This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
In this course we explore how language is used in social interaction at the individual, institutional, societal and cultural levels. We examine, for example, what is polite or impolite in different cultures and how this is reflected in language; how language is gendered; the diverse understandings of speech and language ideologies and how these are sites for potential and purposeful miscommunication and misunderstanding. We address the role of language in various spheres of everyday life: governance, economy, politics, health and education, and we examine how language policies and language planning in various nation states lead to the exclusion of the majority of agents in these domains. We will also debate issues concerning the sociolinguistics of globalization, such as the discourses about migration and how globalization influences linguistic vitality and diversity.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
describe the complexity of linguistic diversity and everyday language use from a sociolinguistic, cultural, and communicative perspective;
identify factors that can enhance or impede transcultural communication;
evaluate language ideologies that motivate language planning and language policies;
recognize the importance of rhetoric in communication and society.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
One two-hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:
Lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks =24 hours
Tutorials: 2 hours every 2 weeks (6 weeks) =12 hours
Reading: 40-45 pages per week (approximately 7 pages per hour) =72 hours
Paper (1000 words including time for reading and research): =32 hours
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%
If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.
Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.
- Mesthrie, Rajend, Joan Swann, Ana Deumert, and William Leap. 2009. Introducing Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: University Press (2nd edition).
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
The student administration will register all first year students for the first semester courses in uSis, the registration system of Leiden University.
Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs