Within our flexible Part I system, this 40-credit module runs over the course of the year and introduces students to the field of English Language. It is organised into eight units that cover:
Visual English and English Vocabulary
This unit covers the development of English spelling, including changes in letters and punctuation. We also look at the origins and development of English vocabulary and the complexities involved in defining fundamental units, such as words.
English Sounds and Structures
This unit explores the building blocks of speech, the workings of the human vocal tract, and how we can analyse and transcribe speech. It then builds upon this to examine how smaller units are combined into grammatical structures, while teaching a framework for the analysis of sentence structure.
This unit considers how media genres have developed, such as how language is used on TV, in newspapers and online. It also explores how language is used across a range of media, including political speeches, advertising, and campaigning, and how social media may be influencing language in real-time.
In this unit, you’ll explore the richness of English dialects, understanding where they came from and how they might change in the future. In doing so, we’ll also examine how English spread around the world and whether there’s such a thing as ‘standard English’.
Analysing English in Use
This unit will teach you fundamental skills in discourse analysis, allowing you to develop a set of tools for analysing texts and their contexts. This includes analysing how language is used to frame political topics, techniques for persuasion, and language and power.
What is the difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘literary’ language? In this unit, you will explore creative uses of English, spanning literature, poetry and metaphors. We will also think about creativity in everyday language, showing how seemingly ordinary speech and writing contains boundless novelty and verbal artistry.
One of the most fundamental characteristics of language is that it changes over time. But why does language change? In this unit, you’ll explore the origins of English, how it has changed over time, and how we can use databases of historical language to track changes in writing.
English is the most widely spoken language in the world, but the majority of speakers learn it as a second language. In this unit, you’ll explore issues and opportunities in the teaching of English as a second language, including classroom interaction and the current best practices on how to teach a language.