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Critical Language and Cultural Studies ENGL440 Semester 2, 2010-2011

Carol Yu E-mail: Office: AG433 Aims: The subject introduces students to the critical analysis of linguistic discourse as a way to gain insights into the core cultural meanings in contemporary social life. In this course we will analyse discourse in order to understand the cultural assumptions embedded within the text. We will as stated by Fairclough investigate How language conventions and language practices are invested with power relations and processes which people are often unaware of. It criticizes mainstream language study for taking conventions and practices at face value as objects to be described, in a way with obscures their political ideological investment. (Fairclough, 1992: 7) We will examine a range of genres including educational, political, workplace and media texts. Syllabus Outline: The course will be divided into three units: Wk 1 - 3 Unit One: The relationship between language and culture. Critical discourse analysis & data collection Wk 4-8 Unit Two: Conflict and peace: The language of colonial withdrawal, the language of war and peace

Wk 10-14 Unit Three: Language and minority groups (including issues of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, social status, etc) Assessment: Presentati 1. The language of conflict and on peace 2. Understanding a minority group in HK Term Life Voice

20% 20% 50%

Week 6-8 Week 10-14 April 30th 2011


Paper Participati on Attendance and Involvement 10% Submission of Assignments: Marks will be deducted if the assignment is submitted after the due date unless a medical certificate is provided. Choose one particular minority group in 2 . Weekly plan Week 1 Unit 1: The relationship between language and culture Week 2 Unit 1: Text and Discourse Week 3 Unit 1: The tools of CDA Week 4 Unit 2: Conflict and peace Week 5 Unit 2: Conflict and peace Week 6 Unit 2: Conflict and peace –War and Bush Week 7 Reading week Week 8 Unit 2: Conflict and peace.5-spaced. This may also mean you will fail the whole course. Plagiarism is a serious offence and students who are caught plagiarising will automatically fail the entire assignment which was plagiarized. education and social status + paper submission Assessments Assignment 1 – Presentation 1 (20%) The language of conflict and peace Week 6-8 Details will be given in the coming lectures Assignment 1 – Presentation 2 (20%) Understanding a minority group in HK Week 10-14 seminars The purpose of the presentation is to give a chance to students to thoroughly understand some important aspects of a disadvantage and powerless group in HK. All written assignments must be typed in font size 12 and 1. Race and ethnicity Week 9 Unit 3: Language and minority groups/race -Indian Week 10 Unit 3: Language and minority groups/race – Filipinos in HK Week 11 Unit 3: Language culture and gender Week 12 Unit 3: Language culture and sexuality Week 13 Easter Holiday Week 14 Unit 3: Language.

500 words Choose a person you know well and love or like a great deal. as an individual and as a member of a disadvantaged powerless group. in order to be able to GIVE THEIR LIFE A VOICE in your writing. the person should be from a marginalized group. How the choices express the writer’s viewpoint. You must get the person’s permission before recording and I will give you a consent form to use. movies etc) to illustrate and support your arguments. homosexuals. (For example.HK that you and your group would be interested to investigate into and collect data (newspaper articles. such as: women.Term Paper: Life Voice (50%) This paper is due on April 30th 2011 2. the under-educated. etc. appraisal. the disabled.Express you and your group mates’ opinions concerning the disadvantaged group upon your investigation and analysis. Assignment 2 . choice of Theme. commercials. the elderly.Critically discuss how the choices in the texts create particular meanings. you might analyse agency. the poor. interpersonal meanings. or look at one aspect (such as use of references to governmental agencies. Record your conversations. etc. as well as providing some contextual background information of this particular group to the class. You will be expected to identify and analyse salient features in the extracts. You may have to consider the following aspects concerning your data: 1.) 3. or to a religious practice or group.The lexico-grammatical choices in the data.000-2. Apart of your paper should be a critical discourse analysis of some of the aspect of the talk of this person – a small component of the “text” you collect. individuals and/or groups are positioned by the language choices made in the text? 4. Your purpose in holding and recording these conversations is to thoroughly understand some important part of this person’s life.What communities might be excluded or alienated in your data? How do the generic choices in these data “position” the writers/speakers as language users and participants in a culture? How is the alienated group represented in your data? 2. Spend time talking with this person privately and in peaceful surroundings. How people. and to use the life story as a “vehicle” to show other people (your readers) what it is like to be this person. or to a preferred recreational activities 3 .

the last cohort of HKCEE students etc… This paper involves a lot of research and time spent understanding one particular minority group. female athlete.Draft a study plan for interview dates.Do you know anyone you could speak to as an informant? 3. Criteria for assessment: Your paper will be assessed with reference to the following criteria: 1. Presentation of paper – the language and structure of your analysis and interpretation. Start working back from the submission deadline. Dyslexic. Topics students have covered in the past: Filipino’s in HK. Chinese student in Malaysia.Brainstorm with the person next to you and discuss which minority group you think would be interesting for the focus of your study? 2. 3. gay guy. 1. Depth of understanding of issues related to the language and identity of the marginalised group which your individual belongs. How well you use the data you collect to make an argument-byillustration of what it is like to feel powerless and how people survive in and even overcome situations of powerlessness 4. wheel chair bound person. Quality of the data you collect and 2.and partners) which will be used to support the meaning you are making for this person’s life as seen through your eyes. 4 . etc. lesbian in HK. writing up the first draft. literature search. elderly female villager.