Spring 2022 - LING 309W D100

Sociolinguistics (3)

Class Number: 2230

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    BLU 10011, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Suzanne Hilgendorf
    1 778 782-8583
    Office: RCB 9211
  • Prerequisites:

    LING 282W. Recommended: LING 160 or LING 260.



A systematic approach to the study of linguistic variation in different areal, social, and cultural settings. Students with credit for LING 409 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


This course is an in-depth survey of the field of sociolinguistics, which recognizes that language first and foremost is a social phenomenon. Language continually is adapted and formed by its users given their uses for it, or the meanings they seek to convey as they interact with others. Depending on context, users vary their language use in ways that reflect their cultural identities and social factors of significance within their speech communities.

The course reviews a wide range of sociolinguistic phenomena, examining research studies on the users and uses of numerous languages of the world (e.g. English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Indonesian, etc.)

Among the topics it explores are

  • the concepts of language, dialect, variety, and the regional/social/political factors distinguishing one from another;
  • the significance of concepts such as speech community, social network, and community of practice for understanding language use;
  • multilingual societies, multilingual discourse, and the existence of different varieties of a language spoken by monolingual, multilingual, and non-native speakers;
  • contact languages such as pidgins, creoles, lingua francaes, and mixed languages;
  • the grammatical forms of language variation and change due to social factors;
  • ethnography of communication, politeness theory, and discourse analysis;
  • sociolinguistics and social justice (equity, diversity, inclusion issues) with respect to gender and language use; education and schooling; and language policy and planning by governments and institutions.

An additional aim of the course is to provide students with training and extensive practice in formal, academic writing. Students will become familiar with styles of written argumentation, in particular those that are typical in this field and required for advanced study in linguistics.

Course modifications for Blended Instruction

As a Blended course, this class will have a combination of in-person and online components, with the online components replacing in-person class time.

The originally scheduled three hours of in-person instruction will be divided into 2 hours asynchronous (online) and 1 hour in-person instruction.

For the asynchronous instruction, students will need to access two ca. 1-hour lecture podcasts posted in the course’s Canvas site each week by Friday morning. Students are expected to listen to these lecture podcasts and complete brief participation activities within 4 days, e.g. before 3:00 pm on Tuesday.

For the in-person instruction, the class will meet for 1 hour on Tuesdays, from 3:30 pm to 4:20 pm. The in-person sessions will focus on clarifying information in the podcasts and assigned readings as well as addressing student questions. Students will also complete brief group work assignments.

In addition, the four scheduled tests will be completed in-person during these 1-hour class meetings


  • Attendance and Participation Assignments 15%
  • Participation in on-line Discussion Board 15%
  • 2 Formal Chapter Summaries 15%
  • Four Tests (45 mins each) 30%
  • Term Paper (Literature Review; Graded in Components) 25%


Above course assignments are tentative.


A detailed course syllabus will be distributed during the first week of class.


It is strongly recommended that you see the Student Advisor regarding your degree requirements at least two semesters before you plan to graduate.  Unless you meet both faculty and major/minor requirements, your graduation cannot be approved.

Note: To receive a passing grade on any assignment, including in-class writing, the quality of writing must be evaluated as at least LPI Level Four.  The following descriptions of LPI levels will be used:

Level Four: The writing is marred by one or another of a fairly wide range of deficiencies: it may be thinly developed, repetitive, or weak in overall structure; it may contain unvaried, loose or faulty sentence structure; its word choice may be inaccurate, inappropriate, or unidiomatic (that is, it may use expressions that are not found in standard English usage).

Level Three: Essays are placed at level three if they have many errors in sentence structure and vocabulary, or if they are weak in content and badly organized.  Also placed at level three are essays with a high density of errors in the use of articles, the plurals of nouns, the form and tense of verbs, subject-verb agreement, and the English idiom.

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) can and will 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 because of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca).



Wardhaugh, Ronald, and Fuller, Janet M. 2021. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 8th edition. Np: Wiley-Blackwell.
ISBN: 978-1-119-47354-1

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 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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.