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    Intended for students enrolling in Sociolinguistics, this syllabus contains information specific to the course. It is a definitive record of the course's primary characteristics and the learning outcomes that a typical student can reasonably be expected to achieve if he/she takes full advantage of the available learning opportunities. This document also serves as a reference for academic and support staff, internal and external examiners, and for future course monitoring and review.


    Course Title


    Subject Area


    Course Code

    LING 50031

    Course Level





    LING 50011

    Methods of Delivery



    Expected Length

    5.0 Weeks

    Class Meetings

    Dependent on the choice made during enrollment




    Computer Software: Any computer software that aids learning.


    Text 1: WS

    Title: What Is Sociolinguistics?

    Author(s): Gerard Van Herk

    Edition: 2nd

    ISBN: 9781118960738


    This course is an introduction to studying human language as an ever-changing social practice. Students will acquire various linguistic analysis tools, which are then used to trace social differences in the use of language. The course focuses on linguistic variation and change in American English. Students will engage in field projects to search for the social correlates of linguistic behavior and use quantitative methods to analyze the results. 


    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

    • Identify social factors which lead to variations in how individuals and groups use language. 

    • Describe how social and political factors affect the development of languages over time, including regional and social dialects, pidgins, and creoles. 

    • Interpret graphs and tables showing correlations between linguistic forms and social variables. 

    • Analyze the causes and effects of social judgments of different dialects, taking a cross-cultural perspective, and justify taking a culturally relativistic approach to language variation. 

    • Evaluate the social effects of government policies related to language around the globe, including in education, bilingualism, language maintenance, and official languages. 

    • Select and use appropriate methods for gathering and analyzing data to research sociolinguistic questions. 

    • Relate sociolinguistic research findings to their own experiences. 

  • WEEK 1

    Module 1

    Introduction to Sociolinguistics

    Reference(s): WS Ch1

    Module 2

    Language and Society

    Reference(s): WS Ch2

    Module 3


    Reference(s): WS Ch3

    WEEK 2

    Module 4

    Social Status

    Reference(s): WS Ch4

    Module 5


    Reference(s): WS Ch5

    Module 6


    Reference(s): WS Ch6

    WEEK 3

    Module 7


    Reference(s): WS Ch7

    Module 8


    Reference(s): WS Ch8

    Module 9


    Reference(s): WS Ch9

    WEEK 4

    Module 10


    Reference(s): WS Ch10

    Module 11


    Reference(s): WS Ch11

    Module 12

    Language Contact

    Reference(s): WS Ch12

    WEEK 5

    Module 13

    Attitudes and Ideologies

    Reference(s): WS Ch13

    Module 14

    Language as a Social Entity

    Reference(s): WS Ch14

    Module 15


    Reference(s): WS Ch15


    WEIGHT: 10.0%
    DEADLINE: 23:59 (GMT+0) on Sunday of Week 5

    All students are expected to participate in all types of classroom activities. Regular attendance is required in order to maximize the number of opportunities to engage in classroom activities. Marks are based on the quality of the contributions made rather than the quantity of posts submitted, comments made in class, etc.  


    Students are encouraged to exchange contact information and support one another should any classes be missed. They are advised to contact the course instructor about any concerns they may have.  


    WEIGHT: 30.0%
    DEADLINE: Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 3


    WEIGHT: 60.0%
    DEADLINE: Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 5

    General Information

    This must be eight pages (approximately two thousand words), not including references, title page, and appendix. This assessment aims to determine the level of comprehension and mastery of the material covered over five weeks, focusing on the practical aspects of the course. The deadline to submit this assessment is always on Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 5. The grade is stored in the online grade book. As only one attempt per piece of coursework is allowed, it is highly recommended that students review all course materials and complete some test preparation tasks before attempting the graded assessment. 


    Choose one issue you found compelling this semester and explore it in greater depth. Your paper should demonstrate a thorough understanding of class readings. It should include well-integrated readings/videos from class (reference at least 5), additional readings (at least 5 references beyond class readings, which can include up to 2 “further readings”), your personal experience, and your reflections and theorizing, including your ideas about pedagogical implications. If you find that the number of references isn’t making sense for the particular line of inquiry you’re pursuing, let me know, I can be flexible. One goal of this assignment is to support your library literacy skills and provide you with good experience poking around in library databases and making choices about what sources suit your needs best, out of the millions of articles and books out there. You will give a 10-minute presentation of your theoretical research paper at the research symposium. 


    Assignment Requirements

    • 8 full pages (approximately 2000 words), double-spaced.

    • Upload as a .pdf file to Nebula by 11:59pm on Friday, June 10th, 2023.

    • Include at least 5 references from class readings in your text.

