LING101-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

How Language Works

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


This course introduces students to the study of the English language, its words, sounds and sentences. It also introduces the conceptual and analytical tools which linguists use to understand how languages are constructed.

This course is designed to introduce you to the study of LINGUISTICS, particularly the linguistics of the English language. The aim of the course is to show you how English works as a system for connecting speech sounds with meaning. Throughout the course, we will be guided by the following over-arching question: when a baby learns English as its first language, what aspects of the linguistic system does it have to master if it is to have a successful conversation? To answer this question, we start with single speech sounds, and then think about how they are combined to make words. Then we consider how words combine to make phrases, and finally we examine the structure of whole sentences.

In the first half of the course, we focus on how English speech is pronounced. How do we move our speech articulators when we produce sounds? How is a Kiwi accent similar to and different from accents from elsewhere? What tools do you need to analyse accent variation properly? In the second half of the course, we focus on the structure of English sentences. As well as practicing how to identify different words types (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc), you will examine how are words structured into phrases, clauses and sentences, and you will learn how we combine words in different ways to generate new and complex meanings.

An important part of the course is that we do not only examine the English language as an academic subject, but also learn how this knowledge can be applied and used across many different fields and careers.

Learning Outcomes

Through their experiences with this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate their understanding of the basic technical terms used to describe the systems of
which languages are composed: sounds, morphemes and words, phrases and clauses.

2. Accurately transcribe in broad phonetics a section of written English,

3. Demonstrate how to analyse the structure of words into syllables and morphemes,

4. Demonstrate how analyse the structure of sentences into their grammatical constituents.

5. Demonstrate how the skills learned in the course can be applied in real life contexts

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


ENGL123, ENLA101

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 14:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 14:00 - 15:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 2 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 Jack Erskine 235
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Monday 09:00 - 10:00 Jack Erskine 235
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
03 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 A8 Lecture Theatre
26 Feb - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 2 Jun
04 Wednesday 15:00 - 16:00 Jack Erskine 445
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
05 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 Jack Erskine 121
26 Feb - 24 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator

Kevin Watson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quizzes 20% 10 quizzes, weeks 2-11.
Phonetic transcription 25% Week 7
Morphology analysis 15% Week 10
Syntax tree 20% Week 12
Syntax analysis 20% specific date tbc (mid June)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if less than 1 person applies to enrol.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All LING101 Occurrences

  • LING101-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024
  • LING101-24S1 (D) Semester One 2024 (Distance)