Language, Society and Culture

Subject LING20010 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 34 hours- 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. There will be no tutorials in the first and last weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Some familiarity with the IPA and basic linguistic concepts. Contact the lecturer for recommended reading if you have no linguistics background.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr John Mansfield


Subject Overview:

This subject examines how social and cultural factors influence language, and the role language plays in structuring and representing social categories across cultures. It examines how culture and language shape each other: how language represents and enables culture, and how cultures influence the form individual languages take. Specific topics to be covered include socially determined variation in language styles and registers. language varieties reflecting social class, gender and ethnic group. factors affecting language choice such as, bi- and multi-lingualism, as well as the relation between language, culture and thought and universalist versus relativist, views of language. Students will also study changes in language status over time.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • attained in-depth knowledge of how social factors influence language;
  • engaged with debates around sociolinguistic research methodology;
  • deepened their understanding of social and cultural diversity through problematising language use across different social and cultural practices;
  • broadened and applied research skills utilising a variety of primary and electronic sources, and developed awareness of intellectual integrity and research ethics in sociolinguistic research;
  • further honed writing abilities across a variety of text types and multimodal presentation skills;
  • participated in individual and group-based data-related activities within and outside the classroom.

  • Review of research article due in week 5 [30%]
  • Test in week 9 [20%]
  • Major project due during the examination period [40%]
  • Participation and engagement throughout semester [10%]

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Textbook: Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2011. Introducing Sociolinguistics, 2nd Edition. London/New York: Routledge

Recommended Texts:

Reader: Meyerhoff, Miriam & Erik Schleef. 2010. The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader. London/New York: Routledge.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should have:

  • developed the ability to form judgments from conflicting evidence;
  • developed an openness to new ideas and possibilities;
  • improved their oral and written communication skills;
  • developed their ability to step outside their own language and culture.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
English Language - 200 Point Program
English Language Studies
European Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Anthropology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Language Testing - 200 Point Program
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
TESOL - 200 Point Program
Technology in Language Learning - 200 Point Program
Related Breadth Track(s): Linguistics: Language in its social and cultural context

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