Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitLinguistics
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Louisa Willoughby


Previously coded ALM4130


Explore the role of language in society by examining language variation and change, multilingualism and how individuals adjust their speech to the situations they find themselves in. In this introductory unit, you will explore regional and social variation in language as well as topics such as language and gender, language and power and language policy. A key focus of this unit is the different methods of inquiry used in sociolinguistics. Students are introduced to a range of sociolinguistic methodologies and, with guidance from their unit advisor, develop and conduct their own small sociolinguistic study.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and assess the significance of key theoretical perspectives in the study of language and society.
  2. Reflect on their own sociolinguistic repertoire.
  3. Apply sociolinguistic insights to their own professional context.
  4. Describe the main data gathering methods used in sociolinguistics, and select appropriate methods for a range of research questions.
  5. Design and carry out a small sociolinguistic fieldwork project.
  6. Engage in informed debate on matters of theoretical and practical significance in the areas of language and society, language education, language purism and language planning.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Chief examiner(s)