Part I English Language

Part I English Language (LING102) will introduce you to the English Language; how to describe it, how it varies and how it functions in a variety of contexts.

You will not only study the traditional linguistic areas of English (e.g. lexis, grammar, phonetics), but also areas that are often overlooked e.g. letters, spellings, and areas that have more recently come to the fore, such as those that are treated with pragmatics or conversational analysis.

You will learn and apply linguistic frameworks in the analysis and explanation of variation in English, both present-day and, to a lesser extent, historical. You will gain some appreciation of the aspects that are distinctive of English compared with other closely related languages (e.g. German, French and Italian). In order to study this variation, you will become conversant with crucial descriptive concepts, such as accents, dialects, registers, genres and styles, as well as possible explanations for variation.

You will learn about the role of practices and contexts in shaping the English Language, for example, how new TV genres have come about; and also about the functions of English, for example, how it can be creatively exploited for the purpose of constructing a joke. Finally you will learn about the teaching of English, especially as a foreign language.

The course is arranged in a series of blocks including:

  • visual English
  • English vocabulary
  • English structures
  • English sounds
  • conversational English
  • English dialects
  • media English
  • creative English
  • changing English
  • teaching English

Throughout, you will be encouraged to assess critically ‘facts’ about English, and will be introduced to a range of methods by which evidence about English can be derived.

Course Aims

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Analyse and explain variation in present-day English (e.g. accents, dialects, registers, genres, styles), focusing both on more traditional areas of language (e.g. lexis, grammar) and areas that have only recently been explored (e.g. conversational acts, discourse)
  • Analyse and explain the role of practices and contexts in shaping the English language
  • Analyse and explain how English has varied over time
  • Appreciate aspects that are distinctive of English compared with other closely related languages (e.g. German, French, Italian)
  • Describe and understand the various functions of English
  • Understand the issues involved in teaching English
  • Assess critically ‘facts’ about English
  • Apply basic linguistic descriptive frameworks
  • Appreciate different ways of studying the English language
  • Entertain different points of view on certain issues, and weigh their various merits and shortcomings objectively
  • Construct arguments in an essay
  • Assemble evidence to support their arguments
  • Carry out research in the library
  • Refer to other studies correctly and construct a proper bibliography