English Language & Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics and Hispanic Studies - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Studying Spanish in combination with English Language and Linguistics enables you to learn another language and gain an understanding of how language actually works.

Overview

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – outside Spain, it is the official language of all countries in South and Central America except Brazil, and is widely spoken in many parts of North America. The programme gives you the opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of Spain and Spanish America while developing your language skills.

You have the opportunity to spend a year abroad in a Spanish-speaking country and we offer advanced language modules focusing on translation and interpreting – valuable skills when looking for employment. Our facilities include multimedia laboratories, which offer a variety of interactive language learning programmes and dictionaries, and access to audio, video and computer-assisted language learning facilities.

While studying English Language and Linguistics as a second subject, you explore both the structure of language and its relationship with culture, society and the mind. A broad choice of theoretical topics encompasses such areas as syntax, phonetics and phonology, morphology, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, literary stylistics and critical and cultural theory; modules in language learning and teaching, creative and media writing, and language and media have a more vocational focus.

Independent rankings

Linguistics at Kent was ranked 5th in The Complete University Guide 2019 and 7th in The Times Good University Guide 2019.

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 91% of final-year Modern Languages and Linguistics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Iberian Languages at Kent scored 95 out of 100 and was ranked 8th in The Complete University Guide 2019.

 

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 'elective' modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

LL302 - The Structure of Language (15 credits)

This module will focus specifically on the level of language we call grammar. Each week students will focus on a particular aspect of English grammar (e.g. word classes, grammatical functions, sentence structure) from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will be provided with analytical tools for understanding and constructing arguments about linguistic structure (e.g. morpho-syntactic tests, constituency tests). Through being provided with a conceptual framework for description and analysis, students will gain a deeper understanding of English grammar, whereas practical application will enable students to be more critical of their own written work, and thus also to develop and hone their writing skills.

The module is particularly useful for students who are studying language or literature, as it enables them to compare styles in light of grammatical information and provides them with analytical skills for understanding language and language-related behaviour. Likewise, the module is also useful for students wanting to improve their writing in an academic context as well as those contemplating a career in publishing, journalism or teaching, in which the ability to express oneself accurately and succinctly is essential.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL303 - Sounds of English (15 credits)

This module will begin by offering a basic 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 symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) 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 phonotactics and other phonological rules of English. At the end of the term, basic prosodic concepts such as stress, rhythm, intonation and phrasing will be discussed. The main focus of the module will be on the standard variety of English spoken in the UK (often referred to as Received Pronunciation, or RP), but phonetic and phonological variation in non-UK and non-standard varieties of English will also be discussed (rhotic vs. non-rhotic varieties; luck-look merger).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL313 - Foundations of Linguistics (15 credits)

This module presents and discusses the properties of human language, explaining how the discipline of Linguistics investigates and theorises about these properties. It familiarises the students with the goals and principles of Linguistics, as well as their development over the years. Students will also learn about core concepts and debates (e.g. language universals, relationship between language and cognition).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS300 - Spanish Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills..

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS302 - Spanish Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS312 - Introduction to Hispanic Culture (15 credits)

The module aims to provide students with a general understanding of the development of the Spain, the Spanish American nations, and their cultures, in order to establish the general historical and cultural framework.



The key periods covered include the emergence of the Spanish nation (711-1492); the Spanish Golden Age; the emergence of Spanish America (1492-1812); 19th Century Spain and the end of the Empire; Spanish America: the way to Independence (1812-1898); Spain from 1898 to the Civil War; Spain under Franco (1936-1975); Spanish America in the 20th Century (1898-1975); Transition to a Modern Spain (1975-2000); and Modern Spanish America (1975-2000).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL304 - Language, Self and Society (15 credits)

The course offers an introduction to major themes in sociolinguistics. It will begin by exploring how our notions of 'language', 'dialect' or 'style' are constructed, and from there explore notions of 'correctness' in language, and their origins. It will then consider how social relationships are reflected and encoded in different languages, for example in kinship terms, terms of address, or politeness forms, and how individuals are placed – or place themselves – socially through their linguistic choices.

