English Words and Grammar

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    English Words and Grammar

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Grammar, Linguistics, Modern Languages

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    With English fast becoming a global lingua franca, it is important to see the English language in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective. 2204LAL looks into aspects of English words and grammar through the lens of modern linguistics. The themes of the course are that words and grammar work together and that most grammatical phenomena cannot be properly understood without close attention to meaning. Though the focus is on "Anglo English" generally, some examples are drawn specifically from Australian English.The course aims to be useful for linguistics students, for intending teachers of English, and for others interested in language and culture. 2204LAL assumes basic background knowledge about dictionaries and grammar as used in secondary school English or in learning English as a second/foreign language. Other linguistic concepts and terms are explained as they are introduced.

    Course Introduction
    This course falls into three parts. The first part introduces some basic concepts and techniques for studying English words and grammar using the methods of modern linguistics. Starting with the grammatical aspect of words, we look at parts of speech and types of phrases. Then we look into the grammar of the simple sentence. Key areas covered include phrase structure, grammatical functions, and auxiliary verb constructions. Finally in this part, we look into the challenges of capturing the meanings of words: how this is done in dictionaries and using new methods of linguistic semantics.

    In the second part of the course we work through several case studies of words with sociocultural meanings (adjectives like 'rude' and 'nice', nouns like 'friend' and 'mate') and at some morphological and grammatical peculiarities of English words. Often it turns out that meaning and cuture are important to getting a full understanding of what is going on. In the third part of the course we explore some topics in English grammar from a meaning-based perspective, including causative constructions, valency alterations in simple sentences, and some complement constructions with mental verbs.

    There is no set text for this course. The Required Readings fall into two broad categories: (i) a selection of good-quality articles and book chapters about English grammar, (ii) more specialised studies in meaning and grammar, including several by the course convenor.

    There is a strong online component in this course, via Learning@Griffith. You will access the required readings online and access and submit your assignments online.

    The approach throughout is selective and analytical. We are not trying to "cover" all, or even most, of English grammar, but to explore how linguistic approaches to meaning and grammar can shed new light on the workings of the English language.

    Course Aims
    This course aims to introduce students to key topics in the field of lexicology (word study) and grammar, especially grammatical semantics, to examine aspects of the lexicogrammar of English, and explore some of the cultural dimensions of English words and grammar.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:

    1.1 demonstrate knowledge of basic linguistic concepts for describing English lexicon and grammar
    1.2 demonstrate understanding of different theoretical goals and practical purposes underlying descriptions of English
    1.3 demonstrate familiarity with some of the cultural dimensions of English words and grammar

    2.1 acquire the conceptual and linguistic tools for analysing meaning of English words and grammatical constructions
    2.2 acquire the ability to analyse English word-meanings and the meaning aspects of grammatical constructions
    2.3 develop ability to critically evaluate popular and scholarly claims about English word-meanings and grammar

    3.1 conduct small-scale research projects about word-meanings and specialised grammatical constructions

    Assessment Summary
    Assignment 1-Weighted 10%/10
    Assignment 2-Weighted 20%/20
    Assignment 3 (incl. Essay Note)-Weighted 30%/30
    End of Semester Exam-Weighted 40%/40

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.