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Unit information: Hispanic Sociolinguistics in 2021/22

Unit name Hispanic Sociolinguistics
Unit code HISP30056
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. James Hawkey
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This final-year unit introduces students to key concepts of sociolinguistic theory and places them in a Hispanic context for analysis. With little-to-no prior knowledge of linguistics, students will firstly examine different topics within sociolinguistics, including (among others):

  • language variation and change
  • multilingualism and language contact
  • language policy and planning

These theoretical tools will then be applied to the current situation of Ibero-Romance language varieties (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician, Judeo-Spanish) around the world. Lessons will be dedicated to the analysis of specific Hispanic case studies worldwide, such as:

  • the role of minority Ibero-Romance varieties in Spain
  • the issues faced by indigenous languages of Latin America
  • the creation of Spanish-based pidgin and creole varieties
  • the sociolinguistic situation of Spanish in the United States

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the discipline of linguistics, acquiring new theoretical tools which will allow for the in-depth study of Ibero-Romance varieties in contemporary society;
  2. Develop greater knowledge of various languages spoken worldwide, and undertake cross-linguistic comparative study.
  3. Apply their new theoretical knowledge to different linguistic situations,and prepare independent, original, critical analyses.
  4. Gain a deeper understanding of how language is used in present day Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American society.
  5. Select and synthesise relevant material as appropriate to work at level H.
  6. Develop oral presentation skills and the ability to work together in groups

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Details

1 x group presentation (groups of 2-3, 20 minutes plus 5 minutes of questions) (25%) testing ILO's 1, 2, 4 & 6.

1 x 4000 word essay (75%), testing ILO's 1-5.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HISP30056).