This module takes a mainly sociolinguistic approach to English as spoken and used around the world, starting with Great Britain, extending the USA, New Zealand and West Africa. We cover topics such as African American English, Creoles and the role of English in globalisation.
The module will give students a broadly-based knowledge of the range of varieties of English spoken around the world, including their linguistic classification.
The module is mainly sociolinguistic in approach, in that it deals with variation (both diachronic and synchronic) in each variety considered.
The module emphasises the linguistic systematicity of the cross-variety differences, while seeking common characteristics and trends between the varieties.
Module learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will typically:
be able to display an understanding of the histories of varieties of English throughout the world;
have a detailed knowledge of some aspects of the phonology and grammar of these varieties;
have a critical understanding of the widely varying sociolinguistic characteristics of these varieties, including debates about their origins and (changing) political status;
be able to describe the socially-based variation that exists in the English as spoken in each of the territories considered;
be able to analyse and discuss data from varieties of English presented to them;
understand and be able to discuss arguments from different theoretical standpoints relating to the formation, history and current sociolinguistic status of particular varieties, as well as describe some of their linguistic characteristics.
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Essay - 1500 words
University - closed examination World Englishes
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
University - closed examination Reassessment: World Englishes
Written feedback on essay outlines.
Written feedback on essay within 20 working days. Written comments on exam available to view at sight of scripts session in Spring term.
Schneider, E. W. (2011). English around the world: an introduction. CUP.
Melchers, G. & P. Shaw (2011). World Englishes (2nd edition). Arnold.
Other books we will refer to:
Schneider, E. W. (2007). Postcolonial English. CUP.
Kachru, B., Y. Kachru & C. Nelson (2009). The handbook of World Englishes. Blackwell.
Kirkpatrick, A. (2010). Routledge handbook of World Englishes. Routledge.
Cheshire, J. (ed.) (1989). English around the world. CUP.
Foulkes, P. & G. Docherty (eds.) (1999). Urban voices. Arnold.
Britain, D. (ed.) (2007). Language in the British Isles. CUP.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.