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School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics www.ncl.ac.uk/elll

Programme Handbook

2014-2015

MA in Linguistics (with English Language/ Language Acquisition/ European Languages)

Programme Handbook 2014-2015 MA in Linguistics (with English Language/ Language Acquisition/ European Languages)

Table of Contents

 

1 Preface

4

2 Basic information

6

2.1 Important dates

6

2.2 Key Staff

6

2.3 Communication

8

 

2.3.1 Email

8

2.3.2 Ordinary mail

8

2.3.3 Change of address

8

2.3.4 Blackboard

8

2.4

Registration

9

2.4.1 Process for new students:

9

2.4.2 Process for returning students

10

2.4.3 Registration Locations 2014

11

2.5 Induction events

12

 

2.5.1 School induction

12

2.5.2 Faculty-level International Postgraduate Induction

12

2.5.3 Visa Induction Presentations

12

2.5.4 Linguistics Section welcome

12

2.5.5 Recommended things to do before or during registration week

12

2.6 Module selection

13

2.7 Centres and Societies

13

 

2.7.1 Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS)

13

2.7.2 The Linguistics Society

14

2.7.3 Other student societies and social activities

15

3 The MA Programme and Module Information

15

3.1

General requirements

15

3.1.1

Required modules and degree structure

16

3.2

Additional information on modules

19

3.2.1 Module selection

19

3.2.2 Co- and pre-requisite modules

20

3.2.3 Taking modules from other schools and auditing modules

20

3.2.4 Your time

22

3.3

Assessment

22

3.3.1 Your writing

22

3.3.2 Submission of work

24

3.3.3 Evaluation of your work

26

4 Module Descriptions

28

4.1

Required research training modules

28

4.2

Linguistics module descriptions

28

4.4

Additional extra-School modules

33

5 Additional information

34

5.1 Attendance and progress

34

5.2 Personal tutors

34

5.3 Student representatives

34

5.4 Giving us your feedback

35

5.5 Student Conduct and Discipline

35

5.6 Student Charter

35

2

 

5.7 Method of MA degree classification

35

5.8 Congregations

36

6

Other information

36

6.1 The Percy Building

36

6.2 School and University resources

36

6.3 School activities

38

6.4 Safety policy and security

38

6.5 Student Services

39

6.6 What to do if things go wrong

39

6.6.1 If you are ill

39

6.6.2 Personal Extenuating Circumstances

40

6.6.3 Change of circumstances (transfer, suspend studies or withdraw)

40

6.6.4 Complaints and appeals

40

6.7 Equal opportunities

41

6.8 Careers

41

Appendices

43

 

1. Module registration forms

43

2. Dissertation tips

43

3. Linguistics staff outside the School

43

 

3

1

Preface

Welcome to the School of English Literature, Language, and Linguistics at Newcastle University! Linguistics and Language are represented in three schools at Newcastle University the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics, the School of Modern Languages and the School of Education, Communication & Language Science. Staff and students in the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics work alongside colleagues in these other schools and they also enjoy close regular contact with colleagues at universities throughout Northeast England, the rest of the United Kingdom and worldwide. What this means for you as a Newcastle student is a wide range of ‘modules’ (courses) from which to choose, supervisors with whom to work, reading groups in which to participate, invited colloquia to attend and workshops or conferences at which to present papers. We hope you will enjoy your time at Newcastle University.

Please read the entire handbook carefully and keep it for future reference. It contains everything we think you need to know about your MA degree. We’ve tried to anticipate your questions, so read before you ask! The information here is accurate at the time of going into print (July 2014). We advise that you regularly consult the School and University websites for the most up-to-date information. Please familiarise yourself with the School website (www.ncl.ac.uk/elll). This contains information on all the research and teaching activities in the School, and the research profiles of the staff teaching you. Please check your Newcastle University e-mail account regularly (at least every other day). This is our main means of contacting you and communicating important up-dates to you.

Recent events

April 2014: Second International Conference on Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change

May 2013: Workshop on New Lexis

April 2013: International Workshop on European Languages and Diachronic Linguistics

Sociolinguistics: Public lecture by Karen Corrigan The Talk of the Toon and Professor Jack Chambers, University of Toronto

May 2012: Symposium on the History of English Syntax (spring)

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September 2011: Second International Workshop on the Structure of the Noun Phrase in English Synchronic and Diachronic Explorations (NP2)

2011:

Child Language Seminar

We regularly invite linguists from other institutions to give presentations about their current research at Newcastle. Talks are usually scheduled for Wednesdays, 4-5 pm. Over the last year, speakers have included Nigel Vincent (Manchester), John Payne (Manchester) and Geoff Pullum (Edinburgh), Laurie Bauer (Wellington) and Mark Aronoff (Stony Brook, New York). Confirmed speakers for the academic year 2013-14 include: Dunstan Brown (York), Jenny Cheshire (QMUL), Helen Goodluck (York), Pavel Isad (Edinburgh), Giuseppe Longobardi (York), Devyani Sharma (QMUL), Jennifer Smith (Glasgow), David Stringer (Indiana) and Ros Temple (Oxford). A detailed schedule of events with titles will be circulated in early October.

You can find out what’s happening this coming year by signing up to get the weekly emailed newsletters from CRiLLS which will keep you informed about events at Newcastle and elsewhere. Make sure you are on the list: email Sheila Heppel at crills@ncl.ac.uk. In addition to conferences such as those listed whose venue varies annually, Newcastle hosts an annual international postgraduate student conference in the spring. Students organize the conference that began in 1993 as the Newcastle-Durham postgraduate student conference, and they also edit its Working Papers, sent to linguistics departments around the world.

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2

Basic information

2.1

Important dates

There are two teaching semesters at Newcastle University. Each involves 11 or 12 weeks of teaching followed by an assessment period of several weeks. Assignments such as essays are normally due at end of the teaching period, on the dates specified in the box below, and exams typically take place during the examination period. If there is more than one assignment for the module, the module leader will give you the additional due dates for these. The MA dissertation is completed during the summer months, and you are expected to maintain contact with the University during this time.

Semester 1

 

29

September 2014

to

12 December 2014

teaching weeks 1-11 no teaching teaching week 12

15

December 2014

to

02 January 2015

05

January 2015

to

09 January 2015

Thursday 8 January 2015: Semester 1 assignments due

12

January 2015

to

23 January 2015

examination period

Semester 2

 

26

January 2015

to

13 March 2015

teaching weeks 1-7 no teaching teaching weeks 8-12

16

March 2015

to

10 April 2015

13

April 2015

to

15 May 2015

18

2.2

Thursday 14 May 2015: Semester 2 assignments due

May 2015

Key School Staff

to

12 June 2015

examination period

Summer: Dissertation research

 
 

4th September 2015 MA dissertations due

2.2

Key Staff

2.2 Key Staff

The School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics has some 50 odd academic staff members, including about 15 linguistics staff. Below is a list of those staff members that you will interact with most regularly. A full list of staff members is available at:

Mrs Sherelle Coulson Postgraduate and Marketing Clerical Officer

School Reception, 3 rd floor, Percy Building

(0191 208) 7199

sherelle.coulson@ncl.ac.uk Mrs Coulson provides administrative assistance on PGT and PGR programmes. You should contact her for general or administrative queries. She is also the assignment hand-in point.

6

Dr Cristina Dye Degree Programme Director (DPD) for the MA (linguistics)

Room 2.11, Percy Building

cristina.dye@ncl.ac.uk

As DPD for the MA, Dr Dye has responsibility for the structure, content and standards of the degree programme. Dr Dye is your first point of contact if you have any queries about academic issues relating to the programme.

Dr Lucy Pearson PGT/PGR Senior Tutor

Room 2.08, Percy Building

(0191 208) 3894

Dr Pearson is responsible for the overall pastoral care of all PGT and PGR students in the School and for individual student problems (e.g. involving medical or personal circumstances). She is available to discuss general pastoral matters as well as any serious ongoing problems which may impact on your progress

Dr Anne Whitehead SELLL Director of Postgraduate Studies

Room 1.15, Percy Building

(0191 208) 3531

Dr Whitehead has overall responsibility for all research degrees in the School and chairs the

Postgraduate Board of Studies.

Additional members of staff with whom you will have regular contact are listed below.

General enquiries Julie Wilson

School Reception, 3 rd floor, Percy Building

(0191 222) 7763

Jill Callender

School Reception, 3 rd floor, Percy Building

(0191 222) 6233

Helen Logan

School Reception, 3 rd floor, Percy Building

(0191 222) 7625

Postgraduate matters in the School of Modern Languages Lucy Brickwood

Room 6.3 Old Library Building

(0191 222) 5867

7

lucy.brickwood@ncl.ac.uk

Liaison Librarian (Robinson Library) Lucy Keating

(0191 222) 7627

lucy.keating@ncl.ac.uk

2.3 Communication

2.3.1 Email

Your @ncl.ac.uk e-mail address is the one the University uses for official and academic communications. Please check your Newcastle e-mail account regularly to avoid missing urgent or otherwise important messages that will not be sent to any other e-mail accounts you might have. Problems using e-mail should be sent to helpline@ncl.ac.uk, or call (0191 208) 8111. E-mail is a convenient way of communicating important messages. However, please bear in mind that you are not the only person who will be contacting your tutor or module leader and, although they are available and willing to help you, they, like you, have a lot of demands on their time. Before sending an email, please consider whether you could find out what you need to know from somewhere else (e.g. this programme handbook).

2.3.2 Ordinary mail

Mail received for postgraduates is put into pigeonholes according to the first letter of your

surname in the Postgraduate Suite in the basement of the Percy Building. Please check these pigeonholes regularly. Please do not use the university address for personal correspondence.

2.3.3 Change of address

Let us know immediately if you change your local or home address; just leave details with the

Postgraduate Secretary in the School Office, on the 3 rd floor of the Percy Building.

2.3.4 Blackboard

Newcastle University uses a virtual learning environment called ‘Blackboard’. You can access Blackboard from any computer, on or off campus, using your University Windows username and password. Members of academic staff use Blackboard to provide a range of information and materials to students. Once you’ve logged on, you’ll find links to Blackboard sites for any of the modules for which you are registered. The login address is:

http://blackboard.ncl.ac.uk/ If you are not registered for a module because you’re auditing (sitting in on) it, you’ll need to see the Postgraduate Secretary to get Blackboard access for that module.

8

2.4

Registration

Registration and Induction week begins on Monday 22 September 2014. Before this, you should have registered with the University and you will be invited to do this online via the Student Self Service Portal (S3P). If you are having problems registering online, you should call into the School Office and staff will be able to help you.

How to register:

All new and returning students will be registering online via the Student Self Service Portal

(S3P).

2.4.1 Process for new students:

Before Arrival in Newcastle

1. Students will be sent an e-mail/letter giving them their network login/password and instructions on how to access their Newcastle e-mail account. Once students have accessed their account they will find an e-mail waiting for them with their S3P login/password and registration instructions. This will be sent to new postgraduates from 1 August onwards.

2. Student logs into S3P.

3. Student accepts University terms and conditions.

4. Student checks the registration status screen.

5. Student confirms details (personal data, data required for HESA etc.) as well as their programme.

6. Student pays tuition fees online if applicable using credit/debit card.

7. Once all tasks are complete student can press the Register button and print the Registration document.

On arrival in Newcastle

8. Student pays tuition fees in person if applicable and if they haven’t already done this before arrival as noted above in step 6.

9. All new students are required to register with a local GP. It is anticipated that representatives from the local NHS Trust will be available in the Bamburgh Room, King’s Road Centre, between Monday 16 and Thursday 26 September to advise students on which local practices are available and to assist them in the registration process. However, arrangements (as at publication date) are still to be confirmed.

10. Student collects their smart card. They must present their Registration document and photo ID (passport for international students). Staff will be scanning passports and visas for international students and attaching to their student records to meet UK Home Office requirements.

9

11. Students whose native language is not English must sit the University English Language Assessment (UELA).

12. Students should go to their School/Graduate School and take part in any induction activities and choose modules if applicable.

2.4.2 Process for returning students Before arrival in Newcastle

1. Students will be sent an e-mail inviting them to register via S3P (from 1 August

onwards, exact date depending on faculty/programme type).

2. Student logs into S3P.

3. Student accepts University terms and conditions.

4. Student checks the registration status screen.

5. Student confirms details (personal data, data required for HESA etc.) as well as their programme.

6. Student pays tuition fees online if applicable using credit/debit card.

7. Once all tasks are complete student can press the Register button. (Returning students do not need to print the Registration document.)

On arrival in Newcastle

8. Student pays tuition fees in person if applicable and if they haven’t already done this before arrival as noted above in step 6.

9. Student should go to their School/Graduate School and take part in any induction activities.

10. International students must have their passport/visa checked by Student Progress Service staff. From Monday 4 August there will be a drop in facility for ID checking in the King’s Gate Student Services Building between 10am and 12 noon on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. During the main Registration period students will be directed to the ID checking stations in the King’s Road Centre (between 15 and 25 September).

10

2.4.3 Registration Locations 2014

King’s Road Centre, Lindisfarne Room

Student Progress staff for academic and general registration queries including S3P support

PCs for use by students to complete their S3P registration and/or print their Registration document.

15

to 25 September

Monday, 15 September Tuesday, 16 September Wednesday, 17 September Thursday, 18 September Friday, 19 September Saturday, 20 September Sunday, 21 September Monday, 22 September Tuesday, 23 September Wednesday, 24 September Thursday, 25 September

10.0017.00

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

Smart Card issuing

09.0017.00

ID checking

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

 

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

09.0017.00

Herschel Building

 

University English Language Assessments

17

to 19 September, 22 to 26 September, 1

International Welcome and Induction workshops

October, then every Wednesday for the rest of the autumn term.

Robinson Library

 

Smart card scanning stations for returning students

15

to 25 September

Old Library Building, OLUA

 

Smart card scanning stations for returning students

15

to 25 September

King’s Gate Building

 

Student Services on Level 2 will be able to deal with any registration queries from students outside the main registration period but between 16 and 26 September all students should attend the King’s Road Centre for all registration/tuition fees/smart card etc. issues.

 

Level 1 in King’s Gate –

Finance staff for tuition fee payments/queries

Accommodation Office staff for accommodation fee payments/queries

Bank letter production for International students

Registration queries

As noted above, registration queries from students in person can be dealt with by Student Progress Service staff in the King’s Road Centre between 16 and 25 September. Outside of this time students should go to Student Services on Level 2 in King’s Gate.Alternatively students can send registration queries via e-mail to student-registration@ncl.ac.uk

*If you are having problems registering online, you should call into the School Office and staff will be able to help you.

11

2.5 Induction events During induction week, i.e., the week before teaching begins, you must attend the induction events listed below. Be sure not to miss any of these as you’ll be given important information during these events that will be crucial to your success on the programme

2.5.1 School induction

There is a School induction meeting for new MA Linguistic students on:

Tuesday September 23rd 17:00-17:30, in Room G.09, Percy Building

During this session, you’ll meet the DPD and other staff and other new students, obtain details of the School and Faculty induction programmes and other postgraduate events and you’ll register for modules. The directors will answer any questions you have about the degrees, and will discuss your module choices with you. At this meeting, representatives for the Postgraduate Student Committee will also be appointed.

2.5.2 Faculty-level International Postgraduate Induction

The Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Faculty induction session for international

students will take place on:

Friday 26 th September, 11:30 am-12:30 pm in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

You will find this useful for settling down in Newcastle and at the University and you’ll also receive information on a year-long programme of skills enhancement sessions and social events.

2.5.3 Visa Induction Presentations

There will be two “Immigration for non-EU students” sessions on:

Wednesday, 24 th September, 1.00 pm in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building OR Wednesday, 1 st October, 1.00 pm in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

2.5.4 Linguistics Section welcome

The Linguistics Society will host their first LinguistLunch in the Percy staff common room in September (details to follow from the Degree Programme Director during induction week). After this initial lunch, weekly lunches will be held in CRiLLS. At these sessions, new and continuing students bring along their lunches and meet with fellow linguists in the university.

2.5.5 Recommended things to do before or during registration week

Email Sheila Heppel at crills@ncl.ac.uk to receive the weekly newsletters of the Newcastle Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences.

Join the main linguistics user list (there is a range of other, specifically focused lists), LinguistList http://linguistlist.org/LL/subs-index.cfm

12

Join the Newcastle Linguistics Society linguistics.society@newcastle.ac.uk,

join their Facebook group.

and

Get a SCONUL access card from the Robinson Library Newcastle so you can visit other university libraries in the region and borrow books.

Sign up for regular table of contents alerts emailed to you for free from publishers of journals in linguistics and related areas (e.g. psychology, for language acquisition), for example:

You can also use ZETOC Alerts via the Newcastle University intranet system which takes you to a log-in portal. Use your student number (as if for Athens login), and you’ll get to a create/renew/modify alert list. Library staff can help if you’re having problems with this. http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/

2.6 Module selection

First read the information about the requirements of your taught postgraduate degree, then look at the modules available during the 2014 to 2015 academic year and any pre-requisites which may be required. Also consult the lists of modules offered by Education and Modern Languages. Then fill out the appropriate module selection/registration form at the back of this manual before you come to the 23 Sept. induction meeting. You will discuss your choices with the programme director with whom you will leave your form so your choices can be entered onto the Newcastle University database. You cannot access Blackboard (see below) for these modules until your module selection has been registered. Keep in mind that modules can be added or dropped within the first two weeks of each semester; to do so, you need to fill out the module change form which you’ll find (along with other useful forms) in the carousel in the foyer outside Reception, 3 rd floor, Percy Building. You will need to get the required signatures and then bring the form to Reception so your registration reflects the modules you are taking.

2.7

Centres and Societies

2.7.1

Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS)

As a new member of the Newcastle linguistics community, you will be a member of CRiLLS. It groups over 40 academics and students in linguistics and language sciences across 3 different Schools (Education, Communication and Language Sciences; English Literature, Language and Linguistics; Modern Languages), and is the largest such Research Centre in the

13

UK. The Centre offers a wealth of activities, as well as a resources room with a range of linguistics software and databases and space for meetings and seminars.

CRiLLS activities include:

Annual Postgraduate Conference in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

Publication of the student-led Working Paper Series in Linguistics

Workshops on e.g. corpora, statistics, software

Seminar series including international speakers

Research away-days at which members present their research

One-off events such as international conferences and lectures

The Centre also hosts the following Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which meet regularly:

Adult Language Disorder Research Group

Brain and Language Group

Child Language Research Group

Language in Context

Micro-Analysis Research Group (MARG)

Phonetics

Syntax

Theoretical Phonology

More information on these activities can be found at: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/linguistics

2.7.2 The Linguistics Society

The Society was established in 2008 and holds regular events open to all members. Join their Facebook group ‘Newcastle University Linguistics Society’ or just bend a committee member’s ear if you see them around.

Proof-Reading Co-operative The Linguistics Society runs the Proof-Reading Co-operative (PRC) which puts those in need of proof-reading in touch with a proof-reader. If you’re not confident in the standard of your written English, the PRC can improve your work - essential when submitting essays for assessment or applying for a job. Please be sure to leave enough time before your deadline when requesting proof-reading. The pool of readers is carefully selected and the service is fast, accurate and offered at an extremely reasonable price. Members with the requisite skills are invited to apply to become proof-readers. Any kind of work is considered. Rates are £6/ 1,000 words.

And more Members meet and make friends with other linguists in the society, making it the perfect way to form your own events and/or pub groups. If there’s anything you think the society could organise, let them know and they’d be very happy to do so!

14

2.7.3 Other student societies and social activities

All registered Newcastle University students are automatically members of the Union Society, Newcastle University students’ union. The Union Society runs a wide range of activities:

http://www.unionsociety.co.uk/ and the University also has a thriving culture of postgraduate societies covering all areas of interest: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/life/clubs.phtml.

3 The MA Programme and Module Information

3.1 General requirements

The MA consists of 180 credits, 120 of which are taught modules and 60 the dissertation. Most modules carry 20 credits. You must pass all taught modules and have an average of at least 50 to proceed to the dissertation. If you do not, you may have the possibility of being awarded a postgraduate diploma. You should familiarize yourself with these degree regulations, and re-read them prior to the Board of Examiners meeting in June.

Please familiarise yourself with the detailed degree programme regulations for the MA in Linguistics which is accessible from the following URLs:

These regulations apply in conjunction with the University’s Taught Postgraduate Degree Entrance and Progress Regulations, as well as the University’s Examination Conventions for Taught Postgraduate Programmes. These are available at:

MA in Linguistics

This degree allows you to choose from a range of options both within the School and from other schools and contains three pathways (English Language, Language Acquisition and European Languages) which allow you to focus on areas of particular interest. All pathways involve selecting modules covering the two central linguistic disciplines of phonology and syntax. Beyond the specific pathways, you can also choose from options offered on a variety of linguistic topics including computational linguistics, language acquisition, language learning, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and various combinations thereof. By providing broad-based research training in the arts and humanities and social sciences as well as specific training in linguistics research methods, the first semester equips you with the skills to undertake independent study on a wide range of topics in linguistics. You will gain advanced knowledge in several areas, including core disciplines (syntax, phonology). By the end of the degree, you will be able to engage critically with work at the forefront of linguistic research, and to address linguistic questions and problems in the light of the latest ideas and debates.

15

3.1.1 Required modules and degree structure

All full-time MA students take 60 credits worth of taught modules each semester; part-time students normally take 40 credits worth of taught modules in each of the first three (or six) semesters of their degree.

Students on all pathways take SEL8500: Research Methods in Language & Linguistics over the course of Semesters 1 and 2 and SEL8510, the MA dissertation module, during the summer (Semester 3).

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SEL8500

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics

20

10

10

 

SEL8510

Dissertation

60

   

60

All students on all pathways must also select 20 credits from the following list of modules covering formal syntax and phonology:

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SEL8116

Syntactic analysis Phonetics and Phonology

10

10

   

and

SEL8117

10

10

SEL8026

Generative Syntax

20

20

   

SEL8028

Issues in Syntax

20

 

20

 

SEL8029

Introduction to Cross- Linguistic Syntax

20

20

   

SEL8154

Issues in Phonological Theory I

20

20

   

Students who lack training in formal syntax and phonology normally take SEL8116 and SEL8117 together (10 credits each).

