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Department of Linguistics

LING333: Australian English

Availability : D1
Credit Points: 3
Convenor: Felicity Cox

Unit Aims and Outcomes

This unit introduces students to Australian English as the principal variety of English used in this country and one of our most powerful symbols of national identity.

Students will examine aspects of phonetics and phonology, lexis, grammar, sociolinguistics, and cultural variation, as well as pertinent aspects of Australian history that have contributed to shaping Australian English. The goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of the ontogeny, evolution and current state of the dialect with reference to the construction of identity. A model of Australian English that is inclusive of its various socio-cultural manifestations forms the theoretical foundation of the unit. Students will undertake a substantial practical component through a group project designed to explore a specific area of Australian English.

At the successful completion of this unit you should have an:-

  1. appreciation of the importance of language in the construction of identity
  2. awareness of how various linguistic forms combine to create a uniquely Australian dialect
  3. understanding of various theories of new dialect formation
  4. appreciation of historical records and primary sources in the study of historical linguistics
  5. understanding of the nexus between cultural change and linguistic evolution
  6. awareness of the complex relationship between sociodemographic characteristics, identity and linguistic diversity in the Australian context
  7. appreciation of the importance of ethical conduct in research

In addition to the discipline-based learning objectives, academic programs at Macquarie seek to develop students’ generic skills, that is, skills that are generally applicable to study and workplace requirements, in a range of areas.  The generic skills outcomes of this Unit are:

  1. self-awareness and interpersonal skills which will be developed through working cooperatively in a team to achieve a set objective. This requires acceptance of difference, acknowledgement of individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and management of conflict.
  2. communication and presentation skills developed through writing reports and presenting tutorial papers and group research. You will be provided with detailed information about how to structure a piece of academic writing (in the form of a research report). You will also be alerted to the importance of being brief, clear and concise in your writing (by the imposition of length constraints).
  3. critical evaluation of self, peers and research literature
  4. problem-solving which will be developed through research project design and implementation.
  5. creative thinking to identify new ideas and approaches through student directed group research projects
  6. learning from others in the group

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The learning and teaching strategies used in this Unit are structured around lecture presentation (including associated Powerpoint presentations) and tutorial participation. Each lecture introduces a topic with theoretical discussion based around a primary source.  The lecture programme will harness the experience of scholars in different areas of linguistic inquiry who will focus their expertise on the examination of Australian English in a cohesive, multidisciplinary and complementary fashion. The tutorials for this unit are structured to facilitate student centred learning through focus on group projects which students design, implement, present to the class, and write up as a scientific report. Tutorials allow students to engage with issues relating to group dynamics, peer evaluation, ethical conduct of research, presentation skills, the research process, and dissemination of knowledge. Students are given the opportunity to share information & ideas; challenge assumptions; critique their own level of understanding; and receive feedback from their peers.

Interaction with the ilearn discussion facility is expected. Students MUST use ilearn to access important messages.

Contacting A/Prof Cox

I am available for face-to-face student consultations by appointment. Please contact me by email (not by telephone) when requesting an appointment or if you wish to ask a question about the unit. Click on the link above (next to "Convenor") for contact details.

Macquarie University student e-mail account

It is University policy that the University issued email account will be used for official University communication. All students are required to access their University account frequently.