LING101-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017

The English Language

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
20 Feb 2017 - 25 Jun 2017


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 LINGUISTICS, particularly the linguistics 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 he or she have to master in order to have a successful conversation? To answer this question, we start with 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 is a Kiwi accent similar to and different from accents from elsewhere? What linguistic tools do you need to analyse accent variation properly? In the second half of the course, we focus on the structure of English sentences. As well as practicing how to identify different words types (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc), you will examine how words are structured into phrases, clauses and sentences, and you will learn how we combine words in different ways to generate new and complex meanings.

You do not need to have any previous experience of Linguistics to enrol in this course.

This course is a prerequisite for 200 level Linguistics courses, so is an important foundation for more advanced linguistics work.

The course will be of particular benefit to anyone who:
1. has an interest in studying further courses in Linguistics
2. wants to enhance their understanding of how the English language works
3. has an interest in foreign language teaching
4. has an interest in teaching English
5. has an interest in speech and language therapy

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will:

1. be able to understand the main technical terms used by linguists to describe the various systems of which languages are composed: sounds, morphemes and words, phrases and clauses, and meaning.
2. be able to transcribe in broad phonetics a section of written English,
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 2017

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 16:00 E9 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 16:00 - 17:00 A3 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 10:00 Kirkwood KH06 102 27 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
02 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 Rutherford 533 27 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
03 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 Logie 105 27 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
04 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 Kirkwood KD08 27 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
05 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 Kirkwood KH06 101 27 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun

Course Coordinators

Kevin Watson and Heidi Quinn


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quizzes 10% Ongoing, via Learn.
Phonetic transcription 10%
Class test 1 15% Week 6.
Class test 2 15% Week 12.
Coursework tree & essay 20% Week 12.
Final Examination 30%

Course links

Library portal
The course outline is available on LEARN (only for students enrolled in this course).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $732.00

International fee $2,975.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

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.

All LING101 Occurrences

  • LING101-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017
  • LING101-17SU2 (D) Summer Nov 2017 start (Distance)