    • Include at least 5 references beyond class readings, (can include up to 2 “further readings”).

    • Include a list of references in APA style.

    • Present a 10-minute overview of your paper in class.

    Evaluation Criteria
    • (5.0%) Explore a topic that reflects the scope and content of the course. 

    • (10.0%) Integrate and demonstrate a thorough understanding of class readings, referencing at least 5 class readings. 

    • (10.0%) Reference and demonstrate an understanding of at least 5 additional readings beyond class readings (can include up to 2 “further readings”). 

    • (10.0%) Integrate personal experience. 

    • (10.0%) Discuss pedagogical implications. 

    • (20.0%) Include insightful reflection and personal theorizing. 

    • (20.0%) Write clearly, compellingly, and elegantly. 

    • (10.0%) Give an instructive and clear 10-minute presentation. 

    • (5.0%) Use APA style with consistency, including an appropriately cited list of references. 


    All students are required to participate in all classroom activities, attend classes regularly, and prepare before classes for classroom activities that require advance preparation. Students need to fully appreciate that good attendance results in more opportunities to engage in quality participation, which, in turn, results in a more thorough acquisition of subject knowledge and higher participation grades.

    Participation in classroom discussions and other types of activities indicates that students have read the assigned readings. Grades will not be based on the number of posts submitted or comments made in the classroom but on the overall quality of contributions to discussions.

    If a student is unable to attend 3 or more classes, he/she may be asked to complete additional assignments to complete the course.

    Modes of Attendance
    • For the portions of the course that take place over Microsoft Teams: Students are required to arrive on time and engage appropriately with their fellow students, their teacher(s) and course materials. They must attend with a functional web camera and microphone, have the latest version of Microsoft Teams installed on their computers, avoid attending via a mobile phone or web browser, and have all necessary materials to hand. Also, their cameras must be always switched on, except for occasions when privacy becomes a necessity. In addition, they must be appropriately attired, attend in an environment that will not distract them, their fellow students or their teacher(s), especially avoiding attending while in a vehicle, whether moving or stationary. 

    • For the on-campus portions of the course: The mandatory on-campus session meets as per the AUS Campus Schedule. Good attendance is required to earn credits and pass the course. Students are not permitted to arrive late for class or leave class early. Students traveling from far away locations must plan accordingly, giving themselves plenty of time to arrive by the start of class.  

    Classroom Expectations

    Classes start and end on time, with late entry or reentry allowed only under exceptional circumstances. All phones and electronic devices must be turned off for the duration of a class.


    Students are expected to read assigned materials prior to class. Class discussions are based on their reading of these materials and their reflections on what they have learned and how these relate to their experiences. Assignments are intended to encourage students’ reflection on and synthesis of assigned topics and course discussions.

    Assessments are listed in the course syllabus and are due by the stipulated deadlines. No assessment will be accepted after the day following the day it is due. If an assessment submission is one day late, it will receive an automatic reduction in grade of one letter (for example from an A to a B). After that, no late work will be accepted, and the student will receive an F grade for the assessment.

    Late submission of papers must be approved in advance.


    Students are responsible for understanding the University Policies and how to use resources appropriately. Violations of academic integrity are taken very seriously. Students should revisit the materials on the Orientation session to review important information pertaining to academic citation and referencing rules.


    The university is committed to student welfare and accommodates students with disabilities and those who fall ill. Disability Services (DS) is responsible for accommodating students with disabilities. A student who wishes to be granted a special arrangement due to a disability or illness must request it through DS. Instructors cannot grant such requests without prior DS approval. DS should be contacted as soon as possible to avoid delays in the provision of such an arrangement.

    Because the university takes student privacy very seriously, any medical documentation to support a request for an arrangement to accommodate any special needs connected with a disability or illness should be provided directly to DS. If a student misses any classes due to a short-term illness, he/she should notify his/her instructor, but avoid the inclusion of a doctor's note. Academic staff will not request, accept, or review doctor's notes or other forms of medical documentation. For more information, email


    Ethical considerations restrict how course materials and lectures may be used. Students may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, lecture notes, lecture slides, video and audio recordings, various types of assignments, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. In addition, students are not permitted to use materials prepared by faculty or students for courses that have previously taken place. These materials include, but are not limited to, case write-ups, Research Papers, summaries of readings, answers to Problem Sets, and answers to Academic Discussion topics. Furthermore, making video or audio recordings of class sessions for one’s own use without written permission from the instructor is not permitted. Infringements of the above-listed rules are taken seriously and may lead to disciplinary action, including a requirement to withdraw.


    Additional information can be found on the course website.

    Please note: the syllabus may be modified prior to and during a course, including updates to assignments and additional material.