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LN905 Multilingualism and Global Cultures

Module Code: LN905

Module Credits: 30 CATS


This module will run in term two.

This module provides students with a broad knowledge of key research and discussion topics relating to multilingualism. It will expand your understanding of the concept, both as a linguistic construction and as a phenomenon of human action. Through a carefully selected group of core and wider readings, the module aims to break down some of the common (mis)conceptions about what we refer to as ‘language’ – specifically, named languages known as ‘English’, ‘French’, ‘Chinese’, etc. – and what happens when they come into contact.

The module will cover major theoretical underpinnings and new thinking, scrutinising multilingualism as it is experienced, studied, and managed in the following areas:

- language policy (language beliefs, management, practices, critical language policy)

- education and institutions (teaching across language boundaries, the workplace, legal settings, public services)

- the media (audio-visual translation, the internet, new media)

- identity (religion, gender, ethnicity)

- ‘World Englishes’ and linguistic topology (language boundaries, migration, shift, and imperialism)

- language and the city (discourses in place, linguistic landscape research, superdiversity)

- new research models (polylanguaging, translanguaging, metrolingualism)

- transnationalism (language branding and adaptation, cross-cultural interaction, translocalism)

Following eight sessions involving comprehension tasks, discussion, and essay planning exercises relating to the above topics, week ten will offer students the opportunity to take part in an essay workshop, where they will present a prospective research question to the group, offering an opportunity to discuss their 5000-word essay planning with their peers.

By introducing you to a wide range of established and emerging thought and scientific research in each of these areas, the module will offer important inputs into your conceptualisation of language, and how humans perform it in different settings. Moreover, the expansive range of topics is designed to encourage students to delve further into one or more specific areas of personal (and/or dissertation-related) interest, and to be assessed thereon. Within the context of the MA in Translation and Cultures, this will permit a wider understanding and critical assessment of translation, not only as an artistic form and technical skill, but also as a process of cross-cultural communication, analysis, and understanding.


Nine x two-hour seminars. if the module runs, sessions are on Thursdays 10-12 (UK time) in OC1.06 (Term 2)


100% coursework:

5000-word essay, title to be written by student (subject to approval by module leader). Submitted in week 3 of term 3.