English Language & Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, seeking to understand how it is structured, used and acquired. You explore spoken and written language in all its complexity and its relationship with culture, society and the mind.

English Language and Linguistics is based in the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL), which is one of the largest academic schools in the University. Our multidisciplinary focus allows you to study all aspects of language, including its nature, structure and use, and discover how this varies according to person, time and situation.

Our degree programme

The programme examines how language is used in various social, political, cultural and philosophical contexts, including the media, literature and everyday conversation.

In your first year you learn the fundamentals of language. In your second and third years you choose from a broad range of theoretical topics such as syntax, phonetics and phonology, morphology, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, literary stylistics, and critical and cultural theory.

You can also study modules with a more vocational focus, such as language learning and teaching, creative and media writing, and language and media.

Year abroad

It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don't have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.

Study resources

The Linguistics Laboratory has facilities for experimental and quantitative research in acoustics, sociophonetics, and speech and language processing and acquisition. You also have access to the School of European Culture and Languages' recording studio and a multimedia lab.

 Extra activities

There are a variety of societies and groups you can join. The English Language and Linguistics Society is based around a common interest in language. It provides excellent networking opportunities and access to valuable knowledge and resources that could enhance your studies.

The Department also hosts the Centre for Language and Linguistics, which runs a programme of seminars, lectures and reading groups that you may join.

Independent rankings

Linguistics at Kent was ranked 19th in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

In the National Student Survey 2017, English Language and Linguistics at Kent was ranked 9th for overall satisfaction.

For graduate prospects, Linguistics at Kent was ranked 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Linguistics students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (DLHE).

 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take 'wild' modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

LL310 - Foundations of Language 1: Sounds and Words (30 credits)

The module will begin by offering a basic introduction to the description of speech sounds, with emphasis on those used in English and detailed descriptions first of consonants, and then of vowels. The gaps between sound and orthography will be highlighted as the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols are learned. The course will then move from phonetics (the study of speech sounds) to phonology (the study of the sound systems in language), focusing on the phonotactics (rules of co-occurrence) and general phonological rules of English. Students will use this knowledge to explore and describe different accents of English. From phonology, the module moves to morphology (the study of word-structure), highlighting the differences between derivational and inflectional morphology, and introducing analytical concepts such as the morpheme and allomorphy, and critically evaluating descriptive models such as word and paradigm, item-and-process and item-and-arrangement grammars.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL311 - Foundations of Language 2: Structure and Meaning (30 credits)

This module introduces linguistic approaches to the study of language structure, language meaning and communication. For language structure, the module provides an overview of the major grammatical properties of English (e.g. lexical classes, grammatical functions, phrase and sentence structure), and provides students with analytical tools for understanding and constructing arguments about linguistic structure (e.g. morpho-syntactic tests, constituency tests). For meaning, the module introduces students to lexical semantics (the meanings of words and characteristics of word classes) and sentential semantics (how the meanings of words and phrases combine to create propositional meaning). In addition, the module covers introductory topics in pragmatics, focusing on context dependence and the differences between semantic and pragmatic meaning. . The relationships among related but distinct notions such as grammar, inference, and communication are discussed throughout. The module is particularly useful for students who are studying linguistics, psychology, anthropology, language(s), or literature, as it provides them with analytical skills for understanding language and language-related behaviour

This module introduces linguistic approaches to the study of language structure, language meaning and communication. For language structure, the module provides an overview of the major grammatical properties of English (e.g. lexical classes, grammatical functions, phrase and sentence structure), and provides students with analytical tools for understanding and constructing arguments about linguistic structure (e.g. morpho-syntactic tests, constituency tests). For meaning, the module introduces students to lexical semantics (the meanings of words and characteristics of word classes) and sentential semantics (how the meanings of words and phrases combine to create propositional meaning). In addition, the module covers introductory topics in pragmatics, focusing on context dependence and the differences between semantic and pragmatic meaning. . The relationships among related but distinct notions such as grammar, inference, and communication are discussed throughout. The module is particularly useful for students who are studying linguistics, psychology, anthropology, language(s), or literature, as it provides them with analytical skills for understanding language and language-related behaviour

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL307 - Tackling Text: Explaining Style (15 credits)

This module is an introduction to stylistics: the systematic study of language in literature. The module extends your skill in critical analysis by highlighting and explaining linguistic features in the creation of meaning and effect by focusing on close reading of texts in the light of theoretical and methodological material explored in the lectures, and will be of interest to students of both language and literary studies. You will be encouraged to produce your own analyses of literary texts with reference to specific stylistic features such as sound patterning and figurative language in poetry; point of view and speech and thought presentation in prose fiction; and speech acts, turn-taking and politeness in drama texts.

