First Year course

LCOM1001: Introduction to language and communication (6 credits)

Assessment: 50% final 2-hour exam and 50% coursework

Instructors: Dr Lisa Lim and Dr Katherine Chen

In this course, students will be acquainted with two central concepts of language and communication, the concepts of a "linguistic situation" and the concept of a "communicative situation.". The former relates language(s) to broader social factors in a given geographical unit and touches upon a number of fields of sociolinguistic investigation (e.g., language and power, bi- and multilingualism, contact languages, language policy and language planning, language and culture, language attitudes, language and ethnicity/identity). Students will research one specific area of a particular linguistic situation and present their findings in class. In turn, the concept of a communicative situation applies to actual linguistic encounters. It is constituted by numerous interrelated variables, as, among other things, the type of communicative situation, the social organizations, the location, the 'players' involved, their roles, etc. Students will explore different kinds of communicative situations. They will learn to evaluate the corresponding linguistic behavior and to identify potential sources of conflict, for example in intercultural encounters, where different expectations and conventions regarding a specific kind of communicative situation may collide.


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