EL4007 - Understanding English Grammar

What will I learn on this module?

We will begin by asking what language is and how it is organised. What is it that we know when we know how to speak or write a language?

You will learn that language is systematically structured in various ways. You will learn how, as linguists, we can uncover some of those structures by investigating patterns and regularities in the way language is used. By examining everyday written and spoken language, you will learn about how language is organised, in terms of sounds (phonology), word forms (morphology), and sentence structures (syntax).

This module will introduce you to new ways of thinking about language and describing it. The concepts and terminology that you will learn on this module will provide you with an important foundation for studying many other questions and issues in linguistics. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will follow the typical pattern for year long modules of a 1 hour lecture each week and a 1 hour interactive seminar per fortnight. The lectures will introduce key concepts, and will provide a foundation for directed and independent learning (independent reading and work outside of taught sessions). You will be directed to appropriate reading for each week of the course, and expected to complete reading and short tasks in preparation for each seminar. In the seminars, we will discuss the reading and the seminar tasks, and you will complete further in-class exercises to help you learn the key concepts you need for the module assessments. Most importantly, seminars will be your opportunity to ask questions about the course content, material and assessments, and to receive formative feedback as you progress through the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Academic support will primarily be through interaction with the module staff during seminars. The Module Handbook provides information about lectures, seminars, assessments (including assessment criteria) and recommended reading. Course materials, including practice assessment questions will be provided via the eLearning portal. You will be provided with online practice exercises which you can work through at your own pace. You will receive immediate online formative feedback on these exercises. The format of these exercises will mimic the format of the assessment, so you know what the assessment will look like.

Module staff will be available for additional meetings with individual students when necessary through ‘Feedback and Consultation Hours’, particularly when you come to preparing for the assessment, or to give you verbal feedback on your assessment.

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. be able to identify at a basic level the grammatical characteristics of words, sentences and sounds in English, and understand their place in the linguistic system
2. be able to apply appropriate linguistic terminology and concepts with confidence and accuracy

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. be able to analyse linguistic data at a basic level - be able to make generalisations based on linguistic data about word and sentence structures
4. be able to work collaboratively and individually on linguistic problems;

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others to examine linguistic data.

How will I be assessed?

Online exercises, with immediate electronic feedback
Pen and paper exercises, with discussion and feedback provided in seminars.

2 x online examinations (90 minutes each). Written feedback will be provided on each examination within the standard 20 working days.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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