Specialization in English Language - International English: variation and change (ENG272)
This course is based on the introductory courses in English language and provides the students with advanced knowledge of one sub-discipline within English studies: Linguistics. The course deals with linguistic variation and change, with focus on international varieties of English. It is also designed to help students build up a theoretical and methodological framework for their linguistic BA theses.
Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.
This course provides an introduction to the study of linguistic variation and change, with focus on international varieties of English. The course deals both with regional variation and social variables such as age, gender and social class. It introduces the theoretical and methodological framework of sociolinguistics, which provides a basis both for the study of varieties within the course and for the students’ work on their BA thesis. In addition, it considers English as a global language, including its geographical spread, cultural roles and attitudes towards its use. During the course, the class will study a range of varieties of English, representing the three ‘circles’ of global English: countries with English as a first language (e.g. Australia), as a second language (e.g. India) and as a language of increasing importance (e.g. Norway). We will identify linguistic features typical of particular varieties and learn to recognize speakers of different backgrounds. We will also discuss the ways in which English has influenced or is influenced by other languages as a result of language contact.
Upon completion of the course, the students will have gained knowledge of
the roles and uses of English as a first, second and foreign language worldwide
the concepts of dialect, standard language, language variation and language change
different regional realisations of English within various linguistic categories, such as pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary
gender, age and social class as factors influencing speech variation
the concept of language contact and specifically the effects of contact between English and other languages
By the end of the course, the students will be able to
reflect upon central theories, concepts and perspectives within the fields of sociolinguistics and international varieties of English
analyse and describe linguistic variation in English with regard to regional and social differences
discuss different attitudes to language and in particular towards English worldwide
identify possible places of occurrence for specific linguistic features of English on a global scale
Upon completion of the course, the students
will be able to discuss aspects of language variation and change in an informed way
will have a good understanding of the roles and implications of English as a global language
will be better able to recognize different varieties of English and identify their main characteristics
will be able to express themselves correctly and academically both in writing and orally
Required prerequisite knowledge
Students must have a minimum of 50 ECTS in introductory English courses or equivalent in order to begin the specialization.
BA students must have a minimum of 45 ECTS in introductory English courses or equivalent in order to begin the specialization.
One of the following alternatives:
ENG100 Introduction to the English Language, ENG105 British and Irish Literature, ENG140 The Sounds of English, ENG165 American Literature and Culture, ENG180 Uses of English with didactics
ENG100 Introduction to the English Language, ENG140 The Sounds of English, ENG165 American Literature and Culture, ENG180 Uses of English with didactics
ENG115 An Introduction to Literature in English, ENG145 Introduction to the English language, ENG175 American Literature and Culture
ENG115 An Introduction to Literature in English, ENG175 American Literature and Culture, ENG195 English Phonetics and Phonology
ENG115 An Introduction to Literature in English, ENG145 Introduction to the English language, ENG195 English Phonetics and Phonology
ENG145 Introduction to the English language, ENG175 American Literature and Culture, ENG195 English Phonetics and Phonology
Other equivalent course combinations
Midterm exam and oral exam
Form of assessment
Midterm exam - written
Final exam - oral
Both exams need to be passed in order to get the final course grade. English language and academic writing skills are taken into account in the grading, as well as the course content.
Group research project, 75% seminar attendance
The group research project must be presented in class and must be passed in order to be admitted to the exam. 75 % seminar attendance is required to sit the final exam.
Open to students accepted into the Bachelor programme (or Specialization) in English Language and Literature at the Department of Cultural Studies and Languages, provided that they have the prerequisite knowledge. Open to exchange students. Other students must apply within the given deadlines.
There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.