Investigating Language in Context (Q1076)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces the study of language beyond sentence and clause level, in real-life and fictional contexts. Following an introduction to the features of spoken language, the module focuses on conversation analysis, the approach to discourse as structured interaction, and on the discussion of some theoretical models for the investigation of contextualized exchanges, such as Grice's Cooperative Principle and Politeness theory. On this module you are presented with the methodological issues of language transcription and data collection. Aiming to introduce the notion of variation in discourse, you will be shown how in different contexts different conversational patterns are produced, and how such factors as gender, class or status can affect conversation.

The module also offers a reflection on the difference between authentic and fictional/represented conversation in both drama and film and from a conversation analysis perspective. You will be given insight into issues of characterisation and point of view through discourse representation. 


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2021/22. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.