• Class Number 7223
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva
    • Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva
    • Dr Li Nguyen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

In this course, we examine language in its social context, to answer a range of questions that are key to understanding the way language works: What does it mean to speak a dialect of a language? Are all ways of speaking equally correct? How do bilingual communities manage use of more than one language? How do we show our identity through language? How is language structured to enable it to do the social work that is necessary for interaction? We survey key concepts and methods that have been used in sociolinguistic research to answer these questions, examining language across different social contexts, and as used by different social groups. We consider Australian English, Australian Indigenous languages, as well as languages from other parts of the globe. Relevant theoretical concepts are illustrated by current and topical examples. Students have the opportunity to observe and engage in the practical application of course content through conducting their own linguistic research.

Language and Society is important for anyone who wants to understand the way in which languages function in their social context. It provides students with skills for carrying out research in sociolinguistics, including collecting, describing and interpreting sociolinguistic data, such as questionnaires, sociolinguistic interviews, naturally occurring interactional data and ethnographic participant-observation. Reporting and describing research findings will also be covered.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. discuss the key drivers in language variation and change, in particular social factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, network and socio-economic status;
  2. critically evaluate various sociolinguistic theories and research; and
  3. think about, write and present an argument using evidence and results from sociolinguistic research.

Required Resources

Text book: Introducing sociolinguistics. Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2015 (3rd edition) Oxon/New York: Routledge.

(Available as an ebook, through the ANU library)

Other reading will be made available through the Wattle site.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction
2 Variation and Change / Style Quiz 1
3 Real and apparent time
4 Gender and social class Quiz 2
5 Social networks
6 Language variation and change in Australia Quiz 3
7 Attitudes
8 Perception Quiz 4Research Report due
9 Interaction and Politeness
10 Multilingualism and language choice Quiz 5
11 Language contact
12 Summary Quiz 6

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Quizzes 15 % * 1
Research report 30 % 24/09/2023 1, 3, 4
Essay 40 % 06/11/2023 1, 2, 3, 4
Tutorial participation 15 % * 1, 2

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students must attend or listen online to the lectures.

Students must attend and participate in the tutorials. Participation includes speaking in small groups and to the whole class group regularly.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1


Fortnightly quizzes to be completed online, consisting of multiple-choice questions, based on lectures and reading from the preceding two weeks.

Fortnightly, 15%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 24/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Research report

A research report on a perception survey, based on responses you have collected combined with those of your classmates summarising relevant patterns observed (1,200 words).

Mid-semester, 30%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 06/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4


An essay on one of the topics covered in this course, drawing on relevant literature and providing illustrative examples (1,800 words).

End of semester, 40%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Tutorial participation

Tutorial tasks consisting of: (1) general preparation for, and engagement in, tutorial discussion; and (2) leading a class discussion on a given topic. 15%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Turnitin on the Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva

Research Interests

Ksenia’s main linguistic interest lies at the intersection of sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. Her current work focuses on sociophonetic variation in bilingual speakers in production and perception. 

Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva

Wednesday 10:00 12:00
Sunday 10:00 12:00
Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva

Research Interests

Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva

Wednesday 10:00 12:00
Sunday 10:00 12:00
Dr Li Nguyen

Research Interests

Ksenia’s main linguistic interest lies at the intersection of sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. Her current work focuses on sociophonetic variation in bilingual speakers in production and perception. 

Dr Li Nguyen

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions