LINGUIST 101G : Language, Mind and Society


2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A survey of three areas: the interaction between language structure and use on the one hand, and social structure and social norms on the other (sociolinguistics); the relationship between linguistic and cultural knowledge (anthropological linguistics); and the inter-relationship of language and other cognitive structures, especially as it is revealed through language acquisition (psycholinguistics).

Course Overview

This course explores a range of topics that show how we use language as a social tool and a social resource. How is variation in language an essential component of what we know when we 'know' a language?  How, in turn does that situate us in a speech community or multiple speech communities i.e., how do we learn to be competent members of a speech community?  Does our language use tell us things about who we are and who we imagine ourselves to be?  If so. how do others perceive us based on perceptions of the way we talk? 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Graduate Profile: University

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain why we can say that there are no ‘single style’ speakers
  2. Think and write about — and also be able to discuss — how differences in language use can manifest themselves at different levels (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Define, explain and apply key sociolinguistic terms and concepts


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
4 x Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Assignment 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in. 

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures and a 1 hour tutorial.  This leaves seven hours per week outside the classroom for reading and thinking about the content, and work on assignments and preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable and attendance of lectures and tutorials  is expected.  Lectures will be available as recordings. Tutorials will not be available as recordings.  The course will not include live online events (group discussions, tutorials and so on).

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.