English linguistics: sociolinguistics

lgerm2723  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

English linguistics: sociolinguistics
5 credits
15.0 h
Main themes
Familiarize students with research issues in the anglo-saxon sociolinguistic field by reading scientific articles in the domain and analyzing the various interactions between society and language.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


By the end of the course, students will adopt a critical approach to sociolinguistics, its evolution, its place in linguistics and its methodology. The students will be familiar with the traditional sociolinguistic trends and research paradigms (W.Labov in the States and P.Trudgill in England, etc.) as well as the more recent developments about 'sociolects', 'ethnolects' and 'genderlects' (linguistic variations based respectively on social class, ethnic origin and gender). Students should also be able to carry out personal linguistic research in the field.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Analysis of the English language in relation to its social context.
The course focuses primarily on social factors such as social class, ethnic origin, age and gender and their impact on language (e.g. accent, vocabulary, language interactions). Special emphasis will be placed on research methods and the types of data used in the field.
Part of the course will also be devoted to critical discourse analysis.
Teaching methods
Seminar-like course ; reading list ; classroom discussions ; paper presentations.
Evaluation methods
- oral presentation of a scientific paper that covers one of the topics of the course
- written exam
- continuous assessment (attendance, group work, participation in classroom discussions)
Students who have more than 2 unjustified absences or who have not presented their oral communication will not be allowed to register for the exam.
In case of resit, evaluation will be based on a written exam (and an oral presentation of a scientific article if requested by the lecturer)
Other information
- Spolsky, B. (1998) Sociolinguistics. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
- Stockwell, P. (2007) Sociolinguistics : A resource book for students. Routledge (2nd edition).
- Holmes, J. (2008) An introduction to sociolinguistics. Third edition. Harlow: Pearson Longman Education (3rd edition).
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German, Dutch and English

Master [120] in Linguistics