Module QXL-3304:
Language Contact & Bilinguals

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Marco Tamburelli

Overall aims and purpose

The module covers topics on contact situations, the resulting phenomena, and the theoretical & methodological tools needed for their analysis, including: the dynamics of language contact, bilingual acquisition & speakers’ minds as a locus of contact, transfer effects in bilinguals, language & social subordination, language maintenance in minority language settings, contact-induced language change. These issues will be explored in relation to specific language situations and to the development of suitable theoretical explanations. A number of case-studies will be used as examples and a strong focus will be given to theoretical interpretation of known data, theory development and evaluation, thus contributing to students' knowledge and understanding of research methods.

Aims:
• To develop students’ understanding of contact situations.
• To enhance students’ awareness of the nature of contact situations, and the interaction of cognitive, social, and political issues in multilingual settings.
• To enable students to understand the outcomes of contact situation via the tools of theoretical analysis.
• to develop students’ ability to compare and evaluate different taxonomical & theoretical frameworks aimed at explaining contact phenomena.
• To provide hands-on experience and training in how to conduct research in this area of study.

Course content

  1. The dynamics of language contact,
  2. Bilingual acquisition
  3. Speakers’ minds as a locus of contact,
  4. Transfer effects in bilinguals,
  5. Understanding and evaluating theories of bilingual representation
  6. Evaluating theories in view of empirical data
  7. Language and social subordination,
  8. Language maintenance in minority language settings,
  9. Contact-induced language change.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D:
Student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all the learning outcomes. Student can demonstrate a minimum level of understanding of the basic concepts and be able to apply them to data with some degree of accuracy.

good

B:
Student has achieved a better-than-average standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes, and has a clear and accurate understanding of concepts; ability to apply concepts to data critically and thoughtfully; evidence of wide reading and clear and accurate reference to source materials; free from misunderstanding and errors of content; free from irrelevant material.

excellent

A:
Student has achieved a thorough standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes; or student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in one or more learning outcomes together with a good overall standard: student has achieved a thorough understanding of the subject, both in terms of content and theory; student is able to apply concepts clearly and accurately; substantial evidence of critical and original thought and analysis; clear, logical argument; high level of communicative competence; free from irrelevant material and errors of spelling and punctuation; evidence of extensive reading beyond basic texts and clear and accurate references to source material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will understand the main issues, outcomes, and theoretical advances in the domain of language contact.

  2. Students will be able to analyse and critically evaluate the literature on contact linguistics, its relevance and theoretical contributions.

  3. Students will be able to integrate a range of linguistic, social, and political parameters in analyzing situations of language contact in various multilingual settings.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assignment 2: essay

An essay on a predefined topic, exploring a specific empirical and theoretical issue(s) in language contact/bilingualism. One of the aims of this assignment is to encourage you to engage with depth rather than breadth of analysis.

60
COURSEWORK BlackBoard based test

a BlackBoard based test accessible from any computer with internet access. The test is based on a journal article that discusses some current issue in language contact/bilingualism. Assessing learning outcomes 1-2.

40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do required readings for each class, do further research/reading on the topics and prepare assignments.

173
Lecture

One 2-hour lecture per week over 11 teaching weeks. Lectures will include in-class discussions of practical applications of the material considered in this module.

22
Seminar

One 1-hour semindar per fortnight (over 11 teaching weeks)

5

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Research skills - students will be able undertake independent research, involving formulating a research question, identifying and deploying appropriate linguistic methodology (theoretical or empirical) and data collection techniques (theoretical, experimental or field-based), and the selection and application of appropriate theoretical frameworks in order to adequately address the research question.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies to an advanced standard.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse and interpret data accurately and to draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Problem solving - students will be able to evidence sophisticated problem-solving skills in formulating problems (factual, empirical, theoretical) in precise terms, identifying key issues, and developing the confidence to address challenging problems using a variety of different approaches
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate to an advanced standard a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Personal organisation - students will develop the ability to undertake self-directed study and learning with appropriate time-management
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect upon, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Information technology - students will develop the ability to use computing and IT skills in order to find, store, interpret and present information, to produce a range of electronic documents and to use software confidently
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Fluency, confidence and proficiency in the use of English -students will demonstrate their ability and proficiency to use and understand and instruct others in English in a range of academic and classroom contexts.
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity
  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Knowledge of linguistic theory and application - students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of terms, issues, principles, aspects and best practices related to the study of human language and linguistics.
  • Understanding of the nature and organisation of language - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and society, culture, and/or embodied experience - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language, society culture and/or embodied experience.
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and mind/brain - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language and mind/brain.
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxl-3304.html

Reading list

There is no set textbook for this module. Reading material will comprise of book chapters and journal articles, all of which you will have to find through the library catalogue or online via the library’s website. Materials unavailable through the library will be accessible from BlackBoard. Specific articles for discussion will be assigned every week.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: