is repeated in January as ALE225. Students may not take this module and either ALE225 or ALE200.

ALE211: Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics brings together psychology and linguistics to investigate how language is represented physically in the brain and abstractly in the mind. Lectures will explain and explore the field of psycholinguistics and its concerns; the brain and biological systems; speech perception; words and meanings; sentence processing; text and discourse; first language acquisition; bilingualism; second language acquisition. You will have the opportunity to analyse transcripts from stroke patients whose language has been affected in different ways.

Suggested reading:

  • Sedivy, J. (2019) Language in mind: an introduction to psycholinguistics (2nd Edition). Canada: University of Calgary. [provisional].

ALE218: Discourse analysis

This module introduces students to key approaches and research methodologies in the broad field of discourse analysis, including ethnography of communication, speech act theory, pragmatics, register analysis, genre analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics/ conversation analysis. We will discuss these approaches, their strengths and limitations, and critically examine the application of these approaches in empirical research studies. The course features hands-on data analyses, and students will be responsible for carrying out an original discourse analysis based on original data.

Suggested reading: Jaworski, J. (Ed.) (2014) The discourse reader (3rd Edition) London: Routledge.

ALE224: Vocabulary studies

This module will introduce students to the mental lexicon and will begin to answer questions about what words are, how they are used and change, and how they are stored in the mind. This material will be built on by introducing students to the use of technology, which allows the statistical analysis of text. This analysis has various uses including stylistic analysis, as a translation aid, as a measure of the difficulty and technicality of a text, and as a means of predicting learning and sequencing the content of teaching syllabuses. Students will carry out a small project using these statistical devices and will make these kinds of analysis. Students will devise their own projects for assignment.

ALE225: Teaching practice (CELTA) – by application/ interview only

This module is a repeat of ALE204 but runs from January to March. Please see the description for ALE204. Students may not take this module and either ALE204 or ALE200.

ALE250: Child language and literacy 

The module aims to develop an understanding of the processes, conditions and stages of successful first language acquisition, and also to consider variation and disorders in child language acquisition, to explore methodological issues and principles in first language acquisition research, and to provide a comparative model for the better understanding of second language acquisition (which can be pursued in ALE 306), including child bilingualism including literacy and dyslexia, child bilingualism and bilingualism with sign language.

Suggested reading:

  • Saxton, M. (2018) Child Language (2nd Edition). London: SAGE

EN-260: Studying dialect

This module tells the story of the study of dialect down the centuries, emphasizing the study of varieties of the English language. It looks at the early interest in ‘provincial’ English, through to the development of systematic dialectology in the nineteenth century, the advent of the sociolinguistic approach in the twentieth century , and on to the current diversity of methods and research. In doing so we also look at the history of dialect dictionaries, linguistic atlases, and national dialect surveys; at cultural attitudes towards non-standard English; and at the range of theoretical underpinnings of dialect study: philological, structuralist, and generative.

Suggested reading:

  • Chambers, J.K. & Trudgill, P.  (1998) Dialectology, Cambridge textbooks in linguistics (2nd Edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Penhallurick, R. (2018) Studying dialect. London: Palgrave.

ALE226: Psycholinguistics of language acquisition (replacing ALE211 for 2020/21)

What happens in your mind when you learn a second or subsequent language? How does this compare to when you learn your first language. This module looks at how we process multiple languages, the interactions between them and factors that might influence how we comprehend and produce language.

ALE227: Research Tools for Applied Linguistics (only available to BSc students)

This module equips students to engage effectively with tools used by applied linguists for data collection, scrutiny, and analysis. These will include software for building, interrogating and comparing language corpora (corpus tools), for transcribing and annotating video/audio data, and for measuring various dimensions of language texts. We will also cover basic concepts of computer programming, and compare statistical analysis programmes.

ALE228: Working with Practitioners (Health, Law, Education, Technology) (only available to BSc students)

Applied Linguistics connects language theories and evidence with real world challenges, and this often requires the applied linguist to work closely with professionals and practitioners. This module brings students into direct contact with these users of applied linguistics methods, via industry visits, case study analyses, and placement experience. Students will have the opportunity to focus on a particular industry sector (e.g. health care, law, education, technology) and to consider what they as applied linguists can learn from and contribute to that sector.

Compulsory modules for BSc Applied Linguistics and English Language students

  • ALE250 Child language and literacy
  • ALE202 Sociolinguistics
  • ALE227 Research tools for Applied Linguistics
  • ALE228 Working with practitioners (Health, Law, Education, Technology)
  • ALE218 Discourse analysis
  • ALE226 Psycholinguistics of language acquisition

Compulsory modules for TESOL students

  • You must take one of ALE200, ALE204 or ALE225 .
  • ALE204 and ALE225 are subject to interview prior to module selection.
  • You can NOT choose both ALE204 and ALE225.