Understanding Data in Linguistics

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
08 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA QX31 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL),
BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QX51 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Placement Year),
BA QXH1 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV3C English Language and History (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ13 English Language and Linguistics,
BA QQ15 English Language and Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ3D English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ23 English Language and Literature,
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ32 English Language and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ35 English Language and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA QB36 English Language and Language Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ3C English Language and Language Development,
BA QQ3F English Language and Language Development (Including Placement Year),
BA Q100 Linguistics,
BA Q101 Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q103 Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA L390 English Language and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LQ31 English Language and Sociology,
BA RQ93 Modern Languages and English Language,
BA RQ99 Modern Languages and English Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ91 Modern Languages and Linguistics,
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 RX91 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language,
BA P510 Journalism and English Language,
BA P511 Journalism and English Language (Including Placement Year),
BA P512 Journalism and English Language (Including Year Abroad),
BA QP10 English Language with Media Communication,
BA QP11 English Language with Media Communication (Including Year Abroad),
BA QP12 English Language with Media Communication (Including Placement Year)

Module description

This module aims to introduce students to the empirical foundations of linguistics. When we have a question about language - its structure, function, use - how do we go about answering it? We will explore methods for gathering data, from interviews and questionnaires, to documentary fieldwork, corpora and controlled experiments, and the suitability of each method to different types of questions. Practical and ethical aspects of working with language data will also be considered

Module aims

This module will equip students with the skills to understand cutting edge research being carried out in the field of linguistics, as well as to begin to identify and develop their own research interests.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:
• Identify research questions related to linguistics
• Identify and understand different types of data
• Understand a range of methodologies used to carry out research in linguistics
• Understand the life cycle of a research project

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The 10 x two-hour sessions. These two-hour sessions will combine lecture, discussion and practical tasks.


  • Chelliah, Shobhana L. (2001-06-21) 'The role of text collection and elicitation in linguistic fieldwork', in Linguistic Fieldwork: Cambridge University Press., pp.152-165
  • Beavers, John; Sells, Peter. (2013) 'Constructing and supporting a linguistic analysis', in Research methods in linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp.397-421

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   Assignment 1  20/02/2020  40% 
Coursework   Assignment 2  20/04/2020  60% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Hannah Gibson, email: h.gibson@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Hannah Gibson & Dr Sophia Skoufaki
Dr Hannah Gibson, Office: 4.317, Telephone: 01206 872204 Email: h.gibson@essex.ac.uk Dr Yuni Kim, Office: 4.209, Telephone: 01206 872082 Email: yk17298@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Lynne Julie Cahill
University of Sussex
Available via Moodle
Of 60 hours, 20 (33.3%) hours available to students:
40 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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