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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MODL3650 Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Chiara La Sala

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will investigate attitudes towards minoritised languages, dialects and varieties in the UK and beyond. The module will start by focusing on the problematic nature of terms like language, minority language, and dialect, and how they refer to different linguistic contexts. We explore the status of minoritised languages during the rise of the nation-state in the 19th-20th centuries and examine of contemporary attitudes towards them; the module will show that there is a perceived link between language and identity, which becomes a key factor in determining a positive attitude towards these varieties. Special attention will be dedicated to policies to safeguard minoritised languages and the positive and negative effects of technology and globalization on minoritised languages and cultures.


Nation-states have a complex and evolving linguistic situation, in which local, regional or nonstandard language varieties face increasing competition from standard forms. This module examines issues surrounding minoritised languages and cultures at both global and local levels, taking a critical and interdisciplinary approach that encompasses critical viewpoints from sociolinguistics, history, and socio-cultural studies. Lectures and seminars will explore the sociocultural context for minoritised languages and cultures across the world, and how language plays a part in issues of inclusivity, bias, and (de)colonisation. On completion of this module, students should understand the social and historical factors that lead to some language varieties becoming minoritised, and the social and cultural implications of linguistic diversity and inequality; they should also be able to demonstrate skills in qualitative research methods and podcasting.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Show an understanding of key concepts and terminology from a range of disciplines, including history, linguistics/languages, politics, area studies, and cultural studies and the ability to draw these together to approach themes of the module in an interdisciplinary way;
2. Engage critically with a variety of theoretical approaches to study sociolinguistic and sociocultural theories related to minoritized languages and cultures, synthesising material from a range of sources;
3. Demonstrate skills in qualitative data collection and analysis;
4. Conduct both independent and team-based research and communicate the research results effectively in multimodal forms;
5. Demonstrate skills in presentation (oral and written), digital technology, audio-visual presentation


The aim of the module is to introduce to students to the complex phenomenon of minoritised language varieties in the UK and beyond, including historical origins in settler colonialism and the rise of the nation-state in the 19th -20th centuries. On completion of the module students will be able to understand concepts and terminology around standard vs non-standard languages, indigenous vs settler, dialect vs accent vs variety, heritage languages and multilingualism, linguistic discrimination and accent bias, language endangerment and extinction. Students will master their analytical skills by doing an informed analysis of a specific case study.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Preparation for lectures (3.5 hours per taught week, 70 hours)
Preparation for seminars (2 hours per week in alternate week, 20 hours)
Completion of non-assessed formative assignments (30 hours)
Preparation for Independent research project (2000 words) (30 hours)
Preparation for group podcasting project (30 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular formative feedback will be provided at lectures, seminars and arranged one-to-one appointments. The two assessments (group and individual qualitative research projects) will receive written and audio feedback and, upon request, separate oral feedback during a personal meeting.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or DissertationIndependent research project (2000 words)50.00
Group ProjectGroup podcast project (10-12 minutes)50.00
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: 29/04/2024 16:18:28


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