Course Title: Language and Society

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Language and Society

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


RMIT University Vietnam


840H School of Communication and Design


Viet1 2019


RMIT University Vietnam


850T School of Languages and English


Viet1 2018

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Thi Hoang Oanh

Course Coordinator Phone: ​(84-28) 3776 1300

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 1.5.34

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course examines ways in which social and interpersonal factors such as gender, class, ethnicity and regional differences influence language variation. Other topics covered include language change over time, language contact, language attitudes, and social aspects of interaction and style. This course also introduces you to the main methods of sociolinguistic research and explores language and new media (for example email, SMS, Twitter etc.), and situational variation in language (formal vs. informal; written vs. spoken).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Communicate across cultures and languages using appropriate modes of communication including electronic, written, oral and aural forms to address issues of linguistic diversity in the workplace and life.
  • Critically reflect on the role of culture and language in communication and society and apply this knowledge in a range of cross-cultural interactions.
  • Work independently and in diverse teams to solve problems, using effective bilingual communication strategies demonstrating ethical and reflective practice.
  • Identify, evaluate and critically analyse cultural, historical and theoretical practices which contextualise your professional practice and further study of language.
  • Critically analyse resources, evidence and personal experience to make ethical, socially and politically aware decisions related to language and intercultural interpretations and applications.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Recognise and explain the ways in which social and interpersonal factors influence language.
  2. Understand foundation concepts and theories of the field of sociolinguistics and be familiar with the main methods of sociolinguistic research.
  3. Critically evaluate sociolinguistic theories and concepts and apply your knowledge to different language contexts and new studies
  4. Express your understanding of the foundation of sociolinguistic concepts and theories orally and in writing.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take the form of:

  • Online discussions
  • Workshops
  • Assignments

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will consist of recommended references and class notes which may be accessed through "myRMIT" if you are in Melbourne and via "RMIT online" if you are based in Vietnam.

The set of references is deliberately broad, including books, journal publications, government reports, industry standards and handbooks, and web-based resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment 1: Summary of assigned journal article and facilitation of a tutorial discussion
Weighting (%): 30
This task assesses the following learning outcomes:

Assessment 2: Paired case study and policy recommendations– choice of topics and regions (1000 words)
Weighting of final grade (%):30
This task assesses the following learning outcomes:

Assessment 3: Individual Essay – 1,500 words
Weighting of final grade (%):40
This task assesses the following learning outcomes: