Social Aspects of Language

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Aspects of Language

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to the analysis and description of language use in social settings: includes language change and death, and social factors such as gender and age.
    How many ways can you greet somebody? Do men and women really speak differently? Who decides what 'good' language is? How do languages change? Why do they die? This paper is an introduction to the analysis and description of language use in a range of social settings. Topics include language in multilingual communities; language variation and change; the roles of gender, age and ethnicity; and speech styles and functions, including politeness.
    Note: This paper can be taken independently of LING 111.

    Course Structure
    -Multilingual speech communities
    -Language variation among users
    -Language variation in use

    Assessment Schedule:
    Test 1: 15%
    Test 2: 15%
    Project: 30% (5% written project plan, 15% written project report, 10% oral project presentation)
    Exam 40%

    Learning Outcomes
    Demonstrate understanding of key concepts in sociolinguistics

    Required: Holmes, J. (2001). An introduction to sociolinguistics, 4th edition. Harlow, England: Longman.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.