The middle part of the module will explore language variation and change, and the social parameters which correlate with them. It will conclude by analysing issues arising from the interplay between language and identity in multilingual societies: bi- and multilingualism, code-switching, language death and its causes, language revival and language revitalisation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL305 - Meaning and Discourse (15 credits)

This module introduces linguistic approaches to the study of meaning and communication, emphasising the processes of decoding and inference through which interpretations are constructed. Relevant theoretical work in the fields of semantics and pragmatics is outlined, discussed and evaluated critically. Students explore intersections and differences between verbal meaning and meaning construction in both spoken and written discourse. The module also explores controversies over utterance or text meaning, connecting debates about how meanings are constructed with questions pertaining to boundaries of reasonable or warranted interpretation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL307 - Tackling Text: Explaining Style (15 credits)

The module introduces students to the study of Stylistics as a systematic way to explore and analyse literary texts. Particular aspects of the structure of English will be related to literary texts from the three main genre. The first block considers linguistic choice and its relation to style and meaning, the levels of language, sound meaning and effect in poetry and figurative language and metaphor; the second block examines style and style variation in prose fiction, point of view and speech and thought presentation; the third block examines conversational structure and character, discourse structure and strategies, and impoliteness and characterisation in drama text. The lectures introduce theoretical and methodological material and the seminars enable the student to produce their own analyses with reference to specific stylistic features.

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 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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LL312 - Grammar for Everyone (15 credits)

This module will introduce students to key concepts in grammar, especially as exemplified by Latin and English and with reference to other languages as appropriate. The module will cover topics such as verbal tense and aspect, nominal case and gender, agreement, and word order. Students will be provided with the terminology and skills to describe these concepts as they encounter them in language samples. Students will not be required to learn the Latin language, but to understand the grammatical features they encounter during the course of the module. Students will also learn about the development and meaning of grammatical terminology. Skills and knowledge gained on this module will be of use in language learning and in linguistic description and analysis, and for that reason it is recommended for those taking modules in English Language and Linguistics, Classical and Archaeological Studies, or Ancient History.

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:

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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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, and constituency tests as a means for testing phrase structure, case theory, theta theory, binding and movement.

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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LL550 - Stylistics: Language in Literature (15 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: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL552 - Language Variation and Change (15 credits)

This module 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. It will then 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, which critically evaluates the so-called sociolinguistic gender pattern. The later lectures 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: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL553 - 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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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 LING5360 – 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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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 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.

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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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PL602 - Philosophy of Language (30 credits)

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 do not 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? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS504 - Spanish Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Spanish course such as HISP3020 (LS302), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).



The module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to the B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Spanish, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Spain as a foreign country. It is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS505 - Spanish Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

LS505 is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in LS300, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Spanish through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Spanish.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SCL505 - Cultures of Sustainability (15 credits)

What is sustainability? It has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from 'Our Common Future', also known as the Brundtland Report (1987) which refers to 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' While the concept of sustainability has its roots in the natural sciences, it is becoming evident that theories and practices of sustainability are of relevance in social and cultural studies as much as biophysical relationships.



The module begins with an examination of the wide-ranging definitions of sustainability and of the contribution to the discourse from Humanities subjects. We proceed to analyse a range of case studies representing the four disciplines of Modern Languages in SECL at Kent: French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies. The case studies highlight cultural practices ranging across time periods and geographies in which sustainable processes are key. They may include the cultural history of sustainability or 'Nachhaltigkeit' in the German context; the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the debate in psychoanalysis on the themes of exploitation/sustainability and competition/cooperation in relation to ecological practices and the environment; the works of Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau and the challenges to French/Eurocentric concepts of sustainability; and the culture and practice of urban organic farming – organopónicos – that arose out of the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s and which have circular economics, cultural development and educational practices at their core.



The module concludes with a consideration of how the case studies illustrate theories and practices of sustainability, and how in turn they may be considered catalysts for further engagement in questions of sustainability

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS562 - The Legacy of Inequality: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (15 credits)

This module will provide an examination of the incorporation of indigenous and slave populations to political life in different Latin American countries from the colonial period to the present. It will focus on two main issues, namely the relationship between the state and indigenous populations as well as the process of abolition of slavery. These topics will be explored in a comparative perspective with an aim to understanding the legacies of unequal societies and their impact on current realities.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS515 - Catalan Culture (15 credits)

This module aims to provide an introduction to Catalan culture and to place it in the wider context of Spain and Europe. To this purpose students will be exploring different aspects of Catalan life and history, to include the language, the arts and the relationship between the Catalan-speaking lands and the rest of the state. The result of this exploration will be used as the basis for an analysis of the distinctive traits of Catalan culture. A selection of texts and audio-visual material will be studied and so will relevant criticism.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS548 - Contemporary Spanish Cinema (15 credits)

This module will cover aspects of contemporary Spanish history and culture with specific focus on post-1975 filmic production but in the wider context of pre- and post-Franco society, history and politics. Students will become familiar with important issues such as national stereotypes, gender and sexuality, social transformations, as well as relevant concepts in Film Studies such as cinematic genre, spectatorship, and representation. While the module will focus to some extent on the individual voice of each of the directors, it will to analyse how their work represents major currents of development in Spanish cinema, both in relation to form and content.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS568 - Second Year Extended Essay (15 credits)

