The Study of Language

Course code EPHUMA311Units 20English Language & Foundation Studies Centre

Human society as it is today would not be possible without language. Institutions, relationships and human achievements all rely on the trait that is unique to humans – language.

This course provides an introduction to the study of human language (known as linguistics). Most of us are not aware of the enormous number of language choices we make every day. This course will give students insight into some of those choices as it investigates features that all languages have in common, how we construct what we speak and write every day, how children acquire language, how we communicate in society, how language differs from animal communication, how people convey meaning in language, Australian Aboriginal languages, how Australian English developed and what makes it different to other varieties of English, the sounds of language and how they are used, how language, culture and society are related, how words and languages are created, how gender plays a role in language, and how the brain is vital to language.

Although the main language of study is English, examples from many other languages are also given with the aim of providing an understanding of the features that all languages share. The aim is to engage the students’ in a learning experience of language through various approaches to cater for different learning styles. Students are encouraged to engage in objective analysis of various aspects of language and they will be also given the opportunity to develop skills necessary for undergraduate study.

Available in 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
OurimbahSemester 2
Previously offered in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004
ObjectivesAt the end of the course, students should be able to:

1. accurately identify, utilise and demonstrate an understanding of linguistic terminology and concepts
2. evaluate basic theoretical aspects and relate those to applied aspects of Linguistics
3. explain an awareness of interpersonal and social aspects of language
4. illustrate theory and concepts with original examples to show understanding
5. apply skills in relevant technology
6. use own research and academic writing skills in for tertiary study
Content1. What all languages have in common
2. How we use language in society
3. Knowing and using language
4. The nature of language
5. How animal communication differs from human language
6. How we learn language
7. How language varies according to situation, region and social groups
8. How we put sentences together
9. How we express meaning with language
10. The sounds of language
11. The origins and development of Australian English
12. How we structure and create words
13. How languages are born
14. Australian Aboriginal languages
15. Gender differences in language use
16. The brain’s capacity for language
Replacing Course(s)NA
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeNil
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassWritten Paragraph
Essays / Written AssignmentsWritten essay
Essays / Written AssignmentsShort answer questions
Essays / Written AssignmentsWritten paragraph, multiple choice questions
Examination: FormalShort-answer questions, paragraph and essay.
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 weeks
Lecture: for 5 hour(s) per Week for 12 weeks
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for EPHUMA311