TSL201 - Linguistics

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:27:12.201
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:27:23.042

Subject Title

Subject Description
This subject presents students with an overview of the foundations in syntax, morphology, phonetics/phonology etcetera and the applications of such to the adult ESL learner.

Credit Status
This is a required credit in the TEFL/TESL Certificate Programs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language and language competence.

2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the systematic organization of the English language, including the major subsystems of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

3. Demonstrate strategies to assist second language learners in accurate pronunciation of English.

4. Demonstrate a knowledge of the important contribution of phonology and phonological variation to a learner's language competence.

5. Identify and explain the impact of a variety of barriers to second language acquisition.

6. Compare the acquisition processes of first and second language learning.

7. Interpret samples of written and spoken discourse with reference to speech events, background knowledge, cooperative principle, cohesion, coherence, and discourse markers, where applicable.

8. Demonstrate an ability to apply linguistic theory to language related needs and issues in the ESL classroom.

9. Demonstrate an ability to prepare activities to illustrate and reinforce lesson content.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


  • The student's mother tongue is English OR
  • The student's mother tongue is NOT English, but the student has a university degree in which the exclusive medium of instruction was in English OR
  • The student's mother tongue is NOT English, but the student has received the minimum score required in both GOF (ESL 079) and Writing Skills (ESL 934) in an EAP 100 assessment.  Please see "English Assessment and Placement" for registration details for this assessment.

Topic Outline
1. Building a linguistic framework 

  • The nature of language
    • Origin 
    • Characteristics/features 
  • Linguistic Subsystems
    • Phonetics/Phonology
    • Morphology 
    • Syntax
    • Semantics
    • Pragmatics
    • Related Disciplines 
  • Meaning of language competence 

2.  Language Acquisition 

  • First language acquisition 
  • Second language acquisition 
  • Factors affecting second language acquisition 
  • Second language acquisition
  • Models of first language influence on English acquisition 

3.   World  Languages 

  • Language families
  • Writing systems
  • History of the development of the English Language
  • Development of English in Canada 

4.  Sounds:  Phonetics and Phonology 

  • English Phonemes 
  • IPA 
  • Sound Production
    • Consonants 
    • Vowels
  • Word stress 
  • Sentence stress 
  • Intonation/Pitch 
  • Phonological variation 

5.    Words 

  • Morphological features 
  • Lexical features 
  • Syntactical features 
  • Semantic features 
  • Parts of speech 
  • Word formation processes 

6.    Syntax

  • Basic Sentence Patterns
  • Generative Grammar
  • Phrase Structure rules

7.  