LING10010 Language Use and Communication

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module introduces students to the study of language in its social and cultural context (Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics). It examines different communication systems and how they are used and perceived. The module introduces students to various social and cultural variables and their impact on language use. It explores the following types of topics: the similarities and differences between communication systems, the factors that affected human communicative behaviour (e.g. context, gender, social group, language ideologies, interactional goals) and pertinent aspects of language use (bilingualism/multilingualims, language choice, language contact). Students are introduced to pertinent theories and practices in sociolinguistic research using a combination of different learning approaches such as lecturing, group work and in-class discussion. This module forms part of the BA programme for Linguistics.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Understand - how language and society mutually shape each other, - diversity in language use, - the social factors that determine diversity in language use, -the social structure of languages - the factors that shape communication - the nature of the various media of communication and their relationship to each other - the structure of multilingual societies and the factors that condition it - some key phenomena that arise due to contact between languages
Reflect upon and critically assess: - common (lay) views about the socially indexical and constitutive nature of variation in language - views about languages and dialects and their relationship to local social and institutional structure - measures of language planning

Indicative Module Content:

Selected topics are:
Animal communication,
Linguistic Politeness,
language variation,
how written, spoken and computer-mediated language relate to each other,
language and gender,
language vitality,
aspects for bilingualism and multilingualism

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module combines a number of different teaching approaches:
face-to-face lectures,
group work,
group and plenary discussions
group and individual activity-based learning
critical reflection of data sets/scenarios
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: students will write one short essay discussing individual concepts and practices. Week 6 n/a Graded No


Examination: critical discussion of main concepts & their application 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Presentation: group audio-visiual and audo material on VLE Week 11 n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

All continuous assessment assignments, group and individual assignments, that are submitted during the term will be returned to students with comments. In addition, comments will be provided to the whole class on commonly occurring issues via the Bright Space announcement function and orally in class. Students will also be encouraged to raise issues on assessment in class and in tutorials. The aim is to help students to identify where and how their work can be improved. Students receive several assignments for completion during the semester and the feedback on each assignment is designed to support work on subsequent assignments. Feedback on the final exam has to be sought individually by students.

Name Role
Leire Sarto Zubiaurre Tutor