Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: English Language Centre


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to Q3K207
Tied to Q3K307


  • Language for Teaching


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • At the end of the module, students will
  • Have understanding of central analytical concepts in dialectology
  • Exhibit full working knowledge of both traditional dialectology and more recent approaches to variation
  • Be able to identify and describe a number of varieties of English in a worldwide context
  • Understand the principles of linguistic analysis and argumentation
  • Be able to apply methods of linguistic data analysis


  • This module provides an examination of geographically-based linguistic variation (accents and dialects), and differentiation and classification of regional varieties of English speaking world. There will be detailed examination of a number of such varieties.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding of the concepts of accents and dialects
  • Knowledge of the range of dialect variation in English throughout the world
  • Understanding of the relationship between accent/dialect and geographical trends
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Mastery of the analytical skills used to identify regional-based dialects
  • Ability to analyse the language data in english in order to identify specific dialects
Key Skills:
  • Ability to read and understand primary texts in language description and analysis
  • Ability to analyse data and develop a data-based logical argument

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The lectures will present the methodology used to describe language variation. Then differing regional varieties of English will be presented and analysed. The seminars will provide students the forum to clarify the basic facts if required and provide an environment in which students can practice linguistic data analysis. Drawing from this and their own independent research, students will write an essay demonstrating ability to analyse data and present a clear and concise argument as well as their own knowledge of varieties of world Englishes and the explanations for such variation. These arguments will be supported by a clarity of style and purpose that follows the expected conventions of academic writing.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Word Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
word essay 3,000 words 100%
Component: Exercises Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
exercises 100%

Formative Assessment:

Assignments prepared in advance by the student and discussed during the seminars.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University