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The University of Southampton

LING2010 Language, Ideologies and Attitudes

Module Overview

This module explores language in its social context. The main aim of this module is to introduce you to key research approaches to the study of language attitudes and ideologies and to encourage you to reflect on how attitudes and beliefs about language emerge and develop. It will allow you to gain a critical understanding of exisiting attitudes towards different varieties of English in Britain and around the world. It will also explore the connection between accents, language use and identity using English as a case study.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• a good understanding of sociolinguistic phenomena relating to language ideology, and sociopsychological phenomena relating to language attitudes; • a good understanding of how particular beliefs about language, including stereotypes and prejudice, emerge and develop. • a good grasp of research topics and debates in this area of sociolinguistics; • gained essential skills in analysing sociolinguistic data; • gained essential knowledge and skills to evaluate primary sources in linguistics.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • a good understanding of sociolinguistic phenomena relating to language ideology, and sociopsychological phenomena relating to language attitudes;
  • a good understanding of how particular beliefs about language, including stereotypes and prejudice, emerge and develop.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate written communication skills through the development of ideas and arguments in a variety of written formats
  • demonstrate oral communication skills through the development of ideas and arguments informally in class
  • show a capacity for teamwork and demonstrate interpersonal skills by working with other students, by problem solving, information gathering and presenting your findings collaboratively
  • display individual learning, study and performance skills and time management through your independent learning activities
  • display both self-confidence and self-awareness in your studies
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • recognise principles underlying the analysis and significance of sociolinguistic data in a global context
  • evaluate such data using theoretical and methodological models
  • synthesise your own commentaries of sociolinguistic case studies
  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the concepts involved


The module will cover three main topics: language Ideology, language attitudes, and language policy-planning. A number of various subtopics are likely to include: • language standardisation in a globalised world • the role of national identity in language ideologies • language prestige • critical language awareness • language as a community of practice • Speaking ‘English’ in the UK and in the world • language, culture, and identity • language planning and policy • ethnographic approaches to language

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • 1 lecture per week • 1 seminar per week The lectures will serve to introduce, analyse and investigate key aspects of sociolinguistics with respect to language ideologies and language attitudes. The weekly seminar will be mostly student-led and will offer an opportunity to discuss key themes through discussion of various activities prepared individually and in groups.

Wider reading or practice10
Preparation for scheduled sessions70
Completion of assessment task26
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Garrett, P (2010). Attitudes to language. 

Crowley, T (2003). Standard English and the politics of language. 

Niedzielski, N. and D. Preston (2003). Folk linguistics. 

Eckert, P (2008). Variation and the indexical field. Journal of sociolinguistics. ,12 , pp. 453-476.

Pearce, Michael (2009). A perceptual dialect map of North East England. Journal of English linguistics. , pp. 162-192.

Eckert, P (2006). Messing with Style. The art of English: everyday creativity. , pp. 124-130.

Irvine, J. T. and S. Gal Language ideology and Linguistic Differentiation. Regimes of language: ideologies, polities and identities. , pp. 35-84.

Montgomery, C (2012). Perceptions of Dialects: Changing Attitudes and Ideologies. The Oxford handbook of the history of English.. , pp. 457-469.

Bradac, J., A. Cargile and J. Hallet (2001).  Language attitudes: retrospect, conspect, and prospect. The new handbook of language and social psychology. , pp. 137-155.

Coupland, N. and H. Bishop (2007). Ideologised values for British accents. Journal of sociolinguistics. ,11 , pp. 74-93.

Milroy, J (2003). Language ideologies and the consequences of standardization. Journal of sociolinguistics. , pp. 530-555.

Williams, A., P. Garrett and N. Coupland (1996). Perceptual dialectology, folklinguistics, and regional Stereotypes: Teachers’ perceptions of variation in Welsh English.. Multilingua. , pp. 171-199.

Coupland, N (2010). Language, ideology, media and social change. Performing the Self. , pp. 127-151.

Blommaert, J (1998). Language ideological debates. 

Dicker, S. J (2000). Official English and bilingual education: the controversy over language pluralism in U.S. society. The sociopolitics of English language teaching. , pp. 45-66.

Lippi-Green, R (2012). English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States. 

Ryan, E. B. and H. Giles (1982). Attitudes towards language variation: social and applied contexts. 

Cameron, D (1995). Verbal Hygiene. 

Eckert, P. and J. R. Rickford (2001). Style and sociolinguistic variation. 

Preston, D (1999). Handbook of perceptual dialectology. 

Preston, D. R (2002). Language with an attitude. The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. .

Morgan, M (2001). â€˜Nuthin' but a G thang’: Grammar and language ideology in hip hop identity. Sociocultural and historical contexts of African American vernacular English. , pp. 187-210.

Bayard, D., A. Weatherall, C. Gallois, and J. Pittam (2001). Pax Americana? Accent attitudinal evaluations in New Zealand, Australia and America’. Journal of sociolinguistics. ,5 , pp. 22-49.

Coupland, N (2007). Style: language variation and identity. 

Dixon, J., B. Mahoney and R. Cocks (2002). Accents of guilt? Effects of regional accent, race, and crime type on attributions of guilt. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. ,21 , pp. 162-8.

Montgomery, C. and J. C. Beal (2011). Perceptual dialectology. Analysing variation in English. , pp. 121-148.

Beal , Joan C â€œYou’re Not from New York City, You’re from Rotherham”: Dialect and Identity in British Indie Music.. Journal of English linguistics. ,37 , pp. 223-240.

Ager, D (2003). Ideology and image: Britain and language. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Reflective essay  (2500 words) 50%
Research project Report  (1500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment


Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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