ELL238 : Special Subject: Language, Migration and Identity

Convener(s): Dr Gerry Howley


General Information

In a globalised world where migration patterns are changing rapidly, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the ways in which transnational speakers acquire and express themselves in new languages. This module will explore the nature of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) primarily from a variationist sociolinguistic perspective. Key areas of focus include: migration and SLA; identity and SLA; the acquisition of linguistic variation in a second language; sociolinguistic research methods into SLA; and the acquisition of multicultural British English.

This module aims to:
(1) Introduce students to the field of second language acquisition
(2) Make students aware of current issues around social approaches to SLA
(3) Develop students’ understanding of the state of current research on SLA, with specific attention to social approaches
(4) Develop students’ knowledge of research methods for analysing variation in SLA


One lecture per week to introduce and explain topics, explaining the theoretical and methodological approaches to SLA, in particular what social approaches to SLA can be used to address specific research questions, with examples from a variety of SLA contexts.

One workshop per week to explore the relevant linguistic topics in detail and discussion of recent research conducted into second language acquisition and use in a range of migrant communities.


An essay of 2000 words on the topic, its research questions, methods, their relevance, and context.
A project consisting of a group presentation/poster and individual write-up of 1000 words.

Contact Details

0114 2220216


Information last changed: Wednesday 20th of April 2016 :: 04:35:12 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK