• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Australian Indigenous Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

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.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial presentation and participation (1 presentation, and weekly participation) (20) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Quiz (online, 50 mins) (10) [LO 1,2]
  3. Sociolinguistic project (data analysis and 1,200-word report) (30) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Essay (1,800 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorials.

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed LING2002, LING6002 or LINGG8013. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Students will be given a full reading list at the beginning of the semester. Journals that publish sociolinguistics research include, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Language in Society.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8703 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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