• Class Number 7229
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Catherine Travis
    • Catherine Travis
  • 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

This course is a capstone course, aimed at building on knowledge acquired over the course of a linguistics major, and applying that to the empirical analysis of language in its social context, or Sociolinguistics. Students will read and critically discuss a combination of foundational and contemporary sociolinguistic studies, to gain an understanding of way the field has developed as well as future directions. Topics covered may include: methodologies in sociolinguistic research; variation and change in phonetics, morphosyntax and discourse; language production and perception; monolingual and multilingual contexts in different parts of the world; and language variation and social inequality. Students will gain the skills to carry out an original research project, and will be guided through the development of this project through scaffolded assessment. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. discuss foundational and contemporary questions, methods and findings in sociolinguistic research;
  2. assess sociolinguistic research;
  3. understand the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies as applied to different kinds of data; and
  4. conduct research on a topic in sociolinguistics.

Research-Led Teaching

In this course, students will benefit from the lecturer's experience conducting large-scale sociolinguistic projects, and students will have access to spontaneous speech data to conduct their own original analyses.

Required Resources

Weekly readings posted on Wattle.

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, focus group etc

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 to variation and change
2 Social meaning of linguistic variables
3 Gender, social class, and prestige
4 Social networks Data extraction: 16 August
5 Ethnic variation
6 Gender and social class in language contact Proposal: 30 August
7 Ethnolects and ethnic orientation
8 Discourse pragmatic variation Quantitative analysis: 27 September
9 Labour Day – no class
10 The role of frequency in variation
11 Accents and social judgements
12 Class presentations Presentations: 23 October

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Article presentation (10%) 10 % * * 1,2,3
Course engagement and reading questions (20%) 20 % * * 1,2,3
Quantitative analysis (10%) 10 % 27/09/2023 11/10/2023 1,2,3,4
Scaffolded research project (60%) 60 % 06/11/2023 20/11/2023 1,2,3,4

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Article presentation (10%)

Each student will lead a 50-minute discussion of one of the assigned articles. This involves: summarising the key points; evaluating the argumentation; situating the research in relation to the topics being studied in the class; and incorporating reading questions from other students. The presentation should be accompanied by a PPT with any key figures or tables to be discussed; the PPT should be uploaded to Turnitin by the end of the week in which the presentation is given.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Course engagement and reading questions (20%)

For this seminar-style course, each week students must read the assigned chapters/articles prior to the class in which they will be discussed and: (a) submit two discussion questions for each reading and (b) actively engage in the discussion, including responding to others' questions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 11/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Quantitative analysis (10%)

This assessment task is to develop the quantitative analysis you will be doing for the final paper. You must submit an Excel spreadsheet containing the coded data that will form the basis for your paper (extracted from the speech data provided); and a Word document with your Coding Instructions (describing the linguistic variable you are analysing; the variable context; and explaining the coding - 500 words).

Assessment Task 4

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 06/11/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Scaffolded research project (60%)

Students will carry out an original research project, conducting a sociolinguistic analysis of a linguistic variable from speech data provided. Students will be working on the project throughout the semester and the grading is scaffolded accordingly: initial data extraction (5% - Week 4), proposal (500 words, 10% - Week 6); presentation (10-15 mins, 10% - Week 12); final written report (3,000 words, 35% - 6 Nov).

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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, or 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.

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).

Catherine Travis

Research Interests

Sociolinguistics, language variation and change, language contact, bilingualism, Spanish, Australian English, Australian migrant communities

Catherine Travis

By Appointment
By Appointment
Catherine Travis

Research Interests

Catherine Travis

By Appointment
By Appointment

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