16

MA in Linguistics: English Language

Students who opt for the English Language pathway must take 40 credits from the following list of modules:

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SEL

Modern English,

20

 

20

 

8646

modern change

SEL8163

The Sociolinguistics of Language and Society

20

20

   

SEL8361

The Social History of English

20

 

20

 

SEL8639

Ethno-Linguistic

20

 

20

 

Variation

SEL8328

Extended Study

20

 

20

 

MA in Linguistics: Language Acquisition

Students who opt for the Language Acquisition pathway must select 60 credits from the following list of modules:

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SEL8652

Writing simply cracking good stories

20

 

20

 

SEL8040

Neurocognition of language development

20

 

20

 

ALT8094

Core Issues in SLA

20

20

   

SEL8643

Introduction to Second Language Acquisition

20

20

   

SEL8338

Phonology in SLA

20

 

20

 

SEL8328

Extended Study

20

 

20

 

Students may also take other modules in language acquisition offered in the School of Modern Languages or the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences with permission of the Degree Programme Director.

17

MA in Linguistics: European Languages

Students who opt for the European Languages pathway must select 20 credits from the following list of modules:

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SML8102

German and English Word Analysis

20

20

   

SML8100

Semantic Change in French

20

 

20

 

SPA8106

Syntax and History of Spanish

20

 

20

 

All students on all pathways must select additional modules from the following list in order to bring their total number of credits up to 120 for Semesters 1 and 2 combined:

Code

Descriptive title

Total

Credits

Credits

Credits

Credits

Sem 1

Sem 2

Sem 3

SEL8652

Writing simply cracking good stories

20

 

20

 

SEL8205

Issues in Phonological Theory II

20

 

20

 

SEL8338

Phonology in second language acquisition

       

SEL8026

Generative Syntax

20

20

   

SEL8028

Issues in Syntax

20

 

20

 

SEL8029

Introduction to Cross- Linguistic Syntax

20

20

   

SEL8033

Evolutionary

20

20

   

Linguistics

SEL8034

Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics

20

 

20

 

SEL8040

Neurocognition of Language development

20

 

20

 

SEL8154

Issues in Phonological Theory I

20

20

   

SEL8645

Current topics:

20

20

   

linguistic controversies

SEL8163

The Sociolinguistics of Language and Society

20

20

   

SEL8646

Modern English, modern change

20

 

20

 

SEL8361

The Social History of English

20

 

20

 

SEL8639

Ethno-linguistic

20

 

20

 

variation

SEL8328

Extended Study

20

 

20

 

18

Part time mode:

Part-time candidates shall aim to take 50 or 70 taught credits in Year 1 and 50 or 70 taught credits in Year 2, along with the dissertation.

In Year 1 this core module will be taken:

SEL8511

Plus one of the following 20-credit modules or combination of modules:

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics I

SEL8116 + SEL8117

Syntactic analysis + Phonetics and Phonology

SEL8026

Generative Syntax

SEL8028

Issues in Syntax

SEL8029

Introduction to Cross-Linguistic Syntax

And one to two additional 20-credit modules as required from their pathway.

Year 2. In Year 2, the following core module will be taken:

SEL8512

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics II

The remaining credits required in year 2 (50 or 70) shall come from the appropriate list of modules above for full-time students. The total credits done on taught modules in Years 1 and 2 combined shall come to 120.

With the approval of the Degree Programme Director, MA students can also take a total of 40 credits per year from the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences and the School of Modern Languages, who offer a range of postgraduate modules in linguistics, applied linguistics and language (see below). The School of Psychology also offers modules in which you may be interested. Subject to some restrictions (e.g. extra capacity on a given module), you can either take these modules for credit as part of your programme, or you can audit them. See the appendix for list of modules and timetables.

3.2

Additional information on modules

3.2.1

Module selection

Use the degree programme registration form included in the Appendix to this handbook to guide your choice of modules and be ready to hand it in at the meeting on the 24 th of September. Either before or during this meeting, the Degree Programme Director will advise you on which modules to select. Once you have registered, changes to optional module choices may subsequently be made only for a limited period at the start of each semester, with the permission of the Director.

Modules in the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics typically involve one lecture and one seminar per week during the term time. Some may involve more weekly

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lectures or more seminars. Note that some lectures but not seminarsmight be shared with other modules, including undergraduate modules.

Lectures deliver basic information on the topics covered by the module.

Seminars demand development of analytic and presentational skills with regard to material to which you have devoted independent study time. In order to benefit fully from seminars, you must attend all sessions (lectures and seminars), do the required reading in advance, prepare exercises and presentations when required, and be willing to participate in discussion.

3.2.2 Co- and pre-requisite modules

Some Semester 2 modules are based on knowledge gained on Semester 1 modules. You must make sure that when registering for a Semester 2 module you will fulfill the requirements by taking the Semester 1 module listed. Note that some modules on this standard list are not

offered in 2014-2015.

 

For these Semester 2 modules,

students need to take these Semester 1 pre-requisite modules:

syntax

SEL8028 Issues in Syntax

SEL8026 Generative syntax

phonology

SEL8205 Issues in phonological theory II

SEL8154 Issues in phonological theory I

language

SEL8652 Writing simply cracking good stories

SEL8643 Intro to second language acquisition (AND ability to write good prose in English)

acquisition

 

SEL8338 Phonology in second language acquisition

SEL8117 Phonetics & phonology (or equivalent)

sociolinguistics

SEL8639 Ethno-linguistic variation and change

SEL8163 The sociolinguistics of language and society

language

SEL8361 The social history of English

basic knowledge of syntax & phonetics required

change &

evolution

SEL8646 Modern English, modern change

basic knowledge of methods of linguistic analysis (syntax, morphology, phonology) required

3.2.3 Taking modules from other schools and auditing modules

Students should visit the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (SECLS) website and the School of Modern Languages (SML) webpages for complete information on modules offered this coming academic year. You are normally allowed to take up to 20 credits per year from either school; for the MA, these count as Band 4 modules.

It is also possible to sit in on (‘audit’) modules for which you are not registered, i.e. for which you will not submit a piece of work for assessment. Auditing gives you the opportunity to investigate topics beyond your taught credits. You might, for example, wish to audit a module on a topic on which you will write your dissertation or thesis.

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We encourage students to audit modules, but module directors vary considerably in their personal policies on auditing. These range from those who will allow you to drop in on the odd lecture to those who will expect you to attend every class session and to keep up with the reading. In addition to an individual’s participation policy, there are also School-level policies and restrictions on auditing when a given module is over-subscribed. You must therefore always check with the module director - as well as the school (SECLS and SML) - regarding auditing policies.

 

ECLS MODULES 2014-15 (unless otherwise stated, all modules are worth 20 credits)

 

SEMESTER 1

 

SEMESTER 2

SPE8022

Fundamental elements in phonetics & phonology I

SPE8022

Fundamental elements in phonetics & phonology II

SPE8024

Core issues in experimental phonetics & phonology I

SPE8024

Core issues in experimental phonetics & phonology II

CCC8001

The social psychology of communication

SPE8025

Advanced issues in socio- phonetics

CCC8086

Language & cross-cultural communication

SPE8028

Phonological acquisition

CCC8087

English in the world: global & cross cultural issues of English as a 'lingua franca'

CCC8015

Sociolinguistics

ALT8019

Language planning, policy and practice

ALT8100

English writing systems

ALT8094

Core issues in SLA

ALT8011

Multimodal interaction in the language classroom

ALT8108

Introduction to corpus linguistics

ALT8096

Thinking skills in English language teaching

ALT8016

Computer assisted language learning

ALT8102

Task-based language teaching and assessment

ALT8084

Introduction to TESOL

ALT8107

Discourse analysis for English language teachers

ALT8104

Classroom discourse and teacher development for TESOL

 

SML MODULES 2014-15 (unless otherwise stated, all modules are worth 20 credits)

SEMESTER 1

SEMESTER 2

SML8020

German and English word analysis: From Germanic times to the present day NB: advanced knowledge of German required

SML8105

Issues in the diachrony of

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French

SPA8106

Syntax and history of Spanish

Please visit these Schools’ webpages for more information about these modules:

3.2.4 Your time

How much time will you devote to each 20-credit module? As a rule, you should expect to spend at least 30 hours for attendance at lectures, seminars and study groups and at least 70 hours on your assignments over a semester. Every week you should be spending nine hours per module for lecture/ seminar preparation and on reading in the form of at least two or three

short readings (e.g. chapters from a textbook, or from a popular science introduction), or two more demanding papers/chapters from primary sources or one difficult major paper (this will depend on the outline for that module).

3.3 Assessment Taught modules are assessed in a variety of ways, typically by means of a set of assignments, an essay, an oral presentation, a written examination or various combinations of these. The details of the assessment procedure for any taught module will be made available during the first week of classes by the module leader. If the assessment of a given module requires only an essay, the length for this essay cannot exceed 4,000 words for a 20-credit module. You should aim for the agreed word limit, but work may be 10% longer or shorter than this. If submissions go more than 10% over the limit, markers will not read the excess, and at 10% or more below the limit, work risks being self-penalising, i.e. it may well have insufficient breadth or depth.

3.3.1 Your writing

To do well on your degree, your writing must be up to par. For details on what we expect, the

document Writing an essay in language and linguistics gives all the requirements for written work in linguistics:

Download this document and pay very careful attention to every detail.

In-School support for those who require it is provided in SEL8500 during Semester 1.

The Writing Development Centre

Location:

Level 2, Robinson Library

E-mail:

Telephone:

0191 222 7659 or 0191 222 5650

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The Writing Development Centre offers tuition, guidance and support for students wishing to improve their writing skills for study purposes. Help is available with the following:

understanding assignment and examination questions

planning, structuring and revising assignments

using reading sources without plagiarism

developing an argument

writing critically and analytically

using an appropriate authorial voice

writing different types of assignment (e.g. essays, reports, reviews, reflective pieces)

writing theses and dissertations

answering examination questions

using grammar and punctuation accurately and effectively

using appropriate vocabulary and style

learning from feedback on previous assignments

We run a series of lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the academic year. Some are open to all students; others have been developed for specific degree programmes or modules. More information about these sessions is available on the Group Teaching pages of our website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wdc/group/.

We also offer a one-to-one support service. You can have an individual consultation with an academic writing tutor to discuss any difficulties you may have with writing, seek feedback on your written work, or gain a better understanding of academic writing conventions and the standards expected at University. We recommend that you book a session in advance via our online booking system: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wdc/support/. For more information, see Opening hours below.

International students with English as an additional language please note: You can use the Writing Development Centre one-to-one support service if you meet one of the following conditions:

You have been exempted from language testing and/or the UELA assessment

You have attained a mark of 70 or over (level 3) in the UELA writing assessment

You are a continuing student who has attended one full year of INTO In-Sessional writing classes in the past.

If you are a new international student with a UELA writing score of less than 70, you will be supported by the INTO In-Sessional programme in the first instance.

Opening hours Semesters 1 and 2 Monday: 1 to 4pm Tuesday: 10am to 4pm Wednesday: 10am to 4pm Thursday: 10am to 4pm Friday: 10am to 1pm

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Demand for the service is high so we strongly recommend that you book a slot in advance.

A timetable showing free slots will be displayed at the entrance to the Centre. If a slot is free,

you may drop in at the appropriate time.

Easter and summer breaks One-to-one sessions are available by appointment only.

Online resources You will find a collection of learning resources for academic writing and general writing skills at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wdc/learning/.

The INTO Centre Training in English language at Newcastle University for international students is provided by the INTO Centre. It offers a wide range of English language courses for international students, enabling them to continue to build their English language skills once enrolled on a course, for instance the INTO Academic English modules. For more information, see:

English Language Materials Online (ELMO) ELMO is a website of multimedia, self-study English language activities to help you improve your English for Academic Purposes (EAP). It is free for Newcastle University students and staff. The website and the materials have been designed and written by English language teachers at Newcastle who work to support Newcastle’s international students and staff. This innovative learning resource is the only one of its kind in the UK. ELMO has a combination of general and subject-specific Academic English activities divided into units and activities. You can use it anywhere, anytime, at your own speed for any length of time. All activities give you feedback and scores. You can save these scores to create your own personalised ‘Study Record’. It includes video and audio material, so you will need to use a computer with headphones or speakers. You can use your own headphones with computers in on-campus clusters. You can discover ELMO by simply exploring the website. Alternatively, you can download a simple instructions document. When logged in to a campus computer, ELMO will identify you automatically. If you are off-campus, use your University login and password to log on to ELMO. For more details, contact elmo@ncl.ac.uk or see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/langcen/facilities/ elmo.htm

3.3.2 Submission of work Submit two copies of each essay or assignment by leaving it in the drop-box outside Reception by 4.00pm on the due date; note that procedures may vary for modules taken in other Schools. Submitted work must normally be word-processed or typed, double-spaced, paginated, and held together with a paper clip. Please note that it is School policy to encourage environmentally sustainable practices; we therefore expect you to print your

assignments out on both sides of the paper! Please also buy recycled paper for your personal printer, if you have one. Attach the postgraduate coversheet to your essay/assignment. This

is supplied by the School and available from the carousel on the 3 rd floor, Percy Building.

Make sure that you fill in all details appropriately. Essays/assignments are marked

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anonymously: do not write your name anywhere on the cover or in the body of the essay. Remember: you should submit two copies of your assignment with one coversheet.

The Postgraduate and Research Secretary keeps track of submitted assignments before they are distributed to markers; you will therefore obtain a receipt for your submission and you should retain this as proof of - punctual - submission. Unless your module leader establishes another date(s) for work handed in during the semester, the due date for all assignments for Semester 1 modules is Thursday 8 th January and for all Semester 2 assignments is Thursday 14 th May. Work submitted late without good cause will be graded to a maximum of 50.

Submission dates are strictly observed and exist to help students keep up with the demands of the programme as well as to help staff organize marking. You should take particular care to ensure that the essays with deadlines in May are submitted on time as marking coincides with the bulk of undergraduate assessment, and late submission means your work might not be considered by the Board of Examiners. Essays allowed in late (see below) may result in your taught modules being incomplete at the Board of Examiners meeting.

Steps from assignment submission to feedback

1. Submit the assignment on the due date to the Postgraduate and Research Secretary (via the

relevant drop-box).

2. Over the following four weeks, the assignment will be first marked by the module leader

and then second marked by another member of staff. You will then receive an email informing you that assignments can be picked up.

3. A selection of assignments from each module, including any that have failed, is sent to the

external examiner after the end of each semester. The external examiner confirms marks and

may alter some.

4. In June, the Board of Examiners meets to confirm all module marks from Semester 1 and

Semester 2.

5. Soon after the BoE, if you need to resubmit a module assignment, the degree programme

director will email you to arrange to meet and discuss the process of doing so.

6. Several days after the BoE, you will be able to obtain a transcript of your module marks via

S3P.

7. The Board of Examiners meets again in late October to decide on degree results:

Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction.

8. You will be notified of the outcome shortly after the meeting and can then make plans to

join us for congregation.

Late Submission and Extensions If you have a legitimate reason that makes you unable to submit a piece of assessed work by the deadline, a PEC form (together with evidence where appropriate) must be submitted to the Postgraduate and Research Secretary within 7 days of the original assessment date. These forms can be found in the carousel in the foyer outside Reception. Alternatively, an electronic version can be downloaded from http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/student- resources/help/ and submitted via email to sels-pec@ncl.ac.uk. They are checked and approved by the Senior Tutor (Dr Lucy Pearson).

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When working with human subjects (collecting any kind of language data from them), you should make sure from the start of your investigation that you are complying with ethical procedures by visiting the relevant University website http://www.ncl.ac.uk/res/research/ethics_governance/ethics/index.htm

If you run into difficulties beyond your control during the year, please don’t suffer in silence. You must immediately see the module leader and the Degree Programme Director for advice or the Postgraduate Senior Tutor and, if necessary, arrange for an extension, which only the Postgraduate Senior Tutor can grant. If you experience medical or other serious personal difficulties, you may need to obtain evidence (e.g. a doctor’s note) and you will need to fill in a PEC form (see above). Before the Board of Examiners’ meeting in June, students’ cases are confidentially considered during a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, which is made up of Degree Programme Directors and the Senior Tutor and chaired by the School Postgraduate Director. The Board of Examiners (made up of all those who teach on the degrees and chaired by the Degree Programme Directors) takes the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations into account when considering late submissions as well as failed assignments.

3.3.3 Evaluation of your work Essays and assignments are normally returned to you with a mark and comments within four weeks of submission. Assessed coursework is marked and commented upon both by the module leader or dissertation/project supervisor (as ‘first marker’) and by another member of the teaching staff (the ‘second marker’). After you have seen these comments, the External Examiner subsequently will monitor the marking of all assessed work for each module. Internally agreed (by first and second marker) marks are provisional and may be altered at the request of the External Examiner.

The following marking scale applies to modules as well as to the MA dissertation and to projects.

lower than 50%

50% - 59%

60% - 69%

70% or higher

Fail Pass Pass with Merit Pass with Distinction

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences provides the following verbal descriptors for these classifications (available at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/internal/arts/maclassi.htm):

Distinction: 70% - 100% is work which displays depth of knowledge and mastery of skills in the student’s specialist area. It should be clearly presented with a well-structured, sharply focused argument. Work should explore the limits of knowledge in the area covered and suggest the ability of the student to expand those limits through doctoral study. Examiners should use the mark range 70%-79% for good performance at distinction level and 80%-100% for publishable work.

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Merit: 60% - 69% is well-written and informed work which indicates awareness of recent developments in the subject but lacks the sustained level of achievement worthy of a distinction. Some indications of potential for work at doctoral level would be expected.

Pass: 50% - 59% is work which displays competence and general understanding of developments in the subject. It contains relevant information but lacks the sophistication and incisiveness of work at higher grades.

Fail: 49% or below only displays adequate general comprehension of the subject but fails to focus its argument with sufficient clarity or relevance. Work which fails to display even the grasp of the basics of the subject expected at postgraduate level. It may contain significant errors, poorly constructed argument, or irrelevant material.

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s ideas, words, or works without proper acknowledgment. Whatever the nature of your sources, you must acknowledge all of them clearly and fully using the appropriate conventions, such as quotation marks, bibliographic references, etc.

If in any doubt about how to discuss others’ ideas, consult your module leader or supervisor.

In addition, Princeton University maintains a useful website on plagiarism at:

The following points are particularly important:

Plagiarised material can come from any source, whether published or unpublished, printed, electronic, or manuscript. This specifically includes websites and other students’ work.

Plagiarism is no less culpable for being unintentional. It can result from incomplete note- taking or from haste in the final stages of completing a piece of coursework. To avoid this, always ensure that any notes, photocopies, or electronic files that you keep are fully documented with the name of the author and the source (including page numbers), and that you incorporate this information in the final product.

There are specific rules on what constitutes proper acknowledgement: merely listing a source in the bibliography is not enough; you must provide an appropriate reference at the point in which material is used.

You must provide a full acknowledgement not only if you quote verbatim from a source, but also if you paraphrase it or use a source’s distinctive ideas.

Plagiarism is an extremely serious offence and will not be tolerated. Any student found to have committed plagiarism will be subject to a disciplinary procedure and may incur very severe penalties.

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4 Module Descriptions

Below you find details about the SELL modules offered in 2014-15. For a more detailed description each module, see:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/elll/study/postgraduate/modules/index.htm For timetable information for modules (and info on how to read your timetable), see the Student Timetables websites:

Modules which are neither required nor an essential part of the degree need a minimum number of six registered students to run. Decisions about the viability of modules are made at the start of each term; if a module doesn’t run, students will be informed as soon as possible and the DPD will discuss alternative options with them

4.1 Required research training modules

SEL8500

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics

Credits:

20

Semesters:

1 and 2

Leader:

Jennifer Thorburn

Staff members provide basic training in working with various types of linguistic and language data appropriate for postgraduate work in linguistics, including extensive generic and subject- specific library training. As part of this module, your linguistics writing will be assessed near the beginning of the first semester, and if you require additional support, this will be provided. For MA students, the second semester of the module includes dissertation preparation.

4.2 Linguistics module descriptions

Syntax & Semantics

SEL8116

Syntactic analysis Credits:

Semester: 1 Director: Joel Wallenberg This module aims to heighten metalinguistic awareness of English sentence structure in a systematic way that will inform and enhance your analytical skills, and the sensitivity, accuracy, and clarity of your own teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The module will also prepare you for more advanced work in syntactic theory.

SEL8026 Generative Syntax

Credits:

Semester: 1 Leader: Geoff Poole This module introduces major syntactic phenomena and their theoretical analysis. It trains students to construct arguments in developing syntactic explanations within the ‘Principles and Parameters’ framework developed by Chomsky and others. By the end of the module students will be acquainted with a variety of syntactic phenomena, and will grasp fundamental

10

20

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concepts and explanatory mechanisms in syntactic theory, and will be familiar with the underlying hypotheses and rationale of the Principles and Parameters approach

SEL8028 Issues in Syntax

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: Geoff Poole, Joel Wallenberg Following on from SEL8026, this module is an advanced module investigating the formal properties of the syntax of English and other languages within the ‘Principles and Parameters’ and “Minimalist Program” frameworks developed by Chomsky and others. As with SEL8026, syntactic analysis and argumentation are the most important elements of the module. The topics covered will vary from year to year but representative topics covered in past years include: null categories, existential constructions, the double object construction, control, NP- structure.

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SEL8029

Introduction to Cross-Linguistic Syntax

Credits:

20

Semester: 1 Director: Maggie Tallerman Building on the foundations laid down by the study of "Analysing Sentences", this module introduces the student to the essential concepts, terminology and constructions required in order to understand the basics of cross-linguistic syntax, i.e. the syntax of the world's languages. We start with a brief revision of the terminology and concepts, based on English, before moving on to more exotic data. You will learn how to read and interpret examples in languages other than English, and how to analyse data from other languages. The topics covered will include: grammatical categories; case, agreement and word order; grammatical constructions such as the passive, antipassive, causative and applicative; and wh-constructions

such as questions and relative clauses. You will manipulate data from a wide variety of languages and language types, and assessment exercises will involve work with materials of this nature. No prior knowledge of a language other than English is required, though this may well be helpful.

SEL8034 Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics

Credits:

Semester: 2 Director: TBC This module looks at different kinds of ‘meaning’ and how they interact: (a) purely linguistic meaning, (linguistic semantics) and (b) more general kinds of meaning which pure linguistics cannot (and is not intended to) handle (pragmatics). Having first looked at some basic issues in linguistic semantics, we will look at the semantics-pragmatics distinction developed by H. P. Grice in the 1960s (Gricean pragmatics). Then we turn to a post-Gricean conception of the

semantics-pragmatics distinction: “Relevance Theory”, first developed by Dan Sperber and Deidre Wilson in the 1980s.

20

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Phonology SEL8117 Phonetics and Phonology

Credits:

Semester: 1 Director: S.J. Hannahs This module builds a basic understanding of phonetics and phonology, developing the skills necessary for examining data and describing observations formally. The module also forms an introduction to argumentation in phonological theory.

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SEL8154 Issues in Phonological Theory I Credits: 20 (prior experience with formal linguistics expected) Semester: 1 Director: S.J. Hannahs Through lectures and directed readings the student will explore phonological relationships as expressed in a number of different phonological models, including autosegmental and metrical phonology. The student will also become familiar with phonological structure. Moreover, the important distinction between derivational phonology and optimality theory will be developed. By the end of the module the student will be expected to be able to apply the knowledge gained to analysis of language data.

SEL8205 Issues in Phonological Theory II

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: S.J. Hannahs, Danielle Turton Building on SEL8154, this module engages students with advanced concepts and topics of current interest in phonological theory in order to enable students to approach the primary literature confidently and critically and to explore data and theoretical implications relative to

the issues covered. Students will develop critical thinking skills through the examination of different explanatory approaches to problems in phonological modelling, particularly with reference to the student’s native language (often other than English).

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Language acquisition and psycholinguistics

SEL8040 Neurocognition of language development

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: Cristina Dye This module considers different theoretical approaches to child language acquisition and explores the role of innate linguistic knowledge, cognition and social context in language development. You will gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts in the literature on grammar and lexical development, and become acquainted with both linguistic and psycholinguistic views on language acquisition. You will be introduced to further research topics in the field, including the role of input and contextual influences, the development of discourse organization and bilingualism.

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SEL8643

Intro to second language acquisition

Credits:

20

Semester:

1

30

Leader: Martha Young-Scholten This module introduces students to the study of language acquisition, in terms of different theoretical models. Particular focus will be given to the generative linguistics framework, and to the role of general cognitive mechanisms in the acquisition process. The module will provide a foundation enabling students to follow more specialised option modules in first and second language acquisition. There will be an introduction to first language acquisition, but the course will mainly focus on the following issues in second language acquisition:

similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition; the role of the first language in the second language acquisition process; the role played by Universal Grammar, age of initial exposure, and general cognitive mechanisms in acquisition and learning; and variability in eventual attainment.

SEL8643 Writing simply cracking stories

Credits:

20

Semester: 2 Leader: Martha Young-Scholten Students will build a general understanding of the second language oral proficiency and reading development of adult immigrants with little or no primary language literacy who are just learning to read in English. They will apply this knowledge to their existing knowledge of and skills in writing narrative fiction to produce fiction specifically for this population of second language learners.

SEL8338 Phonological Interfaces in Second Language Acquisition

Credits:

Semester: 2 Director: Martha Young-Scholten There is now considerable research on the acquisition of a second phonology but rather than focus solely on L2 phonology, this module offers a means of navigation through and around the edges of this large body of work. The module is divided into two relatively discrete sub- modules. One considers the acquisition of a second phonology and then looks at proposed influences on its acquisition including the L1, age and input (including from orthography). The other looks at the ways in which phonology might explain variation in L2 learners’ production in the domain of morpho-syntax and considers recent ideas on prosodic licensing as well as metalinguistic processing and selection of triggers.

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Sociolinguistics

SEL8163 Sociolinguistics of Language and Society

Credits:

Semester: 1 Leader: Heike Pichler This module examines the premises which underlie recent studies of the complex relationship between language and society. The focus will be on those fundamental methodological and theoretical considerations associated with the quantification and definition of linguistic and speaker variables within Labovian paradigm. In addition, there will be discussion of the symbolic function of language and the effect which this has on the perception of language as a social problem and resource. Students will gain detailed understanding of fieldwork

20

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techniques used within these paradigms to subsequently apply these to their own fieldwork projects.

SEL8639 Ethno-linguistic variation

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: Heike Pichler This advanced module in variationist sociolinguistics examines the complex relationship between language and ethnicity. It provides students with a critical overview of key studies exploring the language-ethnicity interface and introduces them to the diversity of methodological and theoretical frameworks for studying ethno-linguistic variation and change. Students will learn to apply these frameworks to the variationist analysis of an ethnic variety of UK English. The module also examines the potential effects of ethno-linguistic practice in institutional settings, and defines sociolinguists’ role in combating ethno-linguistic

discrimination.

20

Language change & evolution

SEL8033 Evolutionary Linguistics Credits: 20 (prerequisite: SEL8026 Generative syntax AND speak to module leader) Semester: 1 Leader: Maggie Tallerman This module considers from the linguist’s perspective the question of how Language evolved into the fully-fledged faculty found in Homo sapiens, the only species ever known to possess it. The module is introduced by an outline of the evolution of the species itself. This background is followed by examination of the known facts concerning language evolution, together with discussion of the main hypotheses concerning the development of speech, syntax and word structure. Students are expected to read extensively in the primary literature. Three major themes are followed (1) Human evolution and phylogeny; (2) prerequisites for language and issues of continuity with the communication systems of other species; (3) protolanguage and the evolution of syntax.

SEL8361 The Social History of English

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: William van der Wurff This module is for PGs who have little or no prior knowledge of the history of the English language but who want to know why and how English has come to be the way it currently is. Students will be introduced to the major developments that have taken place at the various linguistic levels over the centuries, read key texts illustrating the nature of English as used in

different places and at different points in time, from Old English to the present day, and be shown ways of analysing the language at its different stages. Another area of interest will be the emergence of different geographical varieties of English in the British Isles. Throughout, there will be a strong focus on the social factors that have driven historical change. Students will be prepared for carrying out independent work into linguistic developments with the use of analytic concepts and techniques in syntax, phonology and vocabulary and with the use of the main electronic resources that are available for the study of the history of English.

20

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SEL8646 Modern English, modern change

Credits:

Semester: 2 Leader: TBC This module equips students with the methods needed for identifying and exploring variation and change in Modern English. It encourages students to view properties of Modern English in the context of long-term developments in the history of English. It develops students’ skills in carrying out independent collection and analysis of linguistic data for change and in using the analysis to assess the adequacy of concepts and categories used in theoretical approaches to change.

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Other

SEL8361 Topics in language structure: Bengali

Credits:

Semester: 1 Leader: William van der Wurff This module will familiarize students with the grammatical properties as well as some of the history and social context of a language other than English. Students will learn to apply methods of syntactic, morphological and phonological analysis to the study of a particular language. They will explore in more detail the theoretical issues raised by phenomena in a particular language, in order to determine their bearing on general linguistic theory.

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SEL8645 Current topics: linguistic controversies

Credits:

Semester: 1 Leader: Danielle Turton This module will cover some of the long-standing debates in linguistics from both a theoretical and societal perspective. Theoretical topics include the Neogrammarian controversy, the past-tense debate, and theories of the initiation of sound change. Controversies of language in society covered in this module include language complexity, language and discrimination, and inherent ‘betterness’ of accents or dialects.

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4.4 Additional extra-School modules

These are modules you can (and in some cases must) take for credit to count towards your degree or which you can audit (sit in on the module). For any module you wish to take or audit, you should always check with the module director. A list of extra-School staff with

their contact emails and research specialisms is in Appendix 3. For School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences modules, see for applied linguistics/language and second language acquisition: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ postgraduate/modules/4056.htm and for child language development

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5 Additional information

5.1 Attendance and progress

The University wants to make sure that students succeed on their course. We have therefore introduced attendance monitoring of some timetabled sessions to ensure the welfare of our students and support their academic progress.

It is important that all students adhere to the terms of the Student Charter and the University’s attendance requirements (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/Regulations/SPS/Attendance/) and ensure that they are punctual and attend all timetabled sessions. Students are required to let their academic unit or tutor/supervisor know as soon as possible if they are ill or have other good reason for non- attendance. Students should submit a notice of absence via the Student Portal#:

During the summer months students are expected to be working on their dissertations. While there is no scheduled teaching you should remain in contact with the University (e.g. by checking email) and you make arrangements for regular contact with your dissertation supervisor. If you wish to take a period of holiday you should register this on the Student Portal.

The University has a legal obligation to monitor the attendance of international students and to report to the UK Border Agency any student who is not attending. International students should therefore be aware that they must attend all timetabled sessions in order to comply with the terms of their visa, and must attend on Census Days during the research period. If they are unable to attend because they are ill they must promptly submit a notice of absence along with any additional evidence; they should also seek approval for vacations or plans to leave the UK in the summer period as this may have implications for their visa and eligibility to return to the UK.

5.2 Personal tutors

Each student will be assigned a personal tutor at the registration and briefing session. You should make sure you see your personal tutor at least once in each semester. Your personal tutor will give you advice concerning problems that affect your academic work. The MA Degree Programme Director, Dr Cristina Dye, and the IPhD Director, Dr Heike Pichler, are responsible for ensuring that the programmes are organised and delivered effectively, and you can also consult them when the need arises.

5.3 Student representatives

There are two committees concerned with postgraduate issues in the school, both of which are attended by staff and postgraduate representatives (the latter are nominated by all taught and research postgraduates at the start of the academic year). The first of these is the Student-Staff Postgraduate Committee; it meets once each semester to discuss any issues or concerns raised by postgraduates through their representatives. The second committee, the Postgraduate Board of Studies, meets three times a year; it reviews any changes made to postgraduate programmes and also the general running of the degrees.

34

What are the responsibilities of the postgraduate representatives? Representatives are nominated for each degree programme (MA, MLitt, and the different stages of the IPhD/PhD) by the postgraduate communities. Contact Azad Maudaressi (a.maduaressi@ncl.ac.uk) if you are interested in taking part. Representatives will be required to attend the meetings of the Student-Staff-Postgraduate Committee and of the Postgraduate Board of Studies (the length of meetings varies from one to two hours), and to report on any concerns raised by the postgraduates they represent. Training is provided by the Union Society. Some representatives e-mail their peers ahead of the meeting; others rely on word of mouth. Representatives will be asked ahead of the Student-Staff-Postgraduate Committee to nominate items for the agenda. The Postgraduate Board of Studies is more akin to a ‘business meeting’, and the agenda is set in advance by the Director of Postgraduate Studies (see §2.1). However, at this meeting representatives are invited to report any concerns or issues. Minutes for these meeting are distributed via Blackboard to all postgraduates. Any matters arising are addressed either by the School’s Staff-Postgraduate Committee or the Management Committee. Any action taken will always be reported back. For further information on new policies relating to committees, please visit http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/yousaidwedid.

5.4 Giving us your feedback

Students will be invited to complete anonymous evaluation questionnaires on each of their

modules at the end of each semester. Their comments will be considered by the Degree Programme Director and teaching staff, and issues raised fed back to students through minutes of the meetings of the Postgraduate Board of Studies. University procedures in respect of student complaints and appeals are described at:

5.5 Student Conduct and Discipline

As a Newcastle University student, you are expected to behave responsibly whether on campus, in university accommodation or in the community. In return, you can expect the university to endeavour to provide a safe and secure environment.

Any serious breaches of conduct will result in disciplinary procedures against a student, or a group of students, and penalties as set out in the Student Disciplinary Procedures at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/student-resources/regulations /disciplinary.htm.

5.6 Student Charter

As a student, you can expect key elements of service during your studies, just as you are expected to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. For details, see the Student Charter at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/student-resources/guide/.

International students may also wish to consult the International Student Handbook at

5.7 Method of MA degree classification

A candidate is entitled as of right to the degree ‘class’ yielded by the weighted average mark

for all modules according to the marking scale.

A student who successfully completes the taught component of the programme but not the

dissertation may at the discretion of the Board of Examiners be considered for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Linguistics.

35

For further information about the awarding of degree classifications, consult the University’s Postgraduate Examination Conventions (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/

5.8 Congregations

The University holds Congregations for the conferment of degrees in December, May, and July. The School tries to process degrees completed in September in time for the December ceremony, but cannot guarantee to do so; the timing of the confirmation of degree classifications depends on the External Examiner, over whose commitments the School has no control. For more information on Congregations and the degree conferral process, see the Congregations Office website (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/congregations/).

6

Other information

6.1

The Percy Building

The School of English Literature, Language, and Linguistics is situated in the Percy Building

on the Quadrangle. It contains the following relevant rooms:

Postgraduate Suite: student common room, reading room, kitchen, postgraduate computer cluster, mailboxes for postgraduate students.

1 Undergraduate Student Common Room; Catherine Cookson Archive; Seminar Rooms 1 & 2; Postgraduate Director’s office (1.15).

2 IPhD Programme Director’s office (2.17)

Basement:

st floor:

nd floor:

rd floor:

3 Head of School’s room (3.05), MA programme director’s office (3.22) School Reception, administrative offices, Staff Common Room.

6.2 School and University resources

The entire Percy Building is WiFi enabled. You can use your laptop in any of the workspaces, the common rooms and in the open seating areas.

Laptops: six laptop computers are available for research use by School of English postgraduates anywhere in the Percy Building during office hours. Wifi is available throughout the building. These can be borrowed from Jeff Wilson’s office (room 1.18, first floor, Percy Building). You may need to leave your student card as a deposit.

Digital recorders: there are twelve recorders available for use by School of English postgraduates. See Jeff Wilson for information.

Catherine Cookson Archive of Tyneside and Northumbrian Dialect This archive, funded by the Catherine Cookson Trust with additional contributions from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, is used for teaching and research. Address enquiries to Professor Karen Corrigan (§2.2).

36

MA dissertations and PhD theses You will find a selection of Newcastle University and *Durham University MA dissertations in a box in the Student Resource Centre and Newcastle and Durham PhD theses in a locked cupboard outside Reception. These must be checked out with the Postgraduate and Research Secretary. Members of staff also have copies of their own students’ dissertations and theses. *Four Newcastle linguists were part of the Durham Linguistics Department, which closed in 2007.

Faculty Postgraduate Centre (7 th Floor, Daysh Building) The Faculty Postgraduate Centre provides a focus for postgraduates in the University. The Centre will be available every day between 12 noon and 3 pm for use as a common room exclusively for postgraduates and their friends. Please feel free to make use of this facility as much as you like!

Lockers in the Percy Building There are lockers available in the basement (£5 refundable deposit). If you want to check availability, please ask the Postgraduate and Research Secretary.

Postgraduate Suite

The English Literature, Language and Linguistics postgraduate-only suite is accessible by smart-card between 7am and 11pm weekdays and between 7am and 8pm weekends. The newly refurbished and expanded area is situated in the basement of the Percy Building. It includes a large work area with a reading room for quiet study and a small interview room. The work area contains 50 computers running the Windows operating system, including a workspace accessible by disabled users. Two networked printers are available for use free of charge. There is also a large kitchen with table and chairs and a spacious common room with sofas and chairs for socializing and relaxing. If you experience problems using the University’s computing network, please consult the University’s Information Systems and Services unit:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ucs/postgraduate/; helpline (0191 222) 8111. There is a strict no-talking (including on the telephone and incoming call ring tones) policy.

Robinson Library The Robinson Library is one of the best university libraries in the UK. It has an excellent collection of primary and secondary texts available for short and long loan. A wide range of periodicals are available in hard and electronic copy. You should acquaint yourself with all the facilities as soon as possible. Lucy Keating, the liaison librarian, will be able to help you with any specialist queries.

Library homepage:

Library catalogue:

Electronic journals:

Interlibrary loans:

Northumbria University (see http://librarycat.northumbria.ac.uk),

Durham University (see http://library.dur.ac.uk/screens/opacmenu.html)

The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, with the permission of the Librarian (see http://www.litandphil.org.uk/).

37

Research Support The School offers some financial assistance to MA students for research purposes. Students may claim up to ten inter-library loan tokens while working on their dissertations, obtainable from the post-graduate secretary. If dissertation research requires travel, a sustained period of archival study, or if, (in exceptional circumstances), students wish to present their research at a scholarly conference, they may apply for an award from the School's post-graduate research support fund. The fund is competitive, applications are assessed by a committee of academic staff, and are considered in two rounds (December and March/April). Application forms are available from the post-graduate secretary. All applications must be fully and carefully costed and supported by the dissertation supervisor. Students are encouraged to seek guidance from their dissertation supervisors and/ or MA DPDs at an early stage if they are considering making an application to the fund.

Opportunities for funded postgraduate research are listed on the School and University websites. Details are available on the AHRC website. Note that AHRC studentships are only available to home (UK) or EU students. It should be stressed that it is vital to prepare well in advance of any research funding application; the most successful applications are those that have been meticulously prepared and scrutinised by experienced staff.

6.3 School activities

Colloquium Programme

A programme of lectures by visiting speakers on linguistic topics runs at Newcastle

throughout the year on Wednesdays at 4-5pm. Maggie Tallerman organizes those talks sponsored by the School; information on the venues of talks sponsored by other schools will

be sent with notification of these talks. Post-talk receptions are a great opportunity to get to

know other postgraduate students and to relax with staff - and the speaker in an informal

context. Email William van der Wurff if you have any suggestions, including for speakers. Also see the CRiLLS newsletter and/or website for announcements of CRiLLS activities, including talks.

Student Work-in-Progress Forum Each subject-specific (e.g. language acquisition/language learning) forum involves an hour devoted to a single (I)PhD student presenting the current state of his/her thesis, and answering questions about it from other PhD students. This is one of the best opportunities for you to observe the various stages an extended study goes through. All post-graduate students including MA students from SEL and from other schools are invited to attend SWIP sessions. Schedules for this academic year will be posted in October.

6.4 Safety policy and security To summon the fire brigade, police, or an ambulance from any university telephone, dial

6666.

The University acknowledges that it has a statutory duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all its employees and students, and it has enshrined this duty within its management structure at the most senior level. The University Safety Office has a website

38

The University Security Control Centre can be contacted 24 hours a day on extension 6817.

Access to the Percy Building out of hours is by smartcard. There is a smartcard reader at the entrance to the basement, and to the first, second and third floors. The doors are locked at 5 pm in the vacation and 6 pm in term-time and are locked all weekend. Outside these hours you will need to press the release button to exit. Please note from the floor plans that access and egress are from only one side of the Percy Building; the other doors are for egress only in case of emergency.

6.5 Student Services

A wide range of student services are available in the King’s Gate building. These include:

Academic information

Accommodation

Career and Work

Finance and Financial Support

Counselling and Mental Health Support

Disability/Dyslexia Support

Exchange/ Study Abroad Information

Visa Support

These services are available to all students at any stage. The normal opening hours are 9-5

Monday to Friday.

6.6 What to do if things go wrong

6.6.1 If you are ill

If

you are ill at any point while at University, you should inform your personal tutor as soon

as

possible. If you are absent for more than three working days (Monday through Friday), you

must obtain a Self-Certification of Illness form either from the School Office or printed from

S3P: https://s3p.ncl.ac.uk/login/welcome.aspx. This should be returned to the School Office.

If you are absent for more than seven working days, you must obtain a medical certificate

from your doctor and send it to the School office as well. If you believe that your absence has affected your academic performance in an assessment (coursework or exam) or prevented you

from attending a required session, you should inform the Postgraduate Senior Tutor and/or the DPD. You should also fill in a Personal Extenuating Circumstances form to explain how your

illness has affected your studies. If you are reluctant for any details to be known, even to the DPD, because they are sensitive, then you can provide a confidential letter and information in

a sealed envelope for the Chair of the School PEC committee. More information about sickness and absence procedure is available here:

39

6.6.2 Personal Extenuating Circumstances

If you believe that your performance has been affected by illness or other personal circumstances, then you should first discuss this with the DPD (who will treat anything you say in strict confidence). The DPD may advise you to fill in a Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) form: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/marine/assets/docs/PEC_form2012.pdf. If you do so, the form will only be seen by those people who need to know in order to help you. The PEC form is the best way of communicating any personal or medical problems that might have affected your performance. This one form will be a way of telling the School about your problems, providing evidence, and requesting a number of types of adjustment (extensions, deferrals, or discretion). For more details see: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/student- resources/help/. In general, you must ensure that:

You provide clear evidence of all problems and the period of impact (i.e., how long

you were affected). A doctor’s note, letter from your employer, or statement of support from

your personal tutor can all be submitted as evidence.

You must be specific about the problem.

You must be precise about how your work was affected (e.g., that you didn’t have enough time to complete or that you missed so many hours of class).

You must indicate how long the problems lasted.

You must list all modules and assessments that were affected.

The more specific the problem, the easier it is for the PEC Committee to understand and support your case. The more independent third-party evidence that there is, the more likely the PEC Committee is to support the case. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified. For decisions regarding extensions to coursework, you will likely be notified within a few days. All other decisions will be considered at a meeting of the PEC Committee.

6.6.3 Change of circumstances (transfer, suspend studies or withdraw)

Sometimes circumstances do change, and you may decide that you want to transfer degree programmes, suspend your studies or withdraw from the University. If you are thinking about

any of these scenarios, you should first speak with the DPD so that you can discuss your options. You can also seek confidential advice from Student Wellbeing (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/about/student/). Permission to make these changes often depends upon approval from the DPD. More information on the relevant procedures and the forms you may need to fill in are available here:

6.6.4 Complaints and appeals

The Student Complaints Procedure is the University’s formal complaints procedure under the Student Charter. It is intended to allow students to make a complaint about a service, a member of staff or another student within the University. The procedure applies to all formal complaints, including those related to harassment or racial equality:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/Regulations/SPS/complaints.htm. A complaint can be made on nearly any aspect of your academic studies, but you should be prepared to provide evidence to support any allegation. Please note: a complaint cannot be used to seek to overturn the academic decision of examiners. In all cases you should consider trying to resolve your complaint informally with the individual concerned. Usually, before a formal complaint is accepted, you should have sought to resolve the issue informally. The

40

Student Academic Appeals Procedure is for appeals against the decisions of the Boards of Examiners (excepting those relating to assessment irregularities), Personal Extenuating Circumstance (PEC) Committees, and sanctions imposed under Unsatisfactory Progress procedures. More information is available at:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/Regulations/SPS/appeals.htm. There are only three possible grounds for appeal:

You were adversely affected by illness or other relevant factors, of which you were

previously unaware, or which for a good cause you were unable to disclose to the examiners

in advance.

