What you will study
The module has four blocks, each of which includes study of a print book. Alongside these, you'll study a range of online, audiovisual material: each week you’ll have grammar activities and usually also corpus activities and sometimes grammar applications material. Occasionally you’ll also look at digital literacy material, assessment preparation and work with other students in your tutor group forum. One week at the end of each block is devoted to an area of grammar in applications, ranging from the use of computers to analysing texts in an English for Academic Purposes classroom, to how journalists write differently in tabloid and broadsheet and online newspapers, to doctor-patient interactions and how these can be made more effective. A further week per block is devoted to writing tutor-marked assignments with four weeks at the end of the module spent on a small-scale end-of-module assessment project in which you will be able to select your own area of interest to explore.
Block 1 aims to provide a gentle introduction to grammar – what is it and why is it worth studying? We will move from a review of structural terms in the early units – particularly useful if you have not studied Worlds of English (U214) – to unpacking the basics of the systemic functional linguistic approach adopted in this module.
Block 2 focuses on the way in which we use language to experience and have ideas about the world. Known as ideational meaning, this relates to who does what to whom, how, when, where and why.
In Block 3 we look at how texts are formed. What makes a text cohesive and coherent? Have you ever felt that some of the text that you have produced could have been organised more effectively? This is known as textual meaning.
In the first part of Block 4 we will explore how interpersonal meaning is formed in texts. How do some people manage to persuade you to change your mind on an issue, while others have little influence? Why do some people – in works of fiction or news stories or in your own lives - appear dynamic, while others seem more passive? The rest of this block pulls together the three aspects of meaning making covered in the module: ideational, textual and interpersonal – and looks at how they work together.
Throughout all four blocks you will develop your capacity to analyse, interpret and evaluate texts from the perspective of their lexicogrammatical choices and patterns – within and beyond the clause. Similarly you will develop your capacity to apply your evolving knowledge and understanding of lexicogrammar to texts and contexts relevant to you. For example you will learn how to use the corpus tool to provide robust insights in text analysis.
You will learn
By studying this module you will develop:
- an understanding of the major characteristics of English grammar;
- skills in language analysis and interpretation;
- skills in applying linguistic understanding in order to evaluate and improve the quality of your written texts.
This module will help you to understand and analyse how the English language ‘works’ and make your own texts more effective.