This module is core for the following programmes: Joint Honours English Language & Linguistics and English & American Literature. Joint Honours English Language & Linguistics and Comparative Literature.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL309 - Global Englishes (15 credits)

This module focuses on the global spread of the English Language as an aspect of historical and contemporary cultural and commercial events. Students will get the opportunity to compare varieties of English both in Britain and in other English speaking countries, examining the features that distinguish them from each other. These varieties will include British, American and Australian English in addition to other colonial and pidgin and creole varieties. The descriptive focus of the module will also give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in other modules, in particular: language analysis, phonetics and phonology, morphosyntax and sociolinguistics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

LL513 - Language Variation and Change (30 credits)

Weeks 1-4 will explore the reasons for the initial exclusion of extralinguistic (i.e. social) data from linguistic theory, and the limitations of traditional dialectology, before exploring some early variationist studies by Trudgill (Norwich) and Labov (Martha's Vineyard; New York) and examining their theoretical bases. Weeks 6-7 will examine the advances brought about by network studies (e.g. Lesley Milroy in Belfast), and the extent to which they offer a challenge to traditional assumptions in sociolinguistic methodology, an issue to which we return in week 8, which critically evaluates the so-called sociolinguistic gender pattern. Weeks 10-12 focus more specifically on issues of change, looking initially at neogrammarian theories and then the claims of Trudgill, James Milroy and others that certain kinds of change are predictable in specific types of social arrangement.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL518 - Stylistics: Language in Literature (30 credits)

This module is concerned with the stylistic analysis of literature and is based on the premise that the decision to study literature is also a decision to study the expressive mechanics of language (and vice versa). Attention is given to all three main genres (poetry, prose fiction and drama); thus the module is divided into three blocks according to the kind of text analysed. The first section examines poetry and considers topics such as patterns of lexis, phonetic and metrical organisation and the relationship to meaning; the second looks at fiction through patterns of style variation, inferencing and speech thought presentation; the third examines drama and considers topics such as the patterns in turn-taking and their relationship to the roles and functions of characters, speech act analysis and styles of politeness behaviour. At all stages of the module, the social and cultural context of the works studies will be an important consideration.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL519 - Syntax 1 (15 credits)

This course will introduce students to one aspect of formal linguistics, specifically syntactic theory. Syntax will be defined as one aspect of a person’s grammar, to be distinguished from the lexicon, semantics, morphology, and phonology. Focusing on the structure of sentences, the course will examine the principles according to which phrases and structures are formed, as well as speakers’ knowledge about the structural well-formedness of the sentences they hear and produce. Students will gradually learn to draw syntactic trees that can represent the syntactic operations that they will be introduced to. They will learn to conduct syntactic tests on English and cross-linguistic data, thereby becoming versed with the empirical method. The course will combine both minimalist and earlier government and binding work. We will examine the competence/performance distinction, the notion of I-language, poverty of the stimulus arguments, levels of representation, phrase-structure rules, constituency tests as a means for testing phrase structure, case theory, theta theory, binding and movement.



Subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL521 - Research Skills - ELL (15 credits)

This course will equip students with the necessary training in a broad range of research skills, with the express aim of preparing them for their final-year dissertation. Key topics will include hypothesis formation; falsifiability; ethical procedures; experimental versus naturalistic settings; questionnaire designs for sub-disciplines within linguistics; corpus research; introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods; conducting and presenting descriptive statistics; formal theory-based and applied methodologies; case study research; empirical validity and reliability issues.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL522 - Morphology (15 credits)

This course is an introduction to morphology and to the practice of morphological analysis. By focusing on a range of phenomena, including those falling under inflection, derivation, and compounding (both in English and in other languages), the course helps students develop tools for pattern observation in data, description and analysis of word structure, and hypothesis testing. Students will also gain an understanding of the role of morphology in the grammar and how it relates to other components, such as phonology, syntax and semantics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL542 - Guided Research in Linguistics (15 credits)

In this module students will be given the opportunity to gain experience in guided research, contributing to projects run by members of ELL staff, under their supervision.

The research project will normally be relevant to a module that the student has taken or is currently taking.



At the beginning of the term, students will meet with the module convenor, who will recommend a project that is suitable to their interests. The assigned work may be affiliated to an on-going departmental research project documenting linguistic varieties. Alternatively, other guided research opportunities may be offered by members of staff carrying out investigations within their individual research interests.



During the course of this module, students will have to complete research tasks set by their supervisor. Students will meet with the supervisor at agreed intervals, in order to set a timetable for the completion of each task. Through these meetings, they will also receive advice and feedback on the progress of their research. Students will keep a log on the research process, which will be monitored by the supervisor. After having successfully completed the set research tasks, students will also write a report (1,500 words) on the conducted research, demonstrating both their general understanding of the research process and their specific understanding of the project and the area of linguistic analysis that it belongs to.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL543 - Learning and Teaching Languages (15 credits)

This module examines the principles on which contemporary second language teaching methods are founded. It will analyse first and second language acquisition theories in the light of current developments in language learning and teaching theories. Students will analyse a range of language teaching methods taking into account the ways in which they reflect acquisition theory. The module will give students the opportunity to compare L2 teaching methods from the perspective of: form, function and meaning and student and teacher roles. This will allow students to evaluate the effectiveness of specific language teaching methods. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the ways in which context directly influences the choice and implementation of L2 teaching methods, and will be able to follow personal interests by investigating language teaching methods in context.

Although the focus is primarily on learning and teaching English, the language acquisition theories and L2 teaching methods examined in this module may also apply to the teaching and learning of any language.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL544 - First Language Acquisition (30 credits)

This course will start by examining the topic of language acquisition, demarcating the domains for linguistic inquiry. It will challenge everyday assumptions about the way in which children acquire language and introduce key theoretical issues, always assessing the validity of each theory on the basis of empirical evidence. The course will examine the biological basis of language and its localisation and lateralisation, using evidence from both typical and atypical populations. It will evaluate the role of input in language acquisition and the extent to which this facilitates linguistic development. All these issues will be set against an understanding of the normal stages of language acquisition, essentially mapping out the linguistic milestones reached by typically developing children to the age of four. An understanding of the interaction between the components involved (phonology, morphology, semantics, rudimentary structure, pragmatics) will provide the empirical backdrop to assess the efficacy of theoretical models introduced. The course will end, having laid the foundations for students to undertake a higher level of research in this area.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL545 - Phonetics (15 credits)

This module deals with the linguistic study of speech. It covers how speech sounds are produced and perceived and what their acoustic characteristics are. Emphasis will be placed on the sound system of English (including dialectal variation) but basics of sound systems across the world's languages will also be briefly covered and contrasted with English. Finally, the course will cover the differences between the traditional "static" view of speech sounds as articulatory postures and the organisation of running speech.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL536 - English Language in the Media (15 credits)

In this module, students develop a range of skills which will enable them to undertake the narratological and linguistic analysis of media texts (the term 'text' is used broadly here, and will encompass both written and oral sources) taken from a number of sources, including newspapers, magazines and online discourses. Areas covered include: genre theory, register, narrative theory, multimodality, dialogism and discourse analysis. Also discussed are complex and challenging ideas around the notion of words, signs, and grammar in context. Students will develop the ability to approach the language of the media critically and to read the press perceptively so as to understand the importance of the media in a democratic society.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL537 - English Language in the Media 2 (15 credits)

In this module, students continue to develop and explore the themes introduced in LL536 English Language in the Media 1. Here, the focus is on semiotics as applied in the linguistic analysis of a wide range of media discourse types, but with particular emphasis on advertising. Areas covered include: semiotics, the work of Saussure, the British press, multimodality, the new media and social networking.. Also discussed are complex and challenging ideas around the notion of words, signs, and grammar in context. Students will further develop the ability to approach the language of the media critically and to read the press perceptively so as to understand the acute importance of the media in a democratic society.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL534 - Semantics and Pragmatics (30 credits)

This module will introduce the students to the study of meaning at the levels of semantics and pragmatics. The discussed topics will range from the study of word meaning to the study of sentence meaning and utterance (contextualised) meaning. The module will introduce significant notions and theories for the field of semantics and pragmatics, such as theories of concepts, Truth Conditions, the Gricean theory of conversational implicatures, Speech Act theory, and Politeness theory. The students will have the opportunity to reflect upon real data and analyse the processes of conveying and understanding meaning at the semantics/pragmatics interface.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PL602 - Philosophy of Language (30 credits)

Language is a wonderful thing. Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally don't have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? How is it that learning a second language can be so frustrating and time consuming, whereas we learn our first language with no trouble at all? The questions keep coming. In this module we shall try to find some answers.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You can apply to add a Year Abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.  The Year Abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities.  Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme.  For a full list, please see Go Abroad.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.


Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

LL535 - Topics in Semantics (15 credits)

This course builds on the student's knowledge of semantic phenomena, introducing formal approaches and the semantic metalanguage. Students will be provided with a small set of formal tools for the analysis of linguistic meaning. Students will learn to use these tools to probe into the nature of meaning in natural language and into different types of semantic phenomena. Specific topics that will be dealt with include predication, argumenthood, entailment, presupposition, definiteness and quantification.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL539 - English Language Teaching 1 (15 credits)

This module is useful for anyone who may be considering teaching languages to second language/foreign language learners in the future, with particular emphasis on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), although it provides a rich variety of transferable skills for any participant. It raises awareness of the English language, introduces lesson planning, classroom organisation, language teaching and feedback. There will be an opportunity to observe ESOL teaching and plan and prepare a lesson. Guidance will be given on writing a lesson plan, using resources and creating materials for foreign language learners The emphasis is on building strategies and techniques for foreign language teaching and understanding what makes good practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL540 - English Language Teaching 2 (15 credits)

This module is a useful taster for anyone who may be considering teaching English in the future, although it provides a rich variety of transferable skills for any participant. It builds on An Introduction to English Language Teaching 1 by increasing the range of skills and considering how to go about teaching specific groups of learners and assessing their needs. Guidance will be given on writing a syllabus, using resources and creating materials for learners. There will be an opportunity to deliver a short lesson.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL541 - Language and Gender (15 credits)

This course deals with gender and how it affects and is affected by language. Topics that will be covered include the following: biological sex and social gender; the different social roles of genders and how these are manifested in language structure and language practices (such as discourse and conversation strategies); the theories that have been put forward to explain these linguistic differences; linguistic stereotypes about gender; the language of children; queer speech.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL546 - Phonology (15 credits)

This module deals with the linguistic study of speech. It covers how speech sounds are organised into sound systems cross-linguistically (often referred to as phonology). Emphasis will be placed on the sound system of English (including dialectal variation) but basics of sound systems across the world's languages will also be covered and contrasted with English for the module will focus on our understanding of phonological systems, their organisation and formal representation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL547 - The Phonetics and Phonology of Prosody (15 credits)

This module deals with the linguistic study of prosody. It covers how prosody is produced and perceived and how it is encoded in the speech signal. Emphasis will be placed on the study of intonation but the module will also cover stress, phrasing, and speech rhythm; the material will cover both theoretical approaches to prosody and experimental studies that have led to the development of these theories.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL599 - Dissertation (30 credits)

This module enables students to research in depth a linguistic topic. The dissertation topic may be chosen from a list provided by the supervisor, or selected by the student under guidance from the supervisor in an area reflecting the student’s interests and the supervisor’s research programme, interests and expertise. The topic will normally build upon a module that the student has undertaken in their second year. In this instance, the student must have gained a minimum of 65% on that module. In the rare case that the chosen topic builds upon an Autumn-term module in the student’s third year, acceptance is at the supervisor’s discretion; it is expected that the supervisor will be the convenor of that module and can reach a decision on the basis of their assessment of the student’s potential and the viability of the project.

Topics available for study are subject to the availability of an appropriate supervisor. In order to ensure adequate supervision, supervisors may not accept to supervise more than 3 dissertations in a given year.

