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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Issues in Applied Linguistics (LASC11028)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course examines some of the key ongoing debates in current applied linguistics, focussing on issues of identity, linguistic imperialism, globalisation and the spread of English, the politics of text and pedagogy, the politics of difference, as well as the proper limits of the discipline.
Course description Week 1. 24 Sep.: What is a language? The Radical Road of Edinburgh Applied Linguistics; sign systems (Saussure and Peirce); Nature vs Subject/Society (Latour); the metaphor of scale.

Week 2. 1 Oct.: What is it to know a language? Extended mind; habitus; distributed language. Reading: ¿Language Incorporated¿, Chapter Two of John E. Joseph, Language, Mind and Body: A Conceptual History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016 (in press).

Week 3. 8 Oct.: What is it to learn a language? Piaget and Vygotsky, Bruner, Tomasello, Taylor. Readings: Jean Piaget, ¿The Functions of Language in Two Children of Six¿ (excerpt), Chapter One of The Language and Thought of the Child, trans. by Marjorie & Ruth Dabain, 3rd ed., 1-13, London & New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Humanities Press, 1959; Lev S. Vygotsky, ¿Piaget¿s Theory of Child Language and Thought¿, Chapter Two of Thought and Language, ed. & transl. by Eugenia Hanfmann & Gertrude Vakar, 9-24, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962; John E. Joseph, Nigel Love & Talbot J. Taylor, ¿Bruner on the Child¿s Passport into Language¿, Chapter Twelve of Landmarks in Linguistic Thought 2: The Western Tradition in the Twentieth Century, 171-187, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.

Week 4. 15 Oct.: What is a native speaker? Including a presentation by Professor Emeritus Colwyn Trevarthen. Readings: Colwyn Trevarthen (2014), ¿Proto-conversations and Songs in Development of Infant Communication¿, in Patricia J. Brooks & Vera Kemp (eds) Encyclopedia of Language Development, 501-4, London: Sage. ¿The Sense of Language Loss¿, Chapter Two of Alan Davies, Native Speakers and Native Users: Loss and Gain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013; sections of Chapters Seven and Ten of Joseph (2016).

Week 5. 22 Oct.: Current PhD work. Presentations by Adam Clark (language policy in Hong Kong) and Stephanie DeMarco (teachers¿ classroom discourse and the reproduction of social class divisions in education). Readings: Bernard Spolsky (2006), ¿Towards a Theory of Language Policy¿, Working Papers in Educational Linguistics 22/1: 1-14; Jean Anyon, ¿Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work¿, Journal of Education 162/1: 67-92,

Week 6. 29 Oct.: Is the nature of languages changing? Superdiversity; media; language loss and ¿mojo¿. Readings: Jan Blommaert & Ben Rampton, ¿Language and Superdiversity¿, Diversities 13/2 (2011), 1-21; John E. Joseph, ¿How Languages Get their Mojo¿, The Cape Town Language and Development Conference: Looking beyond 2015, ed. by Hamish McIlwraith, 124-129. London: British Council, 2014.

Week 7. 5 Nov.: What are cultures in relation to languages? Language and thought, embodied language, Orientalism/Occidentalism, linguistic imperialism. Readings: Lars Anders-Baer, in cooperation with Ole Henrik-Magga, Robert Dunbar & Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, ¿Forms of Education of Indigenous Children as Crimes against Humanity?¿, paper read to Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2008); John E. Joseph, ¿Cultural Identity¿, Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, ed. by Carol A. Chapelle, s.l.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Week 8. 12 Nov.: Language and identity. Indexicality; stance; styling; learner identity. Reading: John E. Joseph, ¿Historical Perspectives on Language and Identity¿, Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity, ed. by Siân Preece, London & New York: Routledge, 2016 (in press); Mary Bucholtz & Kira Hall, ¿Identity and Interaction: A Sociocultural Linguistic Approach¿, Discourse Studies 7/4-5 (2005), 585-614.

Week 9. 19 Nov.: Language and power. Education, standard language, language rights. Reading: John E. Joseph, ¿Language and Nation¿ and ¿The Social Politics of Language Choice and Linguistic Correctness¿, Chapters Two and Three of Language and Politics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006.

Week 10. 26 Nov.: Methodology and feed-forward.

Week 11. 3 Dec.: Students meet for peer feedback and revision.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2,500 word project

Assessment Deadline: Thursday 10th December 2015, 12 noon
Word limit: No more than 10% deviation from the word limit is allowed in either direction, any more or less will be penalised at a rate of 1% of the mark per word
Assessment Return Date: 15th January 2016
Feedback Feedback is provided throughout the semester in a variety of forms: please have a look at for helpful information on what is in fact a two-way process. During the semester, the most important opportunity for feedback is when you are invited to raise any questions or points for discussion in class. Segments of two class sessions will also be reserved for feed-forward, i.e. advice and discussion of the final assessment projects. You are also welcome to come to see me to ask questions or discuss your understanding of the course material at any time.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
apply these concepts, methods and theories in original research on issues regarding language, politics and identity in the educational and social context, in a way that sheds critical light back upon the concepts, methods and theories themselves
Reading List
Joseph, John E. (2004) Language and Identity: National, Ethnic, Religious. Houndmills & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Joseph, John E. (2006) Language and Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students who complete the course successfully will in the first instance gain a solid and nuanced understanding of:
- the key literature relating to language in its political and identity dimensions, within the context of education and society
- key concepts, methods and theories in contemporary work in these areas
- the connections among language choice, standard language and national identity
- the principal issues that arise in language planning and language testing
- the current situation regarding the global spread of English and how it impacts on education and on the study of other modern languages
- the notion of 'resistance' and what it entails in both educational and textual terms
- the educational and social implications of code-switching
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf John Joseph
Tel: (0131 6)50 3497
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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