The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 14 January 2019
Friday 22 March 2019


Requisites for this module
LG210 or LG211 or LG212 or LG213



Key module for


Module description

The module covers topics in multilingualism and language contact under two headings: (i) multilingualism at the level of the individual. In this section the topics covered are language choice, diglossia, and code-switching. (ii) Multilingualism at the societal level and the outcomes of contact. This part deals with the coexistence of more than one language within the same community and the outcomes of this coexistence, including language maintenance and shift, and the emergence of Pidgin and Creole languages.


* To introduce students to multilingualism as a case of linguistic diversity, and the issues involved in its study.
* To introduce students to outcomes of language contact
* To enable students to develop an informed view of the linguistic and cultural value of linguistic diversity

Learning Outcomes:

* To enable students to appreciate linguistic diversity as a resource, and to handle debates on this issue
* To enable students to develop awareness of the plight of minority and endangered languages
* To enable students to understand contact-induced language change

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Two-hour weekly lecture. Syllabus: Wk 16. General introduction: multilingualism as a source of diversity, facts and figures. Wk 17. Language choice: who speaks what language to whom and when, the decision tree model; the diglossia model. Reading: Hoffmann, Ch. 9, Apple & Muysken, Ch. 3. Wk 18. Individual multilingualism: basic concepts and definitions; early and contemporary research on individual multilingualism. Reading: Hoffmann, Ch. 1; Romaine Ch. 3 (section 3.4). Wks 19 & 20. Aspects of bilingual behaviour: interference, borrowing and code-switching. Reading: Hoffmann, Ch. 5, Romaine, Ch. 4. Wk 21. Consultation and reading week; no class. Wk 22. Societal multilingualism: causes, consequences and patterns. Reading: Hoffmann, Ch 8; Romaine, Ch. 2. Wk 23. Language maintenance and language shift. Reading: Hoffmann, Ch's . 9 & 10, Edwards, Ch 3, Apple & Muysken, Ch. 4 Wks 24. Cases of multilingual societies' histories and dynamics: Irish, Catalan, Alsace German. Wk 25. Language contact: Pidgins and Creoles. Reading: Romaine, An Introduction to sociolinguistics. Ch. 6


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1    100% 
Exam  Main exam: 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
0% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ella Jeffries, email: e.jeffries@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 24 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Language and Linguistics

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.