Fall 2019 - LING 160 D900

Language, Culture and Society (3)

Class Number: 3989

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SUR 5140, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Mohsen Moghaddam



An introduction to language in its social and cultural dimensions. Students who have taken LING 260 prior to Fall 2008 may not take LING 160 for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course examines how language essentially is a social phenomenon, something that is shaped by those who use it (users) and their uses for it in communicating with others, both within and across different (cultural) contexts. The wide range of sociolinguistic topics to be discussed includes bilingual and multilingual speech communities, language maintenance, language loss and language death, and the phenomena of regional as well as social dialects. The course will further consider how language use varies according to such social factors as ethnicity, gender, age, identity and social class. The role of politeness and stereotypes in language use, variation in language use, and the relationship between language and cognition, are additional topics. In this course, students

a) gain a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts and issues concerning Language and its intricate relationship to Culture and Society (the focus of the field of Sociolinguistics);
b) develop the ability to critically evaluate these concepts and issues, a skill that can also be applied to other areas of life;
c) develop the ability to articulate themselves orally and in writing on course concepts and issues, another skill that can be applied to other areas of life; and
d) learn to relate these concepts and issues to language use locally here in Vancouver as well as in the speech communities of which you personally are a member.


  • Participation in class/online discussions 25%
  • Presentation 25%
  • Mid-term Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 25%



A+ 96-100      B+ 81-85     C+ 66-70      D 50-55
A     91-95       B   76-80     C   61-65       F less than 50
A-    86-90      B- 71-75      C-  56-60  

NOTE: This course may be applied towards the Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Linguistics program students cannot count this course towards their breadth requirements unless in joint or double majors, extended minor, or double minors program.
Students should familiarize themselves with the Department's Standards on Class Management and Student Responsibilities at http://www.sfu.ca/linguistics/undergraduate/standards.html.

Please note that a grade of “FD” (Failed-Dishonesty) may be assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty.

All student requests for accommodations for their religious practices must be made in writing by the end of the first week of classes or no later than one week after a student adds a course.

Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca).



Holmes, J., and Wilson, N. (2017). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 5th edition. Oxon, UK: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-138-84501-5.
·      A list of additional readings (available in the Library Reserve) may be distributed in class.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html