With guidance from their supervisors, students will identify a research question and apply appropriate methodologies to data collection and their analysis. While the supervisor will be there to guide students, students will take responsibility for setting their own deadlines, working at a pace that suits them, with the aim of submitting a dissertation of 10,000 words early in the Summer term.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PL576 - Philosophy of Language (30 credits)

Language is a wonderful thing. Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally don't have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? How is it that learning a second language can be so frustrating and time consuming, whereas we learn our first language with no trouble at all? The questions keep coming. In this module we shall try to find some answers.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL524 - History of British English (30 credits)

The module will begin with a consideration of what the term ‘English’ means, and of what other, potentially rival, languages have been spoken in the British Isles. It will then consider how successive waves of conquest shaped the sociolinguistic situation to one of di- or triglossia, with English one of a number of varieties used in a restricted set of socially determined domains. Using Haugen’s standardization model, we will examine the factors which led first to selection and later acceptance of English as the dominant variety, and consider the associated linguistic processes of codification and elaboration of function. Working with short texts from different time periods, the module will then show how and why grammatical changes occurred in Anglo-Saxon, Old and Middle English (e.g. loss of case marking, gender, weakening of the verbal paradigm) and their consequences for the modern language. We will also consider phonological changes (e.g. the Great English Vowel Shift) and their consequences for dialect differentiation. We will conclude by exploring ongoing change in contemporary English (notably koineization in major cities), and the likely consequences for future English in the British Isles.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL530 - Writing In The Media: A Practical Approach (15 credits)

This module is aimed towards students who are considering a career in journalism, freelance writing, publishing and related fields, but will also be of great use to those with a general interest in the area of media and language studies. It enables students to put into practice theories and methods of discourse analysis by producing their own portfolio of journalism and media-related writing. The course functions as a useful and complementary 'sister module' to LL510 Creative Writing: A Stylistic Approach, but can be taken independently. A consideration of the impact of new media (‘multimodality’) on the field will form a substantial component of the module’s content. Students will carry out their own research, for example using Canterbury and its environs as their news area, collecting information, arranging and carrying out relevant interviews, and writing up projects. They will produce and submit a portfolio of original journalism in which they demonstrate their ability to use the English language and to structure their writing with the target audience in mind. Accompanying this, students will submit a critical commentary in which they will reflect on how an understanding of relevant discourse, stylistic and narratological theory has impacted on their writing. The module will be structured along both theoretical and practical lines, with 2-hour workshops based on ‘input’, analysis and practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL531 - Language in Atypical Circumstances (15 credits)

During this course, students will focus on a core set of linguistic case studies, which will equip students with the ability to:

• assess the extent to which linguistic capacities interact with psychological ones;

• recognise the relevance of the distinction between developmental and acquired disorders;

• critically analyse evidence for/against linguistic principles being operative in child grammars;

• distinguish between language delay and language deviance with regard to developmental disorders;

• understand the results of social, cognitive and linguistic tests against which subjects' capabilities are measured.

Main themes will be picked from a variety of topics each year, from the following selection: Levels of Representation; Interaction between 'modules’; British Sign Language; Vocabulary and Syntax in the Aphasias; Morpho-syntactic abilities in SLI, complex syntax in Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome and Autism, Linguistic savants; Pragmatic knowledge in these disorders; Bi-Lingualism.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL533 - Topics in Pragmatics (15 credits)

This module will focus on extending students’ critical understanding of pragmatic meaning. Central areas of linguistic pragmatics, such as conversational implicature, maxims of conversation, and principles of politeness and speech acts are outlined, discussed and evaluated critically. The module also explores controversies over the universality of the aforementioned theories, looking more closely at how human interaction is based on different cultural scripts and encouraging students to reflect upon and discuss the cultural influences which impact meaning in a range of intercultural communicative settings. Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of pragmatic theories on the basis of empirical investigations, familiarising themselves with the related methodologies and tools of analysis.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL512 - Language Processing (30 credits)

This course will focus on the structure of lexical items, the way in which these different lexical items are stored and the nature of the relation between them. Relevant theoretical work in the fields of psycholinguistics and language processing is outlined and discussed. And students will evaluate the efficacy of these theories on the basis of experimental investigations which they themselves will construct and conduct, for example word association experiments, lexicon decision tasks and parsing phenomena.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP659 - Comparative Literature and English & Linguistics in the Classroom (30 credits)

This module will provide the opportunity for third year undergraduates to gain valuable transferable skills by giving them some first-hand teaching experience in a primary or secondary school classroom. Each student will spend half a day each week for one term in a local school under the supervision of a specific teacher, who will act as a mentor, and decide the tasks and responsibilities of the student. The weekly university sessions and school work will complement each other. Therefore, attendance to university sessions is crucial as it will also give the students the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance.



They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Initially, for these sessions the students will concentrate on specific aspects of the teachers' tasks, and their approach to teaching a whole class. As they progress, their role will be as teaching assistants, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may teach brief or whole sessions with the whole class or with a small group of students where they explain a topic related to the school syllabus. They may also talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

On average, you have two one-hour lectures each week plus two seminar classes of two hours each. However, this varies depending on the material and the nature of the module, and there may be additional workshops, discussion groups and practical sessions. You have group or one-to-one tutorials for research projects and dissertations, and also have tutorials with your lecturers and seminar leaders to discuss coursework and assignments. In addition, you have access to further information and support via Moodle, our interactive web-based learning platform.

At each stage, some modules are continuously assessed, while others combine coursework and examination. Stage 2 and 3 modules count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a challenging and research-led programme of study, relevant to the needs of students with a strong interest in English language and language structure more generally
  • meet the needs of those thinking of working in education, training, writing,  publishing, commerce, language-based therapy and tourism, or other careers where sensitivity to language and communication plays a central role
  • offer a grounding in linguistic theory, and sensitivity  to social, cultural and political issues which surround the use of language
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research, scholarship and good practice
  • enable students to manage their own learning and to carry out independent research
  • develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • provide students with opportunities for the development of their personal, communication, research and other key skills
  • enable students to think and work creatively and intellectually and to stimulate their search for knowledge and insight.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics and language studies
  • terminology to describe and understand the nature and use of language, including relevant descriptive linguistic concepts, terms relevant to theory and explanation in linguistics, the role of language in social life, and sychronic and diachronic perspectives
  • the way speech sounds are articulated, described and change in isolation and in natural speech, and how these are organised into a system
  • the structures and properties of individual words and sentences
  • the way meaning is generated in language
  • language varieties, styles and registers, with particular reference to English
  • intercultural language issues
  • language acquisition
  • discourse in its broader political, historical and sociocultural contexts (discourse analysis, stylistics and text analysis, theories of discourse).

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • construct and manage an argument
  • critically judge and evaluate evidence
  • present, evaluate and interpret a variety of data
  • assess the merits of contrasting theories and explanations, including those from other disciplines
  • collect and analyse data using a variety of methods
  • consider the ethical aspects of collecting, handling and storing of data
  • summarise and synthesise information from a number of sources
  • reach independent judgements about data or theory.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • demonstrating and applying knowledge of the main methods of enquiry and analysis in linguistics and its sub-fields
  • understanding the technical and ethical issues in linguistic data collection
  • presenting linguistic data
  • evaluating and interpreting linguistic data, developing lines of argument, and making sound judgements in accordance with the central theories and analytical concepts in linguistics and its sub-fields
  • separating descriptive from prescriptive linguistic judgements, and challenging linguistic prejudice.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication: presenting the results of study and work accurately, with well-structured and coherent arguments in an effective and fluent manner both in speech and in writing; communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • effective interaction within small groups, exercising personal responsibility, sensitivity and appropriate decision-making skills
  • managing your own learning, demonstrating the ability to conduct independent research, to achieve goals, take initiative, be organised and meet deadlines
  • understanding the dynamics of oral and written communication within a variety of settings
  • library and information technology application and resources
  • advanced-level IT, including aspects relating to multimedia and multimodal discourse
  • managing time and prioritising workloads
  • accurate and effective note-taking
  • problem-solving in a variety of theoretical and practical situations.

KIS Course data

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you've taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a second language

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • advertising
  • journalism and professional writing
  • media
  • law
  • public relations
  • marketing and sales
  • publishing
  • broadcasting
  • civil or diplomatic services.

Help finding a job

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Work experience

We offer a number of modules with direct relevance to the world of work, including options that focus on teaching and on writing in the media.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Linguistics at Kent was ranked 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £18,000.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources


Read our student profiles


Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Open days

Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

 

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department for Education or Research Council UK) permitted increases are normally inflationary and the University therefore reserves the right to increase tuition fees by inflation (RPI excluding mortgage interest payments) as permitted by law or Government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. If we intend to exercise this right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

If, in the future, the increases to regulated fees permitted by law or Government policy exceed the rate of inflation, we reserve the right to increase fees to the maximum permitted level. If we intend to exercise this extended right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

 

 

 

 

 

English Language & Linguistics, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44(0)1227 823638 or email English Language & Linguistics

Last Updated: 05/06/2014