Readings for students who have not studied English Language at A-Level

Here is a set of suggested preparatory readings for those students who have not studied English Language at A-Level.

We sometimes make offers to students who have not studied English Language at A-Level because we think that they still have the potential to do well here. However, if this applies to you, it is essential that you do some preparatory reading between before arriving at Lancaster. Below we provide a list of relevant books.

We have divided the books into different areas according to the main degree schemes we offer, but there are overlaps between some areas, so that some books are listed under more than one heading. If you are going to study on a combined degree scheme, you may find that more than one of the headings below is relevant to you. It is essential that you read at least two of the books recommended here before you come to Lancaster in October.

Most of these books are recommended here because they provide accessible introductions to relevant areas. As a consequence, they may not be used on the courses you will take. However, we have marked with an asterisk * those books which are used as textbooks at Lancaster.


English Language

Start with one (or more) of the first three entries in this list and then try one or two of the others.

  • Crystal, D. (1998) Language Play, Penguin
  • Crystal, D. (2002) The English Language, Penguin
  • Crystal, D. (2003) (2nd edn) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press (read a couple of entries a day from this book, in any order you like, until you have read a significant portion of the book, if not all of it, to get a sense of the breadth of English Language study).
  • * Culpeper, J., Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R. and McEnery, T. (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context, Palgrave Macmillan (this book, which has 39 chapters on different aspects of English Language study is written by members of the department and so will help to give you a sense of what we are like as well as what the linguistic study of the English language is like).
  • * Graddol, D., Leith, D., Swann, J., Rhys, M. and Gillen, J. (2006) Changing English, Routledge
  • * Hughes, A., Trudgill, P. and Watt, D. (2005) English Accents and Dialects, Arnold (CD can be purchased)

Linguistics

Start with one (or both) of the first two entries in this list and then try one or two of the others.

  • Crystal, D. (1997) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language, Cambridge University Press (read a couple of entries a day from this book, in any order you like, until you have read a significant portion of the book, if not all of it, to get a sense of the breadth of the study of Linguistics)
  • Culpeper, J., Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R. and McEnery, T. (2009) English Language: Description, Variation and Context, Palgrave Macmillan (this book, which has 39 chapters on different aspects of English Language study is written by members of the department and so will help to give you a sense of what we are like as well as what the linguistic study of the English language is like).
  • Aitchison, J. (2000) Language Change: Progress or Decay, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J (2000) The Seeds of Speech, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J. (2002) Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon, Cambridge University Press.
  • Aitchison, J. (2007) The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University Press.
  • Ashby, P. (2005), Speech Sounds, London: Routledge
  • Crystal, D. (1990) Linguistics, Penguin
  • Fabb, N. (2005) Sentence Structure, Routledge
  • Graddol, D., Cheshire, J., and Swann, J. (1994) Describing Language, Open University Press
  • Nettle, D. and Romaine, S. (2000) Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages, Oxford University Press.
  • Pinker, S. (1999) Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language, Phoenix.
  • Pinker, S. (2003) The Language Instinct, Penguin
  • Pinker, S. (2008) The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, Penguin

English Language and Literature

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge
  • McRae, J. (1998) The Language of Poetry, Routledge
  • Sanger, K. (1998) The Language of Fiction, Routledge
  • Sanger, K. (2000) The Language of Drama, Routledge
  • * Short, M. (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman
  • * Short, M. (2003) Language and Style web-based course (this web-based course, which is freely available worldwide is used as part of the term 2 Language and Style course, so it will give you a good sense of the course as well as helping you with your A-level English Language/Literature work)
  • Simpson, P. (1996) Language Through Literature, Routledge

English Language and Creative Writing

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge
  • McRae, J. (1998) The Language of Poetry, Routledge
  • Nash, W. (1998) Language and Creative Illusion, Longman
  • Nash, W. and Stacey, D. E. (1997) Creating Texts: An Introduction to the Study of Composition, Longman Sanger, K. (1998) The Language of Fiction, Routledge
  • Sanger, K. (2000) The Language of Drama, Routledge
  • * Short, M. (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman
  • * Short, M. (2003) Language and Style web-based course (this web-based course, which is freely available worldwide is used as part of the term 2 Language and Style course [compulsory for students taking English Language and Creative Writing], so it will give you a good sense of the course as well as helping you with your A-level English Language/Literature work)
  • Simpson, P. (1996) Language Through Literature, Routledge

English Language in the Media

Read at least one of the books listed under 'English Language', plus at least one of the following:

  • Curran, J. and Gurevitch, M. (eds.) (2000) Mass Media and Society, Arnold
  • Goddard, A. (2002) The Language of Advertising (2nd edition), Routledge
  • Marshall, J. and Werndley, A. (2002) The Language of Television, Routledge
  • McLoughlin, L. (2000) The Language of Magazines, Routledge
  • Myers, G. (1994) Words in Ads, Arnold
  • Myers, G. (1999) Ad Worlds, Arnold
  • Newbold, C., Boyd-Barrett, O. and van den Bulck, H. (eds.) (2002) The Media Book, Oxford University Press
  • Reah, D. (2002) The Language of Newspapers (2nd edition), Routledge