In this seminar, we will explore a wide range of contexts - from individual biographies to societal patterns - in which multiple languages are used. After a brief introduction into the various fields of research into multilingualism, students will be given the opportunity to design, conduct and present their own small-scale research project.

This seminar provides an overview of first, bilingual and second language acquisition. We will look at the different stages in child language acquisition, including bilingual first language acquisition, as well as different theoretical accounts. We will then focus on second language acquisition and the theoretical, linguistic and social issues connected to the study of SLA.

In this seminar, we will investigate the use of spoken and written language in forensic linguistic contexts in the widest sense, e. g. authorship attribution, police interrogations, courtroom discourse and language analysis for the determination of origin. We will discuss concepts such as genre and style and will touch upon language issues and discriminatory practices that affect the treatment of witnesses and suspects in a criminal investigation. We will also look at criminal cases in which forensic linguists played a major role.

The course will be held digitally, with most content provided asynchronically and additional monthly synchronous meetings in Zoom and/or Mattermost. Please make sure you have adequate infrastructure for distance learning.

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Since Donald Trump took office, the US Environmental Protection Agency has reworded its mission statements and now claims that its intended mission is “to create an environment in which jobs can grow.” In this seminar, we will explore the ways in which people, institutions, governments and other organisations contribute to and shape public discourse about the relationship between humans and their (natural) environments. We will do this by critically analysing texts, both written and spoken, which reflect past and current ideologies about nature and their embeddedness in economic and political discourses according to their language and discourse features. Ecolinguistics, then, “is about critiquing forms of language that contribute to ecological destruction, and aiding in the search for new forms of language that inspire people to protect the natural world” (Stibbe 2015). Students are required to actively take part in the design of the seminar by contributing their perspectives, favoured topics and interests. Preparation for the seminar will include regular reading of news items other online content as well as the assigned academic texts for each session. Credit points will be awarded for project work on a chosen environmental-linguistic topic.

In this course, we will explore the history of English from a sociolinguistic perspective: What languages were spoken in Britain at what times? Were people bilingual or multilingual? How did the different dialects and accents of Britain emerge? And how did English become a global language, ever changing in its journey around the world? And with Brexit looming, what will be the future of English in Europe? Let's find out what shaped the language that we're calling English today, and reflect on our own role as users of that language. Join us on our journey into the past!