Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Language, Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy

Module summary

Module code: LING1002
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Literature, Lang. and Theatre
Module Coordinator(s): Simon Dye

Specification

Aims

• To provide a strong foundational knowledge of the concepts of soft power, cultural diplomacy and international languages

• To provide students with an understanding of language diffusion (English, French, Spanish) within a political and historical perspective.

• To examine the ways in which language policies are developed and applied by both nation states and international institutions.

• To increase students' awareness of the ways in which States may support, control or restrict the development of minority languages (e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa, Australasia).

• To examine the factors influencing the decline in minority languages and the issues surrounding language endangerment and death.


• To examine the political and cultural implications of English as a world language.

Learning outcomes

1. demonstrate a strong foundational knowledge of the concepts of soft power, cultural diplomacy and international languages.

2. critically examine and reflect on the political and historical reasons for language diffusion.

3. demonstrate a critical awareness of the key role of nation states and international organisations in the development and application of language policy.

4. show awareness of different ways in which states control and restrict the development of minority languages.

5. critically examine and reflect on the various factors influencing the decline in minority languages, the reasons for language endangerment, language death and strategies for the preservation of languages.

6. critically evaluate the political and cultural implications of the spread of English as a world language.

7. demonstrate a critical awareness of the functions and roles of agents of cultural diplomacy.

8. have the confidence to express and defend their views in relevant academic contexts, using the tools, definitions and theories introduced in the programme.

Indicative content

The concepts of an international language, soft power and cultural diplomacy; language policy and standardisation of languages; historical perspective: colonial and commercial expansion; post colonialism and the role of languages in a nation-state: Sub-Saharan Africa; French speaking countries: Canada/Africa; Spain and South/Central/North America; language, politics and cultural identity; linguistic and cultural imperialism; diffusion of English as a commercial language in the 20th and 21st Century; the languages of international organisations (EU, UNESCO); minority languages under threat; linguistic diversity and language death; the revival of languages (Hebrew, Welsh). Agents of cultural diplomacy such as the British Council, the Commonwealth of Nations, the International organisation of the Francophony, the Confucius Institute, etc.

Teaching and learning activity

Learning will require 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar per week. Learning and teaching activities will include lectures delivered by the teaching team and guest, seminar discussions, essay tutorials and use of online resources delivered via the course Moodle page.

Assessment

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment Essay 1.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment :1, 2, 3, 6, 8
Weighting % 25
Pass Mark 40
Word Length 2500
Outline Details:Standard Essay on one of the topics provided.

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment Essay 2.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment : 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 ,8
Weighting % 25
Pass Mark 40
Word Length 2500
Outline Details:Standard Essay on one of the topics provided.

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment Exam.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ,7, 8
Weighting % 50
Pass Mark 40
Word Length n/a
Outline Details: 2 hour exam.