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The University of Southampton

LING2004 Discourse Analysis

Module Overview

This course highlights and analyses the link between language structure and its situation of occurrence.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

provide you with an understanding of the link between language structure and its situation of occurrence  provide you with tools and methods of analysis of language in context.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the importance of context to meaning
  • the context of situation
  • the nature of coherence and interpretability
  • the nature of language use in social interaction
  • social roles and deixis
  • power and discourse
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • work effectively in a team
  • analyse the discourse organisation of texts
  • plan and organise your own learning schedule
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe how culture and context form understanding of language in use
  • describe how information is structured in normal discourse
  • apply theoretical models to language in use.


The module will take you through some of the ways in which language is organised above the level of the sentence. It will deal with the explicit and implicit linking of sentences to form texts and the ways that texts are anchored in their contexts of situation. It will examine how we use our knowledge of the world to understand utterances and will explore the ways in which conversational principles and social roles constrain our choice of utterance.

Special Features

Your knowledge and understanding of issues, concepts and methods in English language teaching will be developed through participation in the seminars and through out of class tasks (observations, interviews, video, and readings). It will be assessed in the essay assignment and through the practical task.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include  seminars  workshops Learning activities include  individual study  preparing presentations and discussions in small groups  conducting analyses and small research projects Innovative or special features of this module  weekly practical tasks feed into sessions

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Johnstone, B. (2008). Discourse Analysis. 

Schiffrin, D., D. Tannen, & H. E. Hamilton (2001). The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. 

Jaworski, A. & N. Coupland (1999). The Discourse Reader. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback  guidance on oral presentations  discussion of written assignments (in advance and after completion)


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 50%
Practical task 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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