Procedural irregularity on the part of the examiners.

Bias or prejudice on the part of an examiner or examiners.

An appeal relates to the decision of the examiners and should not be used to raise general complaints about tuition or support over the length of your degree programme. Impartial advice on both the complaints and appeals procedures may be sought from the Student Progress Service. Assistance with submitting a formal complaint or an appeal may be sought from the appropriate officer of the Students’ Union, from the Student Advice Centre, or from a Personal Tutor.

6.7 Equal opportunities

The University aims to ensure equality of opportunity for applicants and for all its students in teaching, learning, and assessment, and in the provision of services. The University aims to create conditions whereby students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of age, socio-economic background, religious belief, ethnic origin, gender, marital or family status, sexual orientation, or disability.

6.8 Careers

Newcastle University’s award-winning Careers Service can help you make the most of your unique skills and experiences. Whether you plan on embarking on a graduate career, going onto further study or starting your own business, we offer a range of support to help you realise your potential while you are studying and for up to three years after you graduate.

We offer you:

Information on occupations and employers

Advice on working life during and after your degree

Business start-up resources

We can help you with:

Working out what to do next

Gaining enterprise, entrepreneurial and employability skills

Getting professional experience

Building up your contacts and networks

Developing your business ideas and getting them off the ground

Marketing yourself

Finding graduate vacancies and postgraduate courses

41

The Careers Service will also be holding a ‘Creative Careers’ week, starting February 6 th , with different events and activities to give you an insight into making a living from being creative. Keep your eye on our events page for more details.

The Careers Service where opportunities begin Student Services, King’s Gate, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (except Wed 10am-5pm) Tel: 0191 222 7748 Email: careers@ncl.ac.uk Web: www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

Those students interested in pursuing doctoral research should speak to the Degree Programme Director by December (December of the final year in the case of part-time students). Detailed advice and support in completing application forms for doctoral funding is given by the Faculty and the School in February and March. See:

42

Appendices

1. Module registration forms

2. Dissertation tips

3. Linguistics staff outside the School

43

Full-time MA in Linguistics 2014-2015

REGISTRATION FORM

Please note that the form is not valid unless signed by the Degree Programme Director.

MA Pathway:

 
 

Code

Title

Credits

Semester

SEL8500

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics

20

1 & 2

SEL8510

Dissertation

60

 

TOTAL

180

 

Number of taught credits taken in semester 1 Number of taught credits taken in semester 2

(target = 60) (target = 60)

 

Student name Signed by the student Signed by the DPD

Date:

Date:

44

Part-time MA in Linguistics 2014-2015 REGISTRATION FORM YEAR 1

Please note that the form is not valid unless signed by the Degree Programme Director.

MA Pathway:

 
 

Code

Title

Credits

Semester

SEL8500

Research Methods in Language and Linguistics

20

1 & 2

TOTAL

80

 

Number of taught credits taken in semester 1

 

(target = 40)

Number of taught credits taken in semester 2

(target = 40)

Student name

 

Signed by the student

 

Date:

Signed by the DPD

Date:

45

Part-time MA in English Language & Linguistics 2014-2015 REGISTRATION FORM Year 2

Please note that the form is not valid unless signed by the Degree Director.

MA Pathway:

 
 

Code

Title

Credits

Semester

SEL8510

Dissertation

60

 

TOTAL

100

 

Number of taught credits taken in semester 1

(target = 20)

Number of taught credits taken in semester 2

(target = 20)

Student name

 

Signed by the student

Date:

Signed by the DPD

Date:

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Appendix 2

MA Dissertation format, description, and some additional writing tips.

The cover:

Newcastle University

[The header in Times New Roman; 14 point; bold; centred]

Your title

[The title in Times New Roman; 18 point; bold; centred]

Your student number:

Supervisor:

September 2015

[Your student number, supervisor and date in Times New Roman; 14 point; bold;

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the MA in [put your MA title HERE] at Newcastle University. I declare that this work is entirely my own and that in all cases where I have drawn on the work of any other author, either directly or indirectly, this is fully and specifically acknowledged in the text of my dissertation and the work cited in the bibliographical references listed at the end of the Dissertation.

[Declarations in Times New Roman; 12 point; justified; boxed]

47

The MA dissertation

Please read this information before you prepare your proposal for SEL8500. Re-read this section before you begin working in earnest on your dissertation. We have tried to anticipate the questions you’ll have. If anything is unclear, discuss these concerns with the MA director, or with your dissertation supervisor.

Overview The dissertation gives you the opportunity to consolidate, develop, and refine your knowledge and skills through a substantial piece of research on a specialist topic. It is your chance to research a topic of your choosing with the guidance of an experienced researcher. This opportunity is often what motivates students to take up postgraduate study in the first place. At 15,000-18,000 words, the dissertation is much longer than undergraduate work of a similar nature. It is the equivalent of two to three academic journal articles of the type you will have read during your programme. The dissertation requires careful planning and research, and considerable determination to stick to a carefully worked out timetable. Your supervisor will help you to do this, but in the end, this is your responsibility. This handbook will guide you through this process.

Stages Although this may seem a little confusing, you will only receive official confirmation that you can ‘proceed to the dissertation’ once you have ‘satisfied the examiners’ in the assessment for the taught element of the programme. This occurs after the Board of Examiners has met (towards the end of June) to confirm all the marks on the modules you will have taken. But you need to begin working on your dissertation long before June. (If you’re a part-time student, you may start your dissertation during the research semester of your first stage of study, but you only are only formally eligible to proceed to a dissertation once you have been assessed in all your taught modules and the Board of Examiners has confirmed your marks.) ‘Permission to proceed’ is purely a formality except in the event that you are required to resubmit a piece of assessment, i.e. when the mark received on a module is below 50. In most cases, the Board of Examiners will recommend that you work on the module resubmission alongside your dissertation, i.e. over the summer.

Towards the end of the first semester you should meet with your prospective dissertation supervisor to discuss a topic. At this point, your supervisor will advise you on reading and methodology. During the second semester, you will submit a proposal of up to 2000 words as part of the assessment for SEL8500 (Research Methods in Language and Linguistics). The specifics of what you propose can be expected to change after the proposal has been submitted. During the second semester, in early June, you should arrange to meet with your supervisor for the following purposes:

(i)

to discuss your final proposal;

(ii)

to agree a timetable that will ensure that you are able to complete your dissertation on

schedule, paying due attention to matters of presentation;

(iii) to discuss fundamental issues relating to researching and developing your dissertation

topic, further to the work done during the second semester. A second meeting with your supervisor should take place sometime between early July and the first week of August. By this time, your supervisor may have read and commented on drafts of parts of your dissertation. After this date you will only consult your supervisor

48

concerning matters of presentation, or for further suggestions for reading. The maximum length of the dissertation is 18,000 words, but the School’s recommendation is 15,000 words.

Starting the process and choosing a topic

In February, you should informally discuss your ideas about a dissertation topic with the MA director. We want to ensure that what you have chosen can be done within the period of time available (roughly three months), that you have not chosen a topic which is too broad or unfocused, or for which there is a problem in obtaining materials or data. This discussion can take place by email or face-to-face.

You may select a topic entirely of your own choosing, and we are in general happy to supervise most suitable topics, particularly those in which we have expertise (see the list of staff specialisms at the start of this handbook). You are strongly encouraged to select a topic which is related to what you have explored in the modules you will have taken. This can be in direct relationship with one or more of these. However, the topic can be in an area in which you have not taken a module. In this case, you should normally have at least audited a module in the area you would like to pursue. If you select a topic with which you have little experience, the programme director or supervisor will closely question you to be sure that you have not chosen something inappropriate for completion of a dissertation of 15,000-18,000 words within the time available.

Your supervisor will be confirmed when (1) the proposal you submit for SEL8500 has been read by a potential supervisor, and after (2) you have discussed your topic with that person. It is up to you to approach the potential supervisor. To confirm supervision, you should let the programme director know that you have discussed your ideas with your potential supervisor. This is necessary to ensure that supervision is appropriate and that supervision for the dissertation period is evenly distributed across available members of staff. Start the discussion on your topic before the spring break. It is your responsibility to set this in motion, not a potential supervisor’s. In theory a meeting can be set up at the beginning of the break if both you and your supervisor are available. The key issues you should discuss at your first meeting are (1) the nature of the topic: should you limit or extend it or is it fine as it stands? (2) the reading you will need to do. Working effectively over the March-April break will reap dividends later.

After the Easter vacation you should meet your supervisor a second time after emailing him/her a brief outline that presents the ideas you are considering for your dissertation. It is your responsibility to set up this meeting. Unlike the first meeting/discussion you MUST meet face to face at this critical stage. This is when you will decide on the overall scope of your dissertation and you need to be able to discuss this at length, exchanging views in the light of your reading. This meeting will involve ‘brainstorming’ that is best done face to face. From May to August any meetings should be based on sections of your dissertation-in-progress that you will have given your supervisor in advance of these meetings.

Proposing

February

Discuss a topic with the MA Director (this can be done by email or face-to-face).

the topic

April

Submit your dissertation proposal for SEL8500

Preparation

March

Consult potential supervisor (before Easter break).

49

 

March

Attend

a

refresher

session

on

library/database

research skills.

 

Early May

Confirm your supervisor and discuss your proposal in more depth.

Dissertation

Early June

Meet your supervisor to discuss the outline of your dissertation and sample sections, which you will have sent him/her prior to the meeting.

June-August

You may request further meetings, but note that supervisors will not be available over the entire summer. Set up any summer meetings before the end of the semester.

Submission of the dissertation By working with your supervisor to make sure to select a topic which does not demand extensive treatment, you should not have to worry about submitting a piece of work which is too long. You should regularly check your word count as you are working on final drafts of your chapters; you are required to indicate the word count when you submit your dissertation. We will normally accept a dissertation which exceeds the stated length by approximately 5% (so approximately 18,900), but if your work is significantly over the required length, you may be penalised.

The dissertation should be handed in to the Postgraduate and Research Secretary by no later than 4.00pm on 4th September 2015. This deadline will be enforced strictly:

unauthorized late submission will be treated as non-submission and incur a mark of 0%. In case of illness or other major mitigating circumstances, you may, on presentation of appropriate evidence to the Degree Programme Director, request an extension of up to one month. Requests for longer extensions will be referred to the Faculty Dean of Postgraduate Studies; such extensions may be granted for a maximum of a further two months in total and only in extreme circumstances. If you anticipate needing such an extension, contact the MA director well before this due date. If you require a longer extension, you must complete a form (available from the Postgraduate and Research Secretary), and attach a letter to the MA director explaining why you are unable to submit on time. Extensions of up to two months may be granted at the discretion of the Dean of Postgraduate Studies. Note that you will not be able to graduate in December if you submit after the due date.

Additional writing tips

In many respects, the MA dissertation is a longer and more complex version of your MA essays. This is especially the case if you have done one or more essays of the open-ended type where you yourself defined the parameters. The more general guidelines for essay- writing therefore apply in exactly the same ways where issues of argument, structure of paragraphs, and general presentation are concerned (line-spacing, punctuation, references, pagination).

