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Courses in Linguistics


LN111 Introduction to language studies

This course introduces the key foundations of Linguistics – the scientific study of language and languages. We all use language every day, and yet many people know far less about language and languages than they think they do. This course helps students appreciate the almost infinite variety in language, and shows them how the languages they speak fit into their society and culture. LN111 will appeal to anyone with an interest in language and communication.

LN118 The languages of the Pacific

This course delves into the immense multilingual complexity of the USP region. We begin with an introduction to the structure of different languages, learning how Pacific linguists work with language data. We then cover a geographical and historical overview of the languages of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia, examining how so many languages have come to exist in the region, and considering what Linguistics can tell us about migration patterns and early settlers of the different islands. Finally, we look at the language situation across the Pacific today, looking briefly at topics such as language endangerment and official language status.

LN211 The structure of English

This course focuses on the description and analysis of the structure of English. It looks at the way sounds and words are formed (phonology and morphology), and then examines the way words are joined together as phrases, then clauses, and then sentences (syntax). It aims to reveal the patterns that underlie English, in ways that will be useful for anyone studying, using or teaching the language. LN211 will be of interest to those who use English on a daily basis, but want to know more about how it actually works!

LN213 Second language learning and teaching

This course provides trainee language teachers with the skills required to teach second languages effectively. It examines the principles of second language acquisition, before showing how these principles inform practical approaches to the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking. An integrated approach to skills teaching and assessment will be advocated, with a balance between meaning and form, and between fluency and accuracy. Topics and activities will draw on authentic examples, scenarios and materials from classrooms across the Pacific. The focal language will be English, but the principles and approaches can be applied to the teaching of any second language.

LN216 Language use in the 21st century Pacific

This course examines the way language is used in the Pacific region in the current, globalised era. In the first half of the course, we introduce different frameworks through which to understand multilingualism, and we use these to examine a range of linguistic data from speech, writing, music, street signs, graffiti, text messages and social media. In the second half, we consider how best to communicate messages of contemporary importance to a target audience, learning how to design multilingual posters, webpages, video clips and other resources. This course will appeal to students enrolled on a variety of programmes.

LN311 English in the Pacific

This course examines English specifically as it is used in the Pacific. It begins by tracing the spread of English – as a colonial language, a language of globalisation, and an international lingua franca. It considers different varieties of English, and discusses what is meant by ‘Pacific English’. It examines the role that English plays throughout our region, and considers the deep-rooted beliefs and attitudes that are held regarding this language. LN311 gives students from a variety of programmes a valuable opportunity to reflect critically on a language that is afforded such a high role and status in the region.

LN315 Corpus linguistics and language technology

Computer-aided research of language material is increasingly popular in contemporary research. This course is an introduction to corpus linguistics, where a ‘corpus’ refers to a collection of electronic texts that represent a sample of a particular variety of use of language(s). You will explore various software applications for collecting, displaying and analysing linguistic information from corpora, examining practical examples that include large corpora such as the Australian National Corpus, smaller corpora of Pacific languages (PARADISEC archive), web-based corpora, and specific app-based corpora such as Twitter. There will be a final project, which requires students to conduct research on text data and language.

LN316 Applied linguistics

This course introduces students to the field of Applied Linguistics, which is an interdisciplinary area of research into a range of language-related issues. Issues covered may include translation, interpreting, discourse analysis, multilingualism, language revitalisation and maintenance, and language learning and teaching. These are real life applications of language in operation all around us in the Pacific, and the course will consider both theoretical and practical aspects of these endeavours. This course is only offered on an occasional basis and when there is sufficient demand.

LN317 Qualitative analysis of texts

This course uses different frameworks, tools and techniques to analyse written, spoken and multimodal texts. We use qualitative analysis to identify the ‘stories-we-live-by’ and the ways these are constructed through different linguistic devices. This type of analysis illustrates the impact of language on the world around us, and demonstrates the power of the words we choose to use whenever we communicate.

LN318 Selected topics in linguistics

This is a project-based course that enables students to apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout their programme. Different topics may be the focus of the course in different semesters. This course is only offered on an occasional basis and when there is sufficient demand.

LN319 Language documentation

This is a project-based course that covers methodologies and technologies used in language documentation. Students learn how to collect, record, organise, store and analyse primary linguistic data, and they discover the social dimensions of work with speakers of lesser-studied languages. The course features hands-on training in the form of an individual documentation project, where students gain useful skills (audio and video recording, transcribing, organising and archiving collected materials) that can be transferable in their professional lives.



AL400 Research methods (for linguistics)

This mandatory entry level postgraduate diploma course in the SPACE and SOLASS provides students with a blended generic and discipline-based training in research design and methodologies. It is a prerequisite course for students undertaking independent research at the postgraduate level in the humanities and social sciences and related discipline areas. The course delivers training in a range of generic transferable research skills, linking them to relevant research, pedagogical, epistemological and scholarship issues at the discipline level.

LN411 Advanced language analysis

This course provides advanced training in the analysis of language, focusing on the phonological, morpho-syntactic and semantic elements of English and Pacific languages. English teachers will learn to apply these analytic techniques to practical classroom approaches that will transform the teaching of English pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary in the context of the Pacific region. Students intending to pursue a research degree in Descriptive Linguistics will learn to apply these analytic techniques to a detailed description of one or more Pacific languages.

LN413 Sociolinguistics

This course is an introduction to sociolinguistics, that part of linguistics that studies the connection between language and society. Speakers of the same language do not all speak exactly the same way, and an individual speaker does not speak the same way all the time. Through a variety of readings, discussions, and assignments, we will explore language variation across regions, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, and more. Students will learn how sociolinguistic research is conducted and will become familiar with the major findings of sociolinguistic research studies.

LN416 Language acquisition and multilingualism

This course provides in-depth coverage of the way first and subsequent languages are acquired and learned, with specific reference to the Pacific context. The course addresses the acquisition of one or more languages in a non-school environment, as well as formal, classroom-based teaching and learning. Topics covered include the roles of input, motivation and explicit instruction within language learning, theoretical perspectives on bilingualism and multilingualism, models of bilingual and multilingual education, and different approaches to the teaching of vernaculars and languages of wider communication.

LN418 Integrating the four skills in English

This course covers both theoretical and practical approaches to the teaching and assessment of English as it is used in academic contexts. It takes an integrated approach to what have traditionally been labelled the ‘four skills’ of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and helps teachers teach beyond the test to foster active users of English. It moves teachers away from a surface-level understanding of ‘skills’ and enables them to prepare curricula and assessments that will foster meaningful and relevant use of the language.

LN419 Technologies, texts and techniques for English language teaching

This course is a very practical course that focuses on teaching strategies for the classroom. It provides hands-on experience working with innovative technologies to develop teachers’ skills in the use of new tools when preparing and delivering the curriculum. It provides strategies for getting the most out of prescribed texts and textbooks, creating new texts based on learner needs, and transforming resource-poor teaching environments. It provides practical techniques for a range of elements that may include error correction, the promotion of fluency, and the integration of language and academic content from across the curriculum.

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