Language and Gender

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
27 March 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module focuses on the issue of gender differentiated patterns in sociolinguistic research. In particular we review the findings of research within the quantitative sociolinguistic paradigm, and critically discuss the major explanations that have been proposed by various scholars in the field. A smaller part of the module is dedicated to the findings from research that focuses on gender differentiation at the level of discourse/conversation.

Module aims

Aims and Objectives
• To introduce the students to some of the major issues in the study of language and gender.
• To review the empirical evidence, and to learn how to interpret data and discern patterns.
• To highlight problems in methodologies and analyses, and how these can influence, or have influenced, our view of the issue.
• To learn to use empirical evidence to construct informed arguments.

Module learning outcomes

• The module enhances the students’ understanding of sociolinguistic argumentation, methodologies and theory.
• It enables the students to handle debates in the area of gender differentiation, and equips them with the necessary background knowledge to conduct research of their own.
• A number of issues in this area are linked to theories in other social sciences, and, therefore, the module enables the students to experience sociolinguistics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module is taught as a 2-hour lecture/seminar


  • (2014) The handbook of language, gender, and sexuality, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. vol. Blackwell handbooks in linguistics
  • Can #MeToo Fix Spain’s Language Problem? - The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/07/can-metoo-fix-spains-language-problem/566003/
  • Coates, Jennifer. (2016) Women, men and language: a sociolinguistic account of gender differences in language, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Hall, Kira. (2003) 'Exceptional Speakers: Contested and Problematized Gender Identities', in The handbook of language and gender, Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Chambers, J. K. (2009) Sociolinguistic theory: linguistic variation and its social significance, Chichester: WileyBlackwell. vol. Language in society
  • Jennifer Coates. (©2016) Women, men and language: a sociolinguistic account of gender differences in language, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Trudgill, Peter. (c1983) On dialect: social and geographical perspectives, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Coates, Jennifer; Pichler, Pia. (2011) Language and gender: a reader, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Jennifer Coates; Deborah Cameron. (1989) Women in their speech communities: new perspectives on language and sex, London: Longman.
  • Holmes, Janet; Meyerhoff, Miriam. (2003) The handbook of language and gender, Malden, MA: Blackwell. vol. 13
  • The Push to Make French Gender-Neutral - The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/inclusive-writing-france-feminism/545048/
  • Labov, William. (1990) 'The intersection of sex and social class in the course of linguistic change', in Language Variation and Change. vol. 2 (02) , pp.205-
  • Holmes-Elliott, Sophie. (2016) 'Ladies first? Adolescent Peaks in a Male-led Change', in University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics. vol. 22 (2)

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 15/11/2019 30%
Coursework Assignment 2 03/01/2020 70%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ella Jeffries
Ella Jeffries, 4.207, ex. 3762, e.jeffries@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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