LING 1102 - Introduction to Language in Culture and Society

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course looks at the use of language in society and its relationship to the culture(s) of its speakers. Students are introduced to the broad fields of socio-linguistics and anthropological linguistics. The course studies language variation across regions, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, religion, level of education etc. The course also looks at language as a window into the culture of its speakers, thus serving as a useful tool for anthropologists in coming to understand cultural institutions and the world-view of speakers. A major focus will be on how different languages and language varieties co-exist, complement or replace other languages and language varieties or even result in new languages. The course will be activity-based and will encourage students to observe language as it is used around them. They may be required to collect and analyse authentic language data in use within the community.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 1102
    Course Introduction to Language in Culture and Society
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Practical task 20%, oral presentation 20%, essay 50%, reflective journal 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann

    Professor Ghil‘ad ZUCKERMANN, D.Phil. (Oxford), Ph.D. (Cambridge) (emails read regularly)
    Office: 08 8313 5247
    Mobile: 0423 901 808
    Student Consultations: (1) Following the lecture or (2) by appointment.

    Mr Hakeem BEEDAR, B.Lang. (Japanese/Linguistics) (emails read regularly)
    Mobile: 0424 603 169
    Student Consultations: Thursdays, 1pm, Napier, 8th Floor, Office 806a

    Mr Kieran SMITH, B.A. (emails read regularly)
    Mobile: 0403 878 660
    PASS sessions: Wednesdays 10:10am online.

    Barr Smith Library
    08 8313 5345
    There is a good collection of linguistics books and journals in the Barr Smith Library. Almost all the readings for this course are available online.

    Further particulars about the convener of the course can be found in the following websites:
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.


    Mondays: 11.10am - 1pm: via Echo 360, embedded within MyUni.
    There are three TUTORIAL groups: 2 face-to-face and 1 online.
    Please see

    Wednesdays: 10:10am - 11am: online.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On completing this course students will:

    1.                  Begin to notice how language is used and how it varies across the array of contexts in which we engage daily.

    2.                  Understand the theoretical underpinnings of the tradition of Sociolinguistics.
    3.                  Understand different perspectives on context, including identities, social institutions, cultural values and  their            
                         relationships with language

    4.                  Confidently engage with the technical discourse and metalanguage within the field of Sociolinguistics.

    5.                  Make the clear link between the use of language and the context of that use.

    6.                  Link theory to the practical reality of language variation in the community.

    7.                  Articulate why and how some varieties of language are more highly valued than others.

    8.                  Generate, collate and analyse samples of authentic language use.

    9.                  Undertake small-scale research, with a focus on language variation in the community.

    10.               Engage productively and respectfully with their peers.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Whilst the most important source of insights in this course are the actual lectures, the following books would be of relevance:

    1. For the entire course: BLUM, Susan D. (ed.) (2012), Making Sense of Language: Readings in Culture and Communication, 2nd Edition.
    Available at the BSL:

    2. For our exploration of Language and Nationhood: CHAPTER 3 (pp. 112-149) of ZUCKERMANN, Ghil‘ad (2020), Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978–0–19–981279–0 (pbk), ISBN 978–0–19–981277–6 (hbk).
    Available at the BSL:

    3. For our exploration of Cross-Cultural (Mis)Communication: ZUCKERMANN, Ghil'ad et al. (2015), Engaging – A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property.

    Recommended Resources
    The Linguistics homepage on the Barr Smith Library site has a good section on resources for studies in Linguistics
    including a number linked to Sociolinguistics.
    Online Learning
    Additional course-related material is available through MyUni. The following documents will be available via MyUni: Course Profile, lecture content, description of assessment tasks, seminar related materials.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The method of delivery is a two hour lecture per week with a one hour tutorial. 

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2 hour lecture per week (12 weeks) = 24 hours

    1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (10 weeks) = 10 hours

    3 hours course reading per week (12 weeks) = 36 hours

    2 hours research per week (12 weeks) = 24 hours

    5 hours course preparation per week (12 weeks) = 60 hours

    Total = 154 hours

    Learning Activities Summary


    Week 1: Language in Culture & Society: Introduction to the Course.

    Week 2: Language & Communication; Cross-Cultural Miscommunication.

    Week 3: Language & Nationhood; Case Study: Israel.

    Week 4: Language & Religion; Ideological Secularization.

    Week 5: Language & Nationalism; Case Study: Pakistan, Soviet Union; Language and Culture throughout History: Zuckermann with Nicholas OSTLER.

    Week 6: Language, Law & Politics: Zuckermann with Noam CHOMSKY.

    Week 7: Language, Society & Violence: Zuckermann with Steven PINKER.

    Week 8: Language & Bilingual Contact: Borrowing, Codeswitching and Language Mixing. 

    Week 9: Speech Communities & Language Networks.

    Week 10: Language Variation & Regional Variation. 

    Week 11: Where Can One Work as a Sociolinguist Outside Academia?

    Week 12:  Thinking Outside the Box.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The oral presentation assignment constitutes an appropriate small group discovery feedback on the individual's presentation.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task
    Due Date Weight
    Assignment 1: Reflective Journal and Positive Contribution. Week 3 and Week 12 25% 
    Assignment 2: Oral presentation (10 minutes), including Power Point presentation. Week 3 onwards
    Assignment 3: Post-presentational paper (4000 words). Week 13

    Assessment Detail
    Each assignment will be discussed in class meetings. Details will be posted on MyUni at the appropriate time.

    (1) Reflective Journal

    Students will maintain a journal with entries each week that reflect on -- rather than to regurgitate the Professor's -- observations of language and sociolinguistics as related to the content of this course. Students will have an opportunity to share their observations in the first 5 or 10 minutes of the tutorial that week.

    Journals will be submitted online (TurnItIn, Canvas) on Friday at 5pm at the end of Week 3, and, again, on Friday at 5pm at the end of Week 12. They will be read by the tutor and will contribute towards the final mark. Maintenance of the journal is an important part of the course. It does not matter if for one or other week there is nothing to report, but we do want to see that you have applied what you have learnt in this course to the world around you and that you are observing language in culture and society. Entries are required for a minimum of 8 of the 12 weeks. Entries should consist of the observations themselves plus reflection or linguistic explanation to account for the observations.


    Presentation Date: various

    Students are required to give a 10-minute Scholarly, Clear, Original & Thoughtful (SCOT) oral presentation (with accompanying PowerPoint slides or handouts), EITHER (1) making an in-depth analysis of any topic related to language in culture and society (The topic can be chosen from the topics covered by the lectures), OR (2) conducting a critical review of a book/article on language in culture and society). The tutor will be happy to provide you with assistance in selecting the topic. Please feel free to raise any question about the presentation in the tutorials.

    Please note: There will be a brief Q&A after each presentation and students are expected to contribute and give feedback on other students’ presentations. Please take any criticism positively.


    Word Count: 4,000 words

    Due Date: 8 November 

    Students should submit a Scholarly, Clear, Original & Thoughtful (SCOT) 4000-word post-presentation paper – further analysing the topic chosen for the tutorial oral presentation, incorporating the feedback received on the presentation.

    The Department of Linguistics operates within the School of Humanities policy in regard to student assignments.

    The deadline for submission of assignments is indicated in the Assessment Summary. Students will need to follow the School's assessment policy to make arrangements for alternative submission dates.
    Assignments are to be submitted online, as per information provided in the lectures and seminars.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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