Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 hour per week
Seminars / Tutorials 3 hours per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination  70%
Semester Assessment (1 essay of 1500 words)  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

a) Demonstrate that they have gained insights into the social meaning of language by having acquired a knowledge of some of the main areas of contemporary sociolinguistics.
b) Assess critically theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline.
c) Carry out independent research and analyse critically the material they have collected.
d) Express themselves clearly, coherently and cogently, both orally and in writing.
e) Demonstrate familiarity with and an ability to use appropriately the specialist terminology associated with the subject.

Brief description

This module will offer an introduction to sociolinguistics and will show how trends and developments in language are often related to developments in society. The main basis for any conclusions as to the nature of the relationship between language and society will be provided by an examination of linguistic variation. After a general introduction to the field of sociolinguistics and a discussion of different approaches to the study of language in society, students will consider the effect of social factors, such as socio-economic class, gender and situation, on language use.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Meyerhoff, Miriam Introducing Sociolinguistics Routledge Primo search Van Herk, Gerard (2012) What is Sociolinguistics? Blackwell Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4