English linguistics: sociolinguistics

lgerm2723  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

English linguistics: sociolinguistics
5.00 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.
Learning outcomes

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

1 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 course focuses primarily on social factors such as social class, ethnic origin, age and gender and their impact on the English language used (e.g. accent, vocabulary, language interactions) in a series of communities and contexts . Special emphasis will be placed on research methods and the types of data used in the field.
Teaching methods
Seminar-like course: reading list and preparation work, classroom discussions, paper presentations.
The seminars are given face to face (or online via Teams or using dual mode teaching if face to face sessions are impossible in case of a health crisis for example).
Evaluation methods
The final mark for the course is the weighted mean of the following three marks:
  • (in-class) oral presentation of a scientific paper that covers one of the topics of the course (30%).
  • written exam (60%).
  • continuous assessment (group work, participation in discussions) (10%).
As the course is part of programmes that aim to train language specialists, particular attention is paid to accuracy in the various assignments and exams connected with the course.   
In case of resit, the evaluation will be based on a written exam (and an oral presentation of a scientific article if requested by the lecturer)
Online resources
  • Scientific articles, documents and slides on Moodle.
  • Baker, P. (2010) Sociolinguistics and Corpus Linguistics. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Holmes, J. and Wilson, N.  (2017) An introduction to sociolinguistics. Fifth edition. Harlow: Pearson Longman Education.
  • Meyerhoff, M. (2019) Introducing sociolinguistics. Third edition. Routledge.
  • Spolsky, B. (1998) Sociolinguistics. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Stockwell, P. (2007) Sociolinguistics : A resource book for students. Routledge (2nd edition).
  • Wardhaugh, R., and Fuller, J.M. (2015) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Wiley Blackwell.
Teaching materials
  • Documents and articles on Moodle
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Linguistics

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

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General