Broad structure The dissertation should always have the following structure:

50

Abstract Table of contents Introductory chapter (including a review of the literature) The chapters Conclusion Bibliography

The Abstract The abstract should be 300-500 words long. You should consider a second draft at the start of writing the dissertation, and a third and final draft after you have completed the dissertation, because in the course of writing, you may well end up inflecting the arguments you began with.

The finished abstract should do the following:

State clearly and in specific terms what the dissertation is about. This will generally be more effective if you explain how the dissertation aims to answer some specific question or set of questions. Your research questions will help you to stay on target and to avoid being distracted by interesting (but irrelevant) digressions. Give a clear outline of how the dissertation is structured and what is in each of the chapters. Give a clear idea of the outcomes or conclusions of your research. The Literature Review (but give yours a specific chapter title) The opening chapter of the dissertation must include a critical review of the literature pertaining to your topic. This serves as the research context for your own work, indicating what has been done, as well as what has not been done in the area you are investigating. It is the springboard for your work. The quality of your work will to a large extent depend on how extensive and how focused this review is. The work for this should already have been started well before the beginning of the dissertation proper. At this stage, the survey of the critical literature would have allowed you to do the following:

to decide on the issues you wished to address; to become aware of appropriate research methodologies; to see how research on your topic fitted into a broader framework; to prepare you for approaching the literature review.

Now, however, you will inevitably need to extend this work for the literature review proper.

Clearly, if you are new to research in the field you are not in a position to 'criticise' the work of experienced researchers on the basis of your own knowledge of the topic or of research methodology. Where you are reporting on well-known research closely related to your topic, however, some critical comments may well be available from other established researchers (often in textbooks on the topic). These criticisms of methodology, conclusions and so on can and should be reported in your review, as should published reactions to these criticisms.

However, the use of the term critical is not usually meant to suggest that you should focus on criticising the work of established researchers. It is primarily meant to indicate that your material is not just a descriptive list of a number of research projects related to the topic, but that you are capable of thinking critically and with insight about the issues raised by previous

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research. Its functions include most of the following, and often in the following order, all of which can be subsumed under the general heading of demonstrating your grasp of the topic:

to

indicate major questions in the topic area;

to

indicate what researchers in the field already know about the topic;

to

draw together the main themes and arguments covered by them;

to

evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the literature relevant to your own research;

to

draw out key issues essential to your own research;

to

indicate what those in the field do not yet know about the topic (the 'gaps'), thus validating

your approach.

You should try to do all of this while also developing an argument. As to how much you should cover, there is no simple answer. You will have to decide what is appropriate in your case, in discussion with your supervisor. As a start, think about providing answers to questions of this type:

What has been done in my field of research? What is relevant in terms of my research interests/objectives/questions? What do I need to cover given the scope of my topic, my level of study and the time I have available to write my thesis? Why might I cover certain bodies of literature and not others?

You will be expected to

cover the most recent, relevant publications available; focus on key writers in the field, which, remember, may not be that recent, but may still be widely cited.

If you have chosen to work on a relatively new issue, area, phenomenon or language, you may

well find that there is not much material. You would then be expected to cover the main

related theoretical material even if the sources talks about the specific issue you are pursuing.

A further issue that arises in the context of coverage is what to cover where. You may find it

difficult to decide what material to cover in a literature review chapter, and what to cover in

other chapters of your dissertation. It may help to think in terms of the writing having different levels, and so different objectives:

Literature Review chapter Your purpose in this chapter is to provide a broad-based review of the literature as it applies to your overall research objectives. In the process of this review, it may at times be necessary to signal your intention to reserve more detailed discussion of points or aspects of studies for relevant chapters.

Specific chapter level At the level of the chapter, you could undertake detailed discussion of aspects of the literature relevant to the specific objectives of the particular chapter you are writing. Your use of the literature in specific chapters is likely to be integrated throughout your discussion to advance and support points you are developing. But you might want mini-literature reviews at the beginning of each

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chapter. There are different ways of organising a literature review; some writers, for example, opt

chapter.

There are different ways of organising a literature review; some writers, for example, opt for a thematic, conceptual or methodological approach; others organise their review around key issues or debates that they want to engage with. The key issue is to let the interests and objectives of your own research determine the most appropriate structure for you. As with all other writing, do not forget to tell your reader, at appropriate points, what you are doing and why you are doing it.

The end of the review is not necessarily the end of the introductory chapter. Your Introduction must not only say who has said what about your topic, and give a context for your discussion, it must also show that you are able to extrapolate from this groundwork and suggest ways forward which justify your own approach.

By the end of your first chapter, your reader should be able to see that

the scope of your review is appropriate for your degree level; you have reviewed the sources relevant to your research topic; there has been full critical engagement with the literature; it is clear how your research objectives/questions fit in with previous scholarly work; it is clear how you will proceed in the following chapters.

The Chapters Each chapter should end with a reference to what will be covered in the following chapter and how it relates to your general focus. Similarly, each chapter should begin with a more extended version of exactly the same kind of reminder. This is called ‘flagging’ or ‘signposting’, and is even more crucial for longer pieces of work than it might be for essays. You do not want your dissertation to appear to the reader as a haphazard collection of mini- essays. Conclusion Your dissertation must have a conclusion. Do not just stop abruptly after the last chapter. The point of the conclusion, just like for an essay, is to ensure that your readers understand where you have taken them. You therefore need to remind them about your ‘research questions’ and the framework in which these questions operate, as well as what your investigations have revealed. A good way to complete the conclusion is to suggest ‘ways forward’, or aspects that you are well aware that you have not been able to cover given the restricted scope of your focus. Such ‘where now’ statements are not easy to write; they can often sound rather banal, or seemingly state the obvious, so be prepared to try out several drafts before committing yourself.

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Finally, Six Key Tips You do not have to start writing at the beginning. Although it is helpful to have written a draft literature review before you start the dissertation proper, it sometimes helps, especially if you suffer from writer’s block, to begin with what you are most comfortable with. Then move about in your writing by completing various sections as you think of them. At some point you will be able to spread out in front of you all of the sections that you have written. You will be able to sequence them in the best order and then see what is missing and should be added to the dissertation. This approach builds on those aspects of your study that are of most interest to you at any particular time. Go with what interests you, because that will help you focus.

Never stop writing. Even if all you can write is notes, do not yield to the temptation of saying to yourself: ‘I just need to read another two books before getting the right ideas’. The right ideas are not other people’s ideas; they are your own.

Use WORD’s ‘Table of Contents’ and ‘Headings’ facilities. This allows you to see your structure on one page, and if necessary move whole chunks of text around with one click.

Read your draft out loud to yourself once you have written a first draft. If you get lost in the argument, the argument is not clear, even though it might have seemed so to you. If you lose your breath, you are writing sentences which are too long and complicated, or you are not punctuating your text properly.

Print out draft versions frequently and remember to date-stamp them. This way you can constantly compare and contrast different approaches.

The end is the beginning Write the first chapter, or at least the part of the first chapter which follows the literature review, last of all. And then review your abstract. It is only when you arrive at the end of the journey that you can understand and explain to others (i.e. your reader) how to get there. Edit and proofread your work and enlist the services of a proof-reader, if need be.

Now you’re ready to get your dissertation bound. You don’t need to and really should not (as it’s an added expense) get your dissertation hard bound, but it is expected that you will have it soft bound. The dissertation should be submitted to the Postgraduate and Research Secretary. If you’re having a trusted friend submit it for you, make sure your supervisor and the programme director are aware of this.

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Appendix 3

Additional linguistics/applied linguistics/language staff at Newcastle University

School of Modern Languages http://www.ncl.ac.uk/sml/postgrad/

Dr Carol Fehringer

Theoretical morphology, especially German, Dutch and English; also phonology,

specifically metrical phonology, and its application in standard Dutch and in Low German dialects Prof Rosaleen Howard r.e.howard@ncl.ac.uk

Sociolinguistics,, anthropological linguistics of the Andes; Quechua-Spanish contact;

language ideaologies; Latin American language policy; Critical Discourse Analysis in multicultural settings; teaching indigenous languages. Dr Francis Jones f.r.jones@ncl.ac.uk

Translation studies, especially poetry and the social/ethical role of the literary

translator; foreign/second language learning, particularly self-instruction.

carol.fehringer@ncl.ac.uk

Dr Ian MacKenzie

Spanish syntax and semantics; Rmance linguistics; philosophy of language; Latin

American linguistics.

Dr Richard Waltereit

Semantics and semantic change in French and other Romance languages; semantics-

pragmatics interface.

Richard.waltereit@ncl.ac.uk

School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Prof Vivian Cook

First and second language acquisition, multicompetence, theory language teaching

methodology, linguistics and EFL and writing systems.

vivian.cook@ncl.ac.uk

Dr Alan Firth alan. firth@ncl.ac.uk

Spoken discourse and social interaction; Conversation Analysis; second/foreign language

use and learning, especially in non-instructional settings.

Prof David Howard david.howard@ncl.ac.uk

Cognitive neuropsychology of language and memory; acquired disorders of and word

retrieval/production, reading, spelling, short term memory and syntactic processing; neuropsychology of dementia; representation of language in the brain.

Dr Ghada Khattab

Bilingual and second language acquisition, particularly the acquisition of phonetics and

phonology (Arabic/English/French); assessment and management of children with English as

an additional language who have communication impairments.

ghada.khattab@ncl.ac.uk

55

Dr Nicole Lallini

Nicole.lallini@ncl.ac.uk

Acquired apraxia (German and English); motor disorders.

Dr Carolyn Letts c.a.letts@ncl.ac.uk

Early characteristics of language impairment; clinical and educational application of

theory with children with specific language impairment and pragmatic impairment; assessment and treatment of bilingual language impaired children.

Dr Mei Lin mei.lin@ncl.ac.uk

Effective teaching and learning in the classroom, especially thinking skills and strategies

in the foreign language classroom; learning disabilities in the classroom; young English Language learners in schools.

Dr Julie Morris

Aphasia, particular auditory comprehension breakdown in aphasia and speech and

language therapy in aphasia.

julie.morris@ncl.ac.uk

Prof Paul Seedhouse paul.seedhouse@ncl.ac.uk

Conversation

negotiation of repair in the foreign language classroom.

analysis;

interaction

in

the language classroom;

task-based

learning;

Dr Peter Sercombe

Sociolinguistics, with particular interest in code-switching, and language maintenance and

change among minority groups; cultural adaptation; and intercultural communication.

peter.sercombe@ncl.ac.uk

Dr Steve Walsh

Spoken and written discourse, especially classroom discourse; the relationship between

‘talk’ and learning; classroom interaction/interactional awareness; second language teacher education; action research and critical reflective practice.

steve.walsh@ncl.ac.uk

Dr Janet Webster

Sentence processing (semantic and syntactic deficits) in aphasia; assessment and therapy

for aphasia.

janet.webster@ncl.ac.uk

Mr Scott Windeatt scott.windeatt@ncl.ac.uk

Computer-Assisted Language Learning; use of the internet and multimedia for language

learning; teacher training, especially using technology to train teachers/training teachers to use technology; autonomous learning; language testing.

Dr Tony Young tony.young@ncl.ac.uk

Culture, language and communication in educational, non-governmental organisations

and health care contexts; codification/dissemination of good practice among professionals

(teachers, health care providers, business people).

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