LING101/ENLA101 ‘The English Language’ available in Summer School

LING101-16SU2(D) and ENLA101-16SU2(D)

The English Language

Distance learning summer school programme

14 November – 22 December 2016

Enrol from October 4th via MyUC

This course is designed to introduce you to the study of the linguistic structure of the English language.  The aim of the course is to show you how the English language works.  Throughout the course, we will be guided by the following over-arching question: when a baby learns English as its first language, what aspects of the linguistic system does it have to master if it is to have a successful conversation? To answer this question, we start by examining single speech sounds, and then think about how they are combined to make words. Then we consider how words combine to make phrases, and finally we examine the structure of whole sentences.

In the first half of the course, we focus on how English speech is pronounced. How do we move our speech articulators when we produce sounds? How does the International Phonetic Alphabet work? How is a Kiwi accent similar to and different from accents from elsewhere? What tools do you need to analyse pronunciation properly? In the second half of the course, we focus on the structure of English sentences. As well as practicing how to identify different word types (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc), we examine how words are structured into phrases, clauses and sentences, and explore how we combine words in different ways to generate new and complex meanings.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will:

  1. be able to understand the basic technical terms used by linguists to describe the various systems of which languages are composed: sounds, morphemes and words, phrases and clauses.
  2. be able to phonetically transcribe a section of written English, using the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
  3. be able to understand how to analyse the structure of words into syllables and morphemes,
  4. be able to understand how to analyse the structure of sentences into their grammatical constituents.


How does the course work?

This summer school version of LING101/ENLA101 is a distance learning course. It can be studied from anywhere – there is no need to be physically present on the University of Canterbury campus. The course works like this: it’s a six week course, with the equivalent of 3 online lectures each week. These are videos, which are uploaded in blocks, so you can watch them whenever is convenient for you in a given week. All online content for the first half of the course will be available in week 1, and all content for the second half of the course will be available in week 3. This should help you plan your workload. There will also be tutorial exercises, designed to help you practice the analytical skills we learn. By completing these tasks, you will develop the skills you need for the course assessments. Help and advice will be given via the online forum for the course, and via email.101pic

What is the assessment?

  • There will be four online quizzes, administered via Learn (5% each, due in week 1, 2, 4, 5)
  • There will be one piece of phonetic transcription (10%; due week 4) and one piece of phonetic analysis (20%; due week 3).
  • There will be one syntax tree diagram (10%; due week 5) and one piece of syntactic analysis (20%; due week 6)
  •  There will be a final piece of phonetic and grammatical analysis (30%; final piece of assessment)

About uclinguistics

Welcome to the blog of the Linguistics programme at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
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