Summer 2021 - LING 100 D100

Communication and Language (3)

Class Number: 1181

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Trevor Block
    Office Hours: Drop-in via Zoom/Canvas



Explores the foundations of human language from a variety of perspectives. Young children acquire language effortlessly. How is this possible, and why is it so much more challenging to learn a new language later in life? How does the human brain use complex grammatical systems to communicate? Students will learn new ways to think critically about language and communication. Open to all students. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course introduces the study of language and human communication. Topics to be covered this semester include:

· Human language vs. animal communication

· Structure in language

· Writing systems

· Language acquisition

· The biological basis of human language

· The neurological basis of language and language disorders

· Relations of language to cognition, culture and thought

· Language in society

· Language and technology

· Languages of the world

· Evolution of human language

MODE OF INSTRUCTION: This course can be completed synchronously or asynchronously. Live lectures will be held and recorded on Zoom during class hours each week, which will then be uploaded onto Canvas later in the day. Lecture attendance is not required.


  • Practice Exercises 15%
  • Assignments 35%
  • Asynchronous Tests 50%


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.


TECHNICAL: access to a computer, a reliable internet connection, microphone (for office hours).



Additional reading materials and slides will be made available on Canvas.


O’Grady and Archibald (eds.) Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction. 8th Edition. Pearson.
ISBN: 9780 134 046 792

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students should familiarize themselves with the Department's Standards on Class Management and Student Responsibilities.

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.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).