Stage 2 students write an Extended Essay on a topic of their own choice. The topic must be on a Hispanic (Peninsular or Latin American) literary, linguistic or cultural subject; it is expected that the topic will be related to other Hispanic Studies modules taken by the student. Throughout the terms students are given guidance by a chosen supervisor. The supervisor and the student will establish a calendar of meetings / supervisions in Week 1 (at least 5 one-hour meetings) in which aims and objectives, critical approach, bibliography and drafts of the Extended Essay will be discussed.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS571 - After Dictatorship: Spain and Latin America (15 credits)

This module explores the different ways in which Spain and Latin American countries have attempted to make transitions from dictatorship to democracy. The course provides an overview of the political, social and cultural developments in Spain and Latin America after conditions of dictatorship, from 1975 onwards in the case of Spain and from the 1980s and 1990s in the case of specific Latin American countries (Chile, Argentina and Peru, among others). The course takes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach by combining history, literature, film, journalism and comics. The chosen texts provide an insight into the political, social and cultural attitudes of post-dictatorship societies as well as into the changing role and conditions of cultural production in post-dictatorial democracies. Issues such as historical trauma and historical memory, forgetting and collective memory, and justice and truth commissions cut across the module.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 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. 

All European Language students (French, German, Hispanic Studies and Italian) are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3 in a country where the European language is spoken. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.

Possible modules may include:

LA514 - Modern Languages Year Abroad Module (120 credits)

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work abroad (either as British Council language teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

LS506 - Spanish Advanced C1 (30 credits)

The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending Spanish. It concentrates on translation into Spanish and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken Spanish. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PL576 - Philosophy of Language (30 credits)

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 do not 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? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL548 - Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication (15 credits)

This module employs specific theoretical frameworks within the area of Pragmatics (Neo-/Post-Gricean theories, Speech Act Theory, Interpersonal Pragmatics) in order to discuss issues of intercultural communication. It covers phenomena such as indexicality, (im)politeness, humour, non-literal language, while also discussing a range of discourse situations (classroom, business, media).

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 useful for anyone who may be considering teaching languages to second-language/foreign language learners in the future, with particular emphasis on English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), 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 foreign language 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 observe ESOL teaching and to deliver an English lesson.

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 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 three 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.

The module will aim to equip students with the necessary training in a broad range of research skills typically required for dissertations in linguistics.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LL551 - History of British English (15 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 that 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: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LL526 - Syntax II (15 credits)

The aim of this module is to advance students' knowledge of syntactic theory. As such, the course will expand upon a number of key topics from a broad range of issues introduced in the pre-requisite module, such as binding, the syntax of questions and relative clauses and theta theory. We will also examine the interfaces between syntax and other core areas of linguistic inquiry (semantics/pragmatics/morphology) by focusing on topics such as quantification, ellipsis, and anaphora. Relevant theoretical work will be outlined and discussed and students will have the opportunity to develop their skills in syntactic analysis and argumentation by investigating several empirical phenomena from a wide range of languages. They will also be encouraged to evaluate theoretical claims in the light of the observations drawn. As such, the module will equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools required in the specialised modules and will highlight the crucial role of description in supporting and testing theoretical claims.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 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 (a substantial proportion of the programme's cohort), but will also be of use to those with a general interest in the area of media and language studies. It enables students on the BA English Language and Linguistics programmes to put into practice the complex theories and methods of analysis they will have explored elsewhere on their programme of study by producing their own portfolio of journalism and media-related writing. It should be emphasised that 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, their understanding of grammar and their ability 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 cultural theory has influenced their writing.

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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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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LL510 - Stylistics and Creative Writing (15 credits)

This module proceeds from the premise that the ambition to write creatively presupposes an interest in the 'expressive mechanics' of language. A more in-depth understanding of these processes will benefit the writer in many ways, for example by providing them with a precise taxonomy with which to precisely describe various fictional, poetic and dramatic techniques and by furnishing them with a critical nomenclature which will aid detailed analysis of their own and others' creative work. The module is designed to appeal not just to those with an interest in writing, but to anyone who would like to explore further and in a 'hands on' fashion the insights into the expressive functions of language and text offered by stylistics. Students will be 'doing stylistics' in the broadest sense of that phrase.



A two-pronged approach is adopted, whereby students are at first introduced to various stylistic and narratological concepts and models (e.g. linguistic deviation, deixis, register, focalization, ways of representing thought/speech, and metaphor), then expected to produce creative exercises which implement and explore these concepts (for example, using linguistic deviation to foreground themes and images or using varying focalization to tell a story from different perspectives). Various 'input' texts (poetry, fiction and drama) will also be used as examples of the techniques and concepts under discussion, and some as the basis for textual intervention exercises (critical-creative rewriting). This process culminates in the production of a portfolio of students' creative work (which may be one or more complete stories, a selection of poems, a dramatic text, or a mixture), accompanied by a critical commentary and stylistic analysis which will focus on how an understanding of stylistics and linguistics in general has impacted on the work.

