Module QXL-4404:
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 also 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 between cognitive, social, and political issues in various 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

Representative topics will include:
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 knowledge representation 6. language and social subordination.
7. language maintenance in minority language settings.
8. contact-induced language change.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

C (50%):
The answer must address the question.
The answer must show a basic knowledge and understanding of the relevant key areas and principles of the foundational theories, constructs and methodologies of Linguistics.
The student must show evidence of being able to apply the principles to the analysis of language and linguistic examples and/or data.
The answer must show evidence of some background study.

good

B:
The answer must be focussed and structured.
The answer must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding of the foundational theories, constructs and methodologies of Linguistics.
The linguistic examples used in the answer may be based upon examples from the literature but must also include original examples.
The answer must show evidence of background study with at least some from primary sources.

excellent

A:
The answer must be highly focused and well-structured.
The answer must show comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding.
The answer must show some original interpretation, new links between topics and/or a new approach to a problem. The answer must show evidence of extensive background study using primary sources.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will be able to write up research papers on cutting edge topics in the area, bringing together empirical findings and theoretical issues from different domains of enquiry in order to address the central topic of language contact.

  2. Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the main issues, outcomes, and theoretical advances in the domain of language contact.

  3. Students will develop a sophisticated ability to analyse and critically evaluate the literature on contact linguistics, its relevance and theoretical contributions.

  4. Students will able to integrate a range of linguistic, social, and political parameters in analyzing situations of language contact in various multilingual settings to an advanced standard.

  5. Students will be able to present concepts and ideas clearly and coherently, and plan and conduct a research project to a high level in this area.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Final Project Report

A final follow-up essay/report of 3000 words (+/- 10%). One of the aims of this assignment is to encourage you to engage with depth rather than breadth of analysis. Assessing learning outcomes 1-5.

75
Written assignment, including essay Abstract

A follow-up abstract for the project based on the presentation topic, assessing learning outcomes 1-5.

15
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation

A presentation giving an overview of the project topic, assessing learning outcomes 2-5.

10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

One 2-hour lecture per week for 11 teaching weeks

22
Seminar

One 1-hour seminar per fortnight (5 over the 11 teaching weeks)

5
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

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

  • Research skills - students will be able to undertake advanced independent research, involving formulating a research question, identifying and deploying appropriate linguistic methodology (theoretical or empirical), data collection techniques (experimental or field-based), as well as the selection and application of appropriate theoretical frameworks in order to adequately analyse and interpret data.
  • 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.
  • Oral presentation skills & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in oral form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies, to an advanced level.
  • 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.
  • Independent investigation - students will develop the ability to plan, design and execute a highly original and significant piece of research or inquiry, either independently or as a member of a team in order to discover a specific solution to an outstanding issue or question through searching out and synthesising written, visual and oral information. Students will also develop skills of independent investigation, including interacting with peers and participants/informants.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxl-4404.html

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: