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Literary linguistics and stylistics

Read this article explaining how the approach of this course draws from understandings and concepts from literary linguistics and stylistics.

As part of the Englicious project, based in the Survey of English Usage at UCL, this course draws from recent academic research, especially the fields of corpus linguistics, and literary linguistics and stylistics.

This is not an academic course, but a practical one for teachers. Here, we’ll briefly look at some of the concepts and ideas that underpin our approach.

Any text we encounter is a form of linguistic data. This means we can use tools from literary linguistics and stylistics to analyse it in a systematic way.

This course sets out a unified approach which integrates aspects of language and literature, rather than seeing them as distinct subjects.

This starts from the premise that whenever we read a text, our initial engagement with that text is on a linguistic level. That is, we are responding to the language choices and patterns as an integral part of how we make meaning.

Understanding a text should not just be about listing the linguistic features, but identifying the readings that emerge when we engage with a text.

Reading List

This course will take principles from literary linguistics and stylistics, and show you how to apply them to the types of texts you could use in the classroom.

If you are interested in reading on the subject further, try the following texts:

  • Aarts B, Cushing I, Hudson R, How to Teach Grammar. Oxford University Press; 2018.

How to Teach Grammar is co-written by Prof Bas Aarts and Dr Ian Cushing, who developed the original Teaching English Grammar in Context course. If you enjoy this course, the book will give your further examples and guidance based on the same principles.

Other useful books:

  • Cushing, I, Text Analysis and Representation. Cambridge University Press; 2018
  • Jerffries, L, D, McIntyre, Stylistics. Cambridge University Press; 2010
  • Simpson, P, Stylistics: A resource book for students. Abingdon: Routledge; 2014
  • Giovanelli, M, Teaching Grammar, Structure and Meaning. Abingdon: Routledge; 2015
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Teaching English Grammar in Context

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