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Course content

This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-sociocultural-linguistics/

The MA develops your understanding of historical and contemporary debates in (socio)linguistics and discourse analysis and enhances your analytic and linguistic skills by introducing different approaches to the analysis of written and spoken language use from a range of everyday and institutional contexts.

Topics covered include:

language and ideology
linguistic performances of identity (particularly language and gender, sexuality, ethnicity and social class)
language and the media
talk at work
English in a multilingual world
intercultural communication
multilingualism and code-switching
varieties of English
You're encouraged to engage with these topics by drawing on your own social, cultural and occupational backgrounds in class discussions and in your written work.

You're also encouraged to collect your own samples of written and spoken language use and learn to subject those to in-depth critical analysis.

This MA will draw on findings, theories and methodologies from: sociolinguistics, semantics, pragmatics, spoken and written discourse analysis, ethnography, semiotics, feminist stylistics; multimodal analysis; interactional sociolinguistics, conversational analysis, membership categorisation analysis, performativity and narrative analysis.

The programme’s distinct interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in your opportunity to choose from a selection of relevant option modules in other departments in Goldsmiths.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Maria Macdonald.

Modules & Structure

On this programme you will complete two core modules, two option modules and one dissertation.

Core modules:
Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics- 30 credits
Language in its Sociocultural Context- 30 credits

Option modules:
You may choose two linguistic options or one linguistic option and one option from other MA programmes within the College, where specifically approved by the Programme Co-ordinator.

Option modules from other departments:
You may also choose one non-linguistics module, either from our own department (English and Comparative Literature) or from another department. Please note that availability of options across the College varies, but typically you can choose from the following selection. Please note that your choice of option module from another deparment needs to be discussed with the Programme Co-ordinator of the MA Sociocultural Linguistics in advance.

Dissertation:
You also produce a dissertation. Dissertation topics in the past have included:

discursive construction of religious identities in interviews with British Muslim converts
code-switching practices in a Tunisian family
discourse and identities in the SLA classroom
language and gender in dream narratives
pauses and silences on Talk Radio
attitudes towards bilingual signs in Thailand
representations of parenthood in UK parenting magazines
political debates on Irish TV
lifetime narratives of older Asian immigrants in the UK
the language of text messaging
language and literacy practices on Facebook
attitudes to non-standard language use
discursive analysis of EFL textbooks
gendered speech style in an all-female group of Iranian friends
The best (UG or MA) linguistics dissertation is rewarded every year with the Hayley Davis Prize.

Approach to teaching

Our lecture/seminar sessions are designed to combine discussions of preparatory reading materials with tutor-led input and hands-on analyses of data/texts by students. We also tend to invite guest lectures for our option modules and introduce you to a number of linguistics talk series across the University of London.

Our MA group is usually very tight-knit, students and student reps organise study/revision groups, online discussion forums, outings to lectures across London, and a number of social events.

Assessment

Coursework; essays; examinations; dissertation.

Skills

Transferable skills, including enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts; the ability to analyse and evaluate a wide variety of spoken and written texts from informal as well as institutional settings; an understanding of the concept of communicative competence; the ability to organise information, and to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments.

Careers

Publishing, journalism, british council roles, public relations, teaching, research, translation, advertising, the civil service, business, industry, the media.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

Visit the Sociocultural Linguistics (MA) page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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