LING101-16SU2 (D) Summer Nov 2016 start (Distance)

The English Language

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
14 Nov 2016 - 25 Dec 2016


This course introduces students to the study of the English language, its words, sounds and sentences. It also introduces the conceptual and analytical tools which linguists use to understand how languages are constructed.

This course is designed to introduce you to the study of the linguistic structure of the English language.  The aim of the course is to show you how the English language works.  Throughout the course, we will be guided by the following over-arching question: when a baby learns English as its first language, what aspects of the linguistic system does it have to master if it is to have a successful conversation? To answer this question, we start by examining single speech sounds, and then think about how they are combined to make words. Then we consider how words combine to make phrases, and finally we examine the structure of whole sentences.

In the first half of the course, we focus on how English speech is pronounced. How do we move our speech articulators when we produce sounds? How does the International Phonetic Alphabet work? How is a Kiwi accent similar to and different from accents from elsewhere? What tools do you need to analyse pronunciation properly? In the second half of the course, we focus on the structure of English sentences. As well as practicing how to identify different word types (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc), we examine how words are structured into phrases, clauses and sentences, and explore how we combine words in different ways to generate new and complex meanings.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will:
1. be able to understand the basic technical terms used by linguists to describe the various systems of which languages are composed: sounds, morphemes and words, phrases and clauses.
2. be able to phonetically transcribe a section of written English, using the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
3. be able to understand how to analyse the structure of words into syllables and morphemes,
4. be able to understand how to analyse the structure of sentences into their grammatical constituents.


ENGL123, ENLA101

Timetable Note

This summer school version of LING101/ENLA101 is a distance learning course. It can be studied from anywhere – there is no need to be physically present on the University of Canterbury campus. The course works like this: it's a six week course, with the equivalent of 3 online lectures each week. These are videos, which are uploaded in blocks, so you can watch them whenever is convenient for you in a given week. All online content for the first half of the course will be available in week 1, and all content for the second half of the course will be available in week 3. This should help you plan your workload. There will also be tutorial exercises, designed to help you practice the analytical skills we learn. By completing these tasks, you will develop the skills you need for the course assessments. Help and advice will be given via the online forum for the course, and via email.

Course Coordinator

Kevin Watson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Four online quizzes 10% Administered via Learn (due in week 1, 2, 4, 5).
Phonetic transcription 10% Due week 4
Phonetic analysis 20% Due week 3.
Syntax tree diagram 10% Due week 5
Syntactic analysis 20% Due week 6
Final phonetic and grammatical analysis 30% Due end of course.


Domestic fee $717.00

International fee $2,913.00

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if less than 1 person applies to enrol.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences on the department and colleges page.

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