Introduction to Linguistics

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
24 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA RR20 French Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR90 German Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
NONUY6JSLL International Foundation Programme,
BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR40 Italian Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q143 Language Studies (4 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R999 Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ99 Modern Languages and English Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T8 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T9 Modern Languages with Latin American Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA V590 Philosophy with Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR50 Spanish Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RT99 Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to prepare students wishing to join a degree course in the Department of Language and Linguistics. It is also a suitable choice for students who simply have an interest in language and it similarly provides a sound academic background for the study of subjects which rely extensively on proficient use of the English language such as Literature, History, Sociology, and Philosophy.

Module aims

1. To introduce and explain linguistic terms

2. To raise students' awareness of key concepts and issues within the different branches of linguistics and to equip students with the tools to carry out linguistic analyses

3. To broaden students' knowledge of linguistic theory through application of theory

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be expected to be able to:

1. Account for linguistic variation across speech communities;

2. Identify the major means by which words are built and have a sound grasp of basic grammatical description;

3. Classify the speech sounds of English;

4. Account for the developmental stages of first and second language acquisition;

5. Demonstrate knowledge of key linguistic concepts and theories and have the skills to carry out linguistic analyses;

6. Interpret linguistic research and apply it to the study of linguistics.

Module information


Autumn term
Language change and variation
The words of English (morphology)
The sounds of English (phonetics)

Spring term
The grammar of English (syntax)
Child first language acquisition
Adult second language acquisition

Summer term
Revision and exam preparation

Formative Assessment
Students to undertake homework exercises as and when prescribed. Students are expected to share their findings in small groups. Formative feedback will be provided.

Students to present a draft outline for their chosen research topic for RADS (week 8). Feedback will be provided.

Summative assessment
Language variation analysis (500 words, 7.5%). This allows students to engage with speech variation and phonetics within a particular setting. It further requires the students to reflect on qualitative research methodology.

Phonological classification exercise (500 words, 7.5%). Students are required to account for phonological process such as weak forms, elision and assimilation.

Morphology and syntax exercise (500 words, 15%). Students account for morphological processes such as inflectional and derivational morphology as well as checking theory within the area of syntax.

Essay (1,500 words, 15%). This essay requires the students to account for child first language acquisition by adhering to research in areas such as phonetics / phonology, morphology or syntax.

Participation mark (5%) – based on preparation, engagement with set tasks, contribution to class discussions and pair/group work.

End of year three-hour examination - answering exercises and essay style questions

Reassessment strategy

Failed Exam
Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module aggregate.

Failed Coursework
Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which is re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module aggregate. The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Failed Exam and Coursework
Resit the exam and resubmit one piece of coursework (1,500 words) to be aggregated to create a new module aggregate.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will run over 22 weeks and be delivered via a two-hour interactive lecture and a two-hour seminar per week. Students will be expected to have done the prescribed reading for the sessions so that they can fully participate in discussions. The field of linguistics will be introduced at a level accessible for all students and no prior knowledge of the discipline area is required.

Learning support
Students are expected to engage with Moodle for materials and support activities for their continuous learning opportunities. Students will be supported in their research skills, essay writing, referencing and bibliographical procedures within this discipline. Students are also supported through the Listen Again facility and use of technology in their teaching and learning.


  • Dörnyei, Zoltán. (2001) Motivational strategies in the language classroom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Yule, George. (2017) The study of language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dörnyei, Zoltán. (2007) Research methods in applied linguistics: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Guasti, Maria Teresa. (©2016) Language acquisition: the growth of grammar, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   IA110 - Language variation analysis    15% 
Coursework   IA110 - Phonological classification exercise    15% 
Coursework   IA110 - Morphological and syntax exercise    30% 
Coursework   IA110 - 1,500-word essay    30% 
Coursework   IA110 - Participation    10% 
Exam  1440 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ritta Husted, email: rhuste@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ritta Husted
Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 198 hours, 78 (39.4%) hours available to students:
120 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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