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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LING3005 Languages in Contact

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Marco Santello

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to have completed one of the following modules, or equivalent:
- LING1100 Language: Meaning and Use
- MODL1401 Discourse, Culture and Identity
Advanced competence in a language other than English is not required. Students who have not completed LING1100 Language: Meaning and Use should be prepared to do some additional reading to familiarise themselves with linguistic concepts built on in this module. Chapters 7 to 15 of Genetti’s How languages work: An introduction to language and linguistics (Cambridge University Press, 2014) are a good starting point.

This module is mutually exclusive with

LING2005Languages In Contact

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module enhances students’ understanding of languages in contact. It also develops a set of critical as well as creative skills in relation to bilingual and multilingual practices so that the students will be able to understand what it means to know and use multiple languages. The emphasis in this module is on cognitive, pragmatic and sociolinguistic aspects of language contact, interrogated through examples from multilingual realities in Europe and beyond.


The module aims to
(1) Introduce major issues concerning languages in contact including how languages coexist in the brain and the consequences of such coexistence, how individuals and communities use multiple languages simultaneously, how societies construct and promote monolingual versus multilingual norms;
(2) Develop understanding of the phenomena that occur when languages come into contact including borrowing, codeswitching and language attrition;
(3) Develop critical awareness of the articulation of monolingual ideologies as well as the exploitation of multilingualism in the commercial sphere;
(4) Develop bilingual skills through the production of mixed language texts.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students should be able to
(1) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the terminology, concepts, and information used in the study of languages in contact;
(2) Show critical understanding of language contact phenomena;
(3) Present a structured, coherent and well-articulated argument regarding languages in contact using information from different sources, referenced appropriately;
(4) Show critical awareness of multilingualism in society;
(5) Communicate creatively using multiple linguistic resources simultaneously.


This module explores what happens when languages come into contact both at an individual and at societal level. Throughout the module students gain an advanced knowledge of the phenomena involved in language contact spanning from the coexistence of languages in the brain to their use in society. We cover a number of topics including the following: why languages get close to one another; why multilingualism exists and what are the main forces that engender it; multiple languages and the brain; how individuals and communities use various languages simultaneously; having an accent in a language; what it means to be a speaker of a minority language; monolingual normativity and its consequences; language policy; bilingual/multilingual creativity; languages in the market.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to devote 180 hours of private study time to this module, with the following suggested breakdown:
- 4 hours reading per lecture = 40 hours
- 4 hours preparation on set readings per seminar = 20 hours
- preparation for the essay = 60 hours
- preparation for the exam = 60 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored through seminar contributions and participation in whole class teaching. Students are encouraged to complete one blog entry consisting of an original multilingual text. It is neither compulsory nor assigned a mark, but students receive written feedback on their entries which helps them progress through the module. Essay feedback is provided prior to the exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500-word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

This exam may be replaced by an alternative assessment administered online

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:36


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