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International English: Contexts and Varieties

Module titleInternational English: Contexts and Varieties
Module codeELC2729
Academic year2022/3
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will analyse varieties and contexts of international English, embracing both dominant varieties of English in Western contexts as well as English in postcolonial and non-Western contexts. The course will investigate historical, social, political and cultural contexts of English varieties, and will include specific focus on linguistic features, such as variations in grammar, vocabulary, style and idiomatic use. The course will examine diverse genres of English including academic publications from various disciplines of study, journalism and media, and arts and culture. Second-year or third-year students who have permission to take modules outside their departments and inbound study abroad students may be interested in the module. Students with an interest in language in its socio-political and cultural contexts should find the module stimulating. The module may also be useful for students considering teaching English in the future or working with English in a multinational context.  

There are no prerequisites for this module, and it is suitable for students from all subject areas with an English level from B2 to C2 on the CEFR framework (IELTS 6.5 to 8). Students wishing to take this module will need to complete a short task to ensure appropriate language level and should email before registering. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the multitude of global uses and varieties of English, with a view to deepening understandings of English as a lingua franca, embracing plurality over purism. Students undertaking the course will consider the wider decolonisation agenda, as postcolonial identities of English will be explored, with varieties of English in the Global South and non-Western cultures foregrounded.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of diversity in language use and its connection to cultural expression
  • 2. Identify aspects of diverse global varieties of English and critically analyse them in relation to their social, political, cultural and linguistic contexts
  • 3. Understand key terms and concepts related to variation in the English language

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Understand and analyse variation in English vocabulary, grammar, idiomatic use and style in diverse contexts

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Reflect on engagement and participation in the module, including personal development, extension of knowledge, and contribution to class discussions
  • 6. Understand aspects of diverse international cultural and geographical contexts and how they interconnect
  • 7. Work effectively in a group with peers to discuss, analyse and present on diverse aspects studied
  • 8. Critique and analyse theoretical, linguistic and cultural aspects studied on the module

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Variation in English usage in multiple geographical, social and cultural contexts 

  • Variation in use of English in specific genres of communication, i.e. academic disciplines of study, journalism and media, and arts and culture 

  • Variations in grammar, vocabulary, style and idiomatic use 

  • Relationship between use of English and postcolonial identities 

  • Interconnection between varieties of English 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33Lectures and seminars
Guided Independent Study 117Reading and preparation for lectures, seminars, presentations and assessed coursework


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Response Paper 600 words 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Tutor written feedback
Individual Presentation 10 Minutes1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Tutor written feedback
Reflective Statement 300 Words1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Tutor written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay402000 words 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Tutor written feedback
Group presentation 4020 minutes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 Tutor written feedback
Participation 20Participation in scheduled learning and teaching activities. Assessed through tutor observation (10%) and a written Reflective Statement (10%) of 500 words. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Tutor written feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayRe-submission 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 August/September assessment period
Individual presentation Re-submission 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 August/September assessment period
Participation Re-submission of Reflective Statement (10%) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for reasons judged legitimate by the Mitigation Committee, the applicable assessment will normally be deferred. See ‘Details of reassessment’ for the form that assessment usually takes. When deferral occurs there is ordinarily no change to the overall weighting of that assessment. 


Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to take a re-sit exam. Only your performance in this exam will count towards your final module grade. A grade of 40% will be awarded if the examination is passed. 


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading: 


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web-based and electronic resources:  


  • ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages 

  • Kortmann, Bernd & Lunkenheimer, Kerstin & Ehret, Katharina (eds.) 2020.The Electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English. Zenodo.DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3712132  

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

International English, English, English Language, Varieties, Contexts, Language, Linguistics 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date