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2009/10 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3269 Change in Contemporary English

20 creditsClass Size: 20

English

Module manager: Dr Joanne Close

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2009/10

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students wishing to take this module must have passed an introduction to language study in the School of English or another department (such modules include 'Language, Text and Context', 'Foundations of Language Study', 'Language Methodologies and Research Methods', a Level 1 module in Linguistics and Phonetics, or similar modules in other departments in Modern Languages). Other students who do not meet this requirement, but do have an A in English language A-level, and wish to do this module, should consult the module tutor, as should any student who is uncertain whether they meet the pre-requisite requirements.

Please note: This module is restricted to Level 2 and 3 students.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module concentrates on the facts of linguistic change, comparing the spread of changes in written and spoken language and in different varieties, investigating changes in particular contexts, and considering the effects of the internet and other technology on language use. It also considers how current change fits into the picture of longer term grammatical change, and considers reasons for change taking place.

Objectives

To introduce students to a new and emerging field of language study, that of current change, as it is manifested in grammatical constructions and in shifts in the frequency of competing words and phrases, and even the revival of older forms.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


Syllabus

This module introduces students to a new and emerging field of language study: current change. Current change is an exciting new research impetus which investigates the introduction of new grammatical constructions and the loss of others, shifts in frequency of competing words and phrases, and even the revival of older forms. In this module we will compare the spread of changes in written and spoken language and in different varieties such as British and American English; investigate changes in particular contexts e.g. the rise of the so-called 'footballer's perfect' commonly used in post-match commentaries and now spreading to other contexts (he's come out of the box, rather than the simple past he came out of the box); and consider the effects of the internet and other technology on language use. We will also consider how current change fits into the picture of longer term grammatical change, and investigate reasons for change.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Meetings51.005.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor). The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.
1st assessed assignment.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1,700 words0.00
Assignment2,750 words0.00
Assignment2,000 words0.00
Investigative ProjectLeading to group poster presentation and individual report (1500 words)0.00
Essay1,700 words33.30
Investigative ProjectInvestigation into current change in English (3750 words)66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/01/2011

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