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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2017-18. The current handbook year is 2018-19

Department: English Language Centre

LANG2161: Everyday English Discourse

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Students must be Erasmus or Exchange students, non-native speakers of English with an overall estimated IELTS level of 6.0 or above or equivalent

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • to provide students with an understanding of the features of conversation and media discourse, focusing specifically on English texts, text types and trends
  • to help students develop their awareness of representations of views and information in the media
  • to examine some key institutions and values with a view to facilitating understanding of contemporary personal and political discourse in the UK and make the first two aims (listed above) possible
  • to provide opportunities for students to develop their English speaking and reading skills in terms of both comprehension and criticality

Content

  • students will consider what conversation is, what its features are and how it is typically structured
  • students will learn about features of newspapers and other media sources (eg headlines, names, syntax, text types within newspapers - either print or online) with a view to increasing their criticality and enhancing their ability to engage productively in conversations about current affairs, personal matters and general topics
  • cultural concepts relevant to material studied will also be studied, as required, so as to facilitate analysis and discussion

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • by the end of the module students will be able to:
  • identify features of spoken language and discuss structural aspects of conversation
  • identify features of media discourse which reveal key aspects of the text, such as probable target readership and/or author bias
  • demonstrate an awareness of features of spoken or written discourse
Subject-specific Skills:
  • by the end of the module students will be able to:
  • critically analyse conversations in terms of theoretical principles
  • critically analyse features of media discourse such as headlines and bias in language choice, focusing on areas such as names, syntax and textual patterns
  • critically evaluate media content
Key Skills:
  • demonstrate an increased awareness of their own conversational performance and preferences in English
  • demonstrate an increased awareness of context, author voice and intention in spoken and written media discourse

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • the module is delivered through seminar-style classes that meet once a week
  • contact time will be used to introduce new material through short lectures, short videos and other media as required
  • In preparation for classes students will be set reading, listening and writing tasks; during classes there will be an emphasis on participation in pair-work and group discussion
  • self-access technologies (DUO) will be used to extend classroom learning
  • the assessment is designed to test students' ability to critically reflect on spoken texts (specifically conversations) and/or awareness of context, author voice and intention in spoken and written media discourse

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 18 1 per week 2 hours 36
Preparation and Reading 164
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Term 1 Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Write a commentary on a specific spoken or written text 2,000 words 100%
Component: Term 2 Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Write a commentary on a different type of specific spoken or written text 2,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will have an opportunity to submit part of their assignment or essay plan each term for some initial feedback and guidance


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University