Language Rights

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 14 January 2019
Friday 22 March 2019
23 September 2008


Requisites for this module



Key module for

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 explores language issues in human rights and linguistic approaches to them, using sociolinguistics as an empirical, comparative core discipline. Students will learn:
* Which human rights are linguistic in nature (whole or part)
* Whether and how language rights qualify as basic HR
* What sorts of conflicts occur around language, and why
* How scholars from different disciplines approach conflicts over language
* How language rights are negotiated in institutional contexts such as the courts, government policy, legislation, schools, healthcare organisations, also language planning through national and international bodies and organisations.
Language is often viewed as manifesting a close relationship with social categories like race, nationality, ethnicity, class, regional origin, & gender. These associations are problematic, both practically for speakers asserting or negotiating their social identity, access to services & human rights; and theoretically for scholars investigating areas such as citizenship & political participation, (im)migration, indigenous peoples/cultures, language extinction, globalization, maintenance/crossing of ethnic boundaries, mass media discourse, the construction of gender ideologies, literacy & development, equal opportunity in the workplace, etc.
We introduce a broad human rights framework, and a sociolinguistic approach to language use and speaker identity. We survey important topics in language rights, focus on the types of conflicts which occur around language, consider the principles upon which they can be understood and investigated, and examine efforts at solutions, as well as locating attempts to identify and make language rights manifest within a broad context of national and international agreements.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

Module webpage for previous years contains much more detailed information about module, including calendar, assignments, reading lists, online notes and weblinks. Some information will change for the coming year. A recent previous module page is available online at: http://orb.essex.ac.uk/lg/lg474/

Learning and teaching methods

One 2-hr lecture per week x 10 weeks; one 2-hr revision class in term 3


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1 - 3000 words   11/04/2019  100% 
Exam  Main exam: 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 

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
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
0% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Peter Patrick, email: patrickp@essex.ac.uk.
Prof. Peter Patrick
Prof. P. Patrick, Office: 4.328, Tel: 01206 872088, Email patrickp@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 22 hours, 22 (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

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