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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LS582 - Branding Latin America (15 credits)

This module examines the contemporary practice of nation branding, in which cultural and territorial assets are mobilised for various economic and political ends, both within and outside the nation's borders. Strategic articulations of national identity allow Latin American nations to compete in global marketplaces, attract foreign investment and rally citizens, but also provoke and expose complex power struggles over the symbolic resources of the nation. Drawing on key concepts such as neoliberalism, globalisation, coloniality and hard/soft power, students on this module will consider how Latin American nations are imagined, sold and consumed as a brand in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through the analysis of a broad range of cultural expressions, from photography and reggaeton music videos to literature and street art, the module also allows an exploration of some the conflicts that result from branding.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS550 - Reading Monstrosity in Iberian Culture (15 credits)

This module will take a close look at the figure of the "monster" in Iberian culture, ranging from medieval considerations of the monster in medieval bestiaries to eighteenth-century medical treatises of monstrous forms to twentieth-century depictions of monsters. The module will focus on the historical context out of which a particular meaning of the monster emerges. In order to do so, the course will draw on high and popular culture, a variety of disciplines, and a variety of media (literature, prints, paintings, films). Discussions will be supplemented with relevant historical, critical and theoretical readings. The monster in this course will be an interpretative model for an understanding of how notions such as "normalcy", "beauty", the "classical body" are constructed and will enable us to look at issues of otherness, gender, and race. Drawing on theoretical approaches to literary and visual representations, it aims to raise questions around concepts such as the gaze, power and identity.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS554 - Writing the Cuban Revolution (15 credits)

The module investigates a variety of films and texts produced by Cubans both in Cuba and in exile from the time of the Revolution to the present day. In analysing these texts, an impression will emerge of how different writers and artists respond to the powerful presence of the revolutionary regime and to the pressures inherent within that system. Textual analysis will run parallel to an investigation of the history and politics of the revolutionary period, highlighting key moments and issues that become decisive elements within the texts.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS563 - Terrorism and State Terror in Latin America (15 credits)

This module explores the difficult experiences of terrorism and state terror in Latin America through films and documentaries. Between the 1970s and the 1990s Argentina, Chile, Central America and Peru lived through extreme instances of insurgency and state sponsored violence. The course will examine the tensions in society brought by these experiences as well as the efforts to come to terms with these memories. The main texts that will accompany this course will be the reports produced by the different commissions that sought truth and redress from the 1980s to the present.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS567 - Final Year Dissertation (30 credits)

Final year students write a dissertation on a topic of their own choice. The topic must be on a Hispanic (Peninsular or Latin American) literary, linguistic or cultural subject; it is expected that the topic will be related to other Hispanic Studies modules taken by the student. Throughout the two terms students are given guidance by a chosen supervisor. The supervisor and the student will establish a calendar of meetings / supervisions in Week 1 in which aims and objectives, critical approach, bibliography and drafts of the dissertation will be discussed.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom (30 credits)

This module is aimed at those students who would like to follow a career as Primary or Secondary School teachers, but is also suitable to those who would like to consider a career in HE language teaching by providing them with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Languages in the primary and secondary school context as well as in HE.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Hispanic Studies

All Spanish language modules include small group seminars, conversation classes run by a native speaker, short lectures in Spanish, work in a language laboratory and work on computer-assisted language learning materials.

Stage 1 is assessed by 100% coursework (essays, class participation) in some modules, and a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination in others. In Stages 2 and 3, depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays) to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 60:40 or 80:20.

English Language and Linguistics

On average, you have several one-hour lectures a week plus four seminar classes. This varies depending on the material and the nature of the module, and may include 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

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:

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

GCSE

Grade B or 6 ina second language.

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, 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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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

Hispanic Studies

The ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as more employable.

Recent graduates have gone into teaching, translating and interpreting, marketing, journalism, publishing, and other areas. Many language graduates begin their career abroad.

English Language and Linguistics

Joint honours programmes in English Language and Linguistics help you to acquire high-level skills in communication, problem solving, group work, IT and numeracy, which will be very important in your future career. The programme prepares students for a wide range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include: advertising, journalism and professional writing, media, public relations, marketing and sales, publishing, teaching at all levels, company training, broadcasting, conversation analysis, and the civil or diplomatic services.

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. 

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


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Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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: 17/04/2014