APG5043 - Language and multilingual societies - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Louisa Willoughby


Dr Louisa Willoughby

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • First semester 2019 (Online)




The unit may be offered as part of the Summer Arts ProgramSummer Arts Program (http://www.monash.edu/students/courses/arts/summer-program.html).


All societies are to some extent multilingual and multidialectal. In this unit, students examine the varied roles languages can play in multilingual societies and the relationship between language and different social identities. We explore variation within languages (e.g. regional accents) as well as variation between languages, and the ways in which school systems, workplaces and other institutions respond to language variation in their midst. A key focus of this unit is the different methods of inquiry used in sociolinguistics, and the ways in which sociolinguistic insights might be applied to real-world problems.


On successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify and apply key terms and concepts used in sociolinguistics;
  2. reflect on their own linguistic repertoire, and how it comes to bear on their relationship with society;
  3. apply sociolinguistic insights to their own professional context;
  4. describe the main data gathering methods used in sociolinguistics and studies of multilingual societies, and select appropriate methods for a range of research questions;
  5. 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%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study