LINGUIST List 25.2189

Mon May 19 2014

Summer Schools: An Introduction to Theory and Praxis of Sociolinguistics / Pristina, Kosovo

Editor for this issue: Malgorzata Cavar <>

Date: 15-May-2014
From: Uranela Demaj <>
Subject: An Introduction to Theory and Praxis of Sociolinguistics / Pristina, Kosovo
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An Introduction to Theory and Praxis of Sociolinguistics

Host Institution: AAB University
Coordinating Institution: AAB University

Dates: 07-Jul-2014 - 18-Jul-2014
Location: Pristina, Kosovo

Focus: The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the concepts, objectives, hypotheses, and research methods that constitute the study of sociolinguistics. In addition, the course encourages students to think critically about sociolinguistic aspects in Kosovo and the region and develop an interest and thorough understanding of research in the (thus far underexplored) domain of the Kosovo sociolinguistic configuration.

Minimum Education Level: Undergraduate

Special Qualifications:
Intermediate level knowledge of English and interest in sociolinguistics.

This Summer University Course offers an introduction to the study of sociolinguistics as both an independent academic discipline and an interesting and fruitful research domain in the specific context of Kosovo. We propose an intensive 50-hour class encompassing both (i) theoretical lectures, and (ii) workshop activities:
(i) In case of the former, 26 hours of lectures will introduce and address basic sociolinguistic concepts, topics and theoretical principles. This overview includes, amongst others:
the inception of the field of sociolinguistics within the larger tradition of 20th century linguistics; sociolinguistic variation and variability in language use;
multilingualism and language contact phenomena (e.g. pidgins and creoles, and code-switching);
language maintenance, shift and death;
language attitudes and ideologies;
English world-wide and World Englishes;
social dialectology;
language and gender;
linguistic landscape studies (cf. research project infra).
At the end of the course, the students’ individual knowledge of and familiarity with these theoretical topics will be assessed by means of a final oral exam, which counts towards 50% of their final mark for the Summer University Course.

(ii) In addition to this theoretical framework, the Summer University Course also includes 24 hours of workshop activities in which students are expected to conduct their own research study. Engaging in their own research project will as such enable them to thoroughly understand the different aspects and
possibilities of the field of sociolinguistics as a research domain. Students will be divided into five groups of 5 students each (25 students in total in accordance with specifications in the Summer University contract) and will collectively in group conduct their own linguistic landscape study (i.e. studying the use of written language in the public sphere) in Pristina. As part of their training, these workshops also aim to teach students how to compose and choose a sociolinguistic research topic, how to devise a research
question and how to formulate a range of potential hypotheses. The activities during these workshops will also allow them to critically discern various quantitative and qualitative research methods, and select and implement the adequate methodology of their own choice in their research project. For their exam assignments, students are expected to collect linguistic landscape data by means of ethnographic fieldwork in different areas in Pristina (or Kosovo) and to analyze and code these data quantitatively in class by means of a language visibility score system. In addition to this, they are also expected
to document perceptions of local inhabitants (by means of brief, un-structured interviews) regarding the use of language (e.g. English or tourist languages) in the public sphere in Pristina and apply a more qualitative perspective to their study. During the final session of the course, students are expected to
discuss their results and observations in an oral presentation (10% of the evaluation mark; 15 minutes per group presentation) and hand in their final conclusions in a written research report (30% of the evaluation mark).

In addition to the written research report, the presentation and the oral exam, students are also expected to hand in an interim progress report at the end of the first week, which will not count towards their exam mark but in which they document the steps undertaken so far in their study, as well as the problems they encountered and concerns that arose during the research process. Based on this progress report, the two lecturers can assist where necessary and provide feedback.

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Tuition: 250.00 EUR

Tuition Explanation: 100 euro for local students
250 euro for international students (including course costs, food and lodging expenses)

Registration: 25-Apr-2014 to 01-Jun-2014

Contact Person: Uranela Demaj

Apply on the web:

Registration Instructions:
Students can apply online. If applicants have difficulties with any of the question please feel free to contact

Page Updated: 19-May-2014