Course Title: Language and the Law Forensic Linguistics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Language and the Law Forensic Linguistics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


RMIT University Vietnam


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Viet2 2021,
Viet1 2022,
Viet3 2022,
Viet1 2023,
Viet3 2023,
Viet1 2024


RMIT University Vietnam


840H School of Communication and Design


Viet1 2019,
Viet1 2020,
Viet2 2020

Course Coordinator: Anh T Dinh

Course Coordinator Phone: +84 8 36223669

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 2.5.49

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces students to the relationship between language and the law, the linguistic aspects of the criminal justice system, and the application of text analysis to both spoken and written discourses in forensic settings. Students will learn the role language plays in the legal and forensic contexts, and apply cross cultural communicative skills in analysing legal texts in multilingual settings.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
PLO1- 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.
PLO3 - Work independently and in diverse teams to solve problems, using effective communication strategies demonstrating ethical and reflective practice.
PLO5 - Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within language related fields
PLO7 - Evaluate and apply technology to increase efficiency and precision in language sensitive working contexts.
PLO8 - Critically analyse resources, evidence and personal experience to make ethical, socially and politically aware decisions related to language and intercultural interpretations and applications.
PLO9 - Effectively manage your own learning, developing skills in lifelong learning of languages and cross-cultural communication.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

CLO1: Identify and describe the basic concepts and theories of the field of forensic linguistics.

CLO2: Demonstrate understanding of the nature of language in different forensic settings.

CLO3: Apply knowledge of forensic linguistics into language-related tasks such as translating, interpreting, giving expert testimony and identifying authorship.

CLO4: Identify, explain, and evaluate conclusions and recommendations based on theoretical knowledge of forensic linguistics

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face-to-face, online or a mix of both.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will consist of recommended reading materials and handouts. The set of references is deliberately broad, including books, journal publications, government reports, industry standards and handbooks, and web-based resources.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. There are services and resources available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student website.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Progressive assessment (Quizzes, Discussion board posts, Glossary), 30%, CLO1, CLO2

Assessment Task 2: Class workshop presentation, 25%, CLO2 and CLO3

Assessment Task 3: Translation/Interpreting Task and Critical analysis, 25%, CLO3 and CLO4

Assessment Task 4: Essay paper, 20%, CLO1, CLO2, CLO4

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.