The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
27 March 2019


Requisites for this module
LG210 or LG211 or LG212 or LG213



Key module for


Module description

This module approaches the topic of multilingualism from different perspectives by taking a cognitive, educational and social approach. We will consider multilingualism within the individual speaker/language user/language learner as well as the multilingual individual as a member of society.

Topics to be covered include:
- Crosslinguistic influences and interactions in bi- and multilingual speakers
- Metalinguistic awareness in multilinguals
- Psychotypology and 'foreign language' status
- Cognitive consequences of bi- and multilingualism
- Language(s) and thought
- Multilingualism from a usage-based perspective
- Multilingualism in education and in the (language) classroom
- Multilingualism in society

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the complex field of multilingualism and to familiarise you with a selection of topics in this domain in greater depth. We will focus in particular on the cognitive consequences of knowing/using more than one language as well as on how multilingualism is approached in education, both at the level of policy and in the school classroom.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, you will have gained an understanding of:
- the concepts of bilingualism and multilingualism and their different definitions,
- how multiple languages are represented in the speaker’s mind and how this may affect the speaker’s use of language,
- the interaction of language knowledge with other aspects of cognition,
- a usage-based approach to theorising and explaining multilingualism,
- approaches to multilingualism in education,
- the status of multilingualism in society.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

One two-hour class per week for 10 weeks comprising a balance of lecture-style input and student-centred seminar activities including discussion and practical exercises.


  • Li, Wei. (2000) The bilingualism reader, London: Routledge.
  • Li, Wei. (2007) The bilingualism reader, London: Routledge.

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 Moodle Quiz 100%
Coursework Assignment 15/04/2020

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Karen Roehr-Brackin
Karen Roehr-Brackin (3.306), X2189, kroehr@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (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

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