• University of York

An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity

Learn how sociolinguists explore the relationship between language and the expression of personal, social and cultural identity.

15,043 enrolled on this course

An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    Learn at your own paceHow it works
  • Unlimited

    $15.83/monthLearn more

Learn what your attitude to accents and dialects says about yourself and society

We all have preferred accents and ways of speaking, but what makes something ‘good’ or ‘bad’ English? On this course, you will explore where our attitudes to language come from, how they are formed, and what they tell us about society.

You will be introduced to a range of sociolinguistic research methods and learn what these methods tell us about our individual sense of identity. You will also study their impact on social factors like gender, social class, and national affiliation. Plus, you will determine the real-world implications of language attitudes on our society as a whole.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Have you ever been mistaken for being from somewhere you’re not based on your voice? Or, have you ever tried to put on an accent (successfully or not)? Was this in order to tell a more compelling story, have a laugh - or perhaps it was an attempt to try to fit in with a particular community? These sorts of situations show that our accents play a crucial role in how we perform our identity, as well as how we’re perceived by others.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 seconds Many aspects of our identity: from where we grew up, to our cultural background, or our sexuality, can be expressed and perceived through our speech. The connection between our voices and who we are has long been a focus of study for sociolinguists. Together in this four-week course, we’ll explore different accents, people’s attitudes toward them, and how accents relate to the expression of identity. I very much hope you can join us.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to the study of language attitudes
  • How do you measure attitudes?
  • What is the relationship between language and identity?
  • Why language attitudes matter

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe what is meant by accent and dialect and how attitudes to these are arbitrary
  • Reflect upon stereotypes about accent and dialect, and how these impact on real-world interactions
  • Develop a better understanding of the approaches used within Sociolinguistic research
  • Explore recent developments in the field of Sociolinguistics

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for school or college students who are interested in studying English language and linguistics at University. This course will also be of interest to English A Level and Advanced Higher teachers, and anyone with an interest in spoken language and accentism.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Lecturer in English Language & Linguistics at the University of York. I teach modules in sociolinguistics and conduct research into grammatical variation and change in English.

I'm Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics at the University of York. I teach classes in phonetics, sociolinguistics, and forensic linguistics.

I am a Linguistics PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of York. My research investigates taboo language and discrimination through language.

I am a PhD student and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of York. My research focuses on language attitudes and I have taught classes on sociolinguistics and bilingualism.

I am a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of York. I teach phonetics and phonology, and my research explores variation in intonation patterns across English dialects.

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

Recommended

Ways to learn

Upgrade this course

Unlimited

Basic access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$49

$15.83/month

Billed at $189.99 for a year

Free

Unlock your expertiseEndless possibilities!Try before you upgrade
Access to this courseticktickLimited to 6 weeks
Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a yearcrosstickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Tests to check your learningticktickcross
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Join and Upgrade

Ways to learn

Buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year or Upgrade just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with basic access.

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed at $189.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Upgrade this course

$49

Unlock your expertise

  • All of the above* for this course only, plus a printed certificate when you’re eligible

*Excludes access to all eligible short courses with additional benefits for a year

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 6 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLSociolinguistics to talk about this course on social media.