The University of Southampton
Courses

LING2009 Multilingualism

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the notion of ‘Multilingualism’, how this is understood and represented in different ways, and why it matters to you. You will explore how people become multilingual, and whether it makes a difference if multilinguals are exposed to two languages at the same time or one after the other. You will also look at how multilinguals behave socially, how they interact (both face-to-face and virtually), how they construct/articulate their cultural identities, how they maintain their multilingualism and the crucial role of education and language policy in obstructing or facilitating multilingualism.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

to introduce students to the complex concept of multilingualism - to encourage them to reflect on issues related to multilingualism in the individual and in society - to complement and enhance existing provision within Linguistics Studies

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • how multilinguals acquire and process their languages
  • how multilinguals interact and use multilingual practices to construct/articulate their cultural identities
  • how multilinguals interact in global contexts – eg virtual communication
  • the role of education in maintaining and fostering multilingualism
  • the relationship between multilingualism and migration
  • how language policy influences multilingual contexts
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of elements of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic theory which can be applied to the study of other languages;
  • apply critical thinking and problem-solving techniques in order to address new issues and new data;
  • work effectively in different modes: carrying out individual research and using this as input to collaborations with partners in seminars;
  • present findings and ideas in a structured, coherent manner.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use an awareness of issues in multilingualism theory to benefit learning and using the language(s) studied in your degree course.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • appreciate and engage with key theoretical concepts in multilingualism;
  • critically assess key issues and approaches to the study of multilingualism
  • organise and present information in an academically appropriate way.

Syllabus

This module will introduce you to the notion of ‘Multilingualism’, how this is understood and represented in different ways, and why it matters to you. You will explore this subject within a psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic framework. From a psycholinguistic perspective you will investigate how people become multilingual and how they develop cognitively, and whether it makes a difference if multilinguals are exposed to two languages at the same time or one after the other. From a sociolinguistic perspective, you will explore how multilinguals behave socially, how they interact (both face-to-face and virtually), how they construct/articulate their cultural identities, how they maintain their multilingualism and the crucial role of education and language policy in obstructing or facilitating multilingualism.

Special Features

This module constitutes an introduction to multilingualism. It will encourage you to reflect analytically on what it means to become and stay multilingual, on how multilinguals interact and live in a multilingual society. The different aspects of the module will be taught by different lecturers, who have developed expertise in that area of multilingualism. The team-taught format of this module will allow you to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of issues, concepts and methods concerning multilingualism. The small project will allow you to undertake independent research about a specific aspect of multilingualism, and develop the research skills required to produce a small-scale empirical study in preparation for the Year Abroad Research Project. The small project feature of this module will therefore help you to analytically approach different data sources, organise them and synthesise your findings.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include ? a weekly lecture outlining a body of knowledge and concepts ? a weekly seminar in which the issues presented in the lecture will be applied to the critical analysis of empirical evidence Ideas, concepts and theories will be introduced in the lectures. Seminars will provide the opportunity to explore particular topics in greater depth. Seminars will also encourage you to explore multilingualism on the basis of different kinds of data—linguistic, audio and visual—and will provide an occasion for you to engage with specific areas in more detail, through investigation and collaboration. Individual reading, collaborative research, practical exercises and reflection ? Developing presentation skills through seminar preparation

TypeHours
Revision40
Completion of assessment task40
Follow-up work4
Seminar12
Lecture12
Wider reading or practice40
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Myers-Scotton, C (2006). Multiple Voices. An Introduction to Bilingualism. 

Makoni, S. and A. Pennycook (2007). Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages. 

Bhatia, T K and Ritchie, William, C (2004). The handbook of Bilingualism. 

Danet, B. and S. Herring (2007). The Multilingual Internet. 

Edwards, J. (1994). Multilingualism. 

Auer, P. and Li Wei (2007). Handbook of Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback ? guidance on topic choice and related literature ? discussion of written assignments (in advance and after completion)

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Project  (2000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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