English Around the World

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
19 October 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The module looks at a wide range of variation in the English Language as it is spoken OUTSIDE England, and discusses associated historical and sociolinguistic issues. The focus is on phonological variation, although salient syntactic, morphological and lexical features are also covered, illustrating with recordings wherever possible. We cover the following regions: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, North America, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Caribbean.

Module aims

• To familiarise students with varieties of English spoken in different parts of the world
• To introduce students to phonological, syntactic, morphological and lexical features of these varieties
• To compare and contrast the different varieties of English in focus and to shed light on their origins
• To enable students to develop an informed view of the varieties of English that exist across the world
• To provide practice in linguistic analysis, phonetic transcription and elementary auditory training

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able ...
• to identify accents of the regions covered, and to describe the differences between them.
• to read research papers on variation in English and understand them within a broader perspective.
• to conduct original research of your own into variation in English.

Module information

Module Moodle page

Learning and teaching methods

2-hour lecture, with in-class activities each week.


  • Peter Trudgill; Jean Hannah. (2017) International English: a guide to varieties of English around the world, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Wells, J. C.; Cambridge Books Online. (1982) Accents of English: beyond the British Isles, Volume 3, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wells, J. C. (1982) Accents of English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dan McIntyre. (no date) History of English.
  • Walt Wolfram; Natalie Schilling-Estes. (2016) American English: dialects and variation, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. vol. 25
  • Diane Davies. (2005) Varieties of modern English: an introduction, Harlow: Pearson Longman.
  • John Wells. (no date) Accents of English, Volume 2.
  • Dillard, J. L. (1992) A history of American English, London: Longman. vol. Longman linguistic library

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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay or small project  19/01/2021   

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Enam Al-Wer, email: enama@essex.ac.uk.
Professor Enam Al-Wer, 4.202b, 872240, enama@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 1476 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
1476 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

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