Faculty of Arts

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Professor Kate Burridge



  • Second semester 2016 (Online)


Explore the varieties of English around the world. You will study descriptive surveys of the main national standard Englishes, as well as a selection of the distinctive regional, ethnic and social varieties. Specific topics in this unit include: historical and cultural background and the current sociolinguistic situation of the respective regions; special focus on the non-standard varieties of Australasia and the Pacific; global tendencies in phonological and grammatical variation; notion of Standard English, attitudes to local varieties of English and the problem of standards.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the distinguishing linguistic features and historical development of a range of English varieties and the statuses and functions of these varieties in the various societies in which they are used,
  2. Analyse the attitudes which users of English have adopted with respect to these varieties, and how this impacts on issues of status and function
  3. Explore new situations involving language varieties (English or other) in these terms
  4. Understand and apply the practical upshots of these considerations in professional realms (education, language planning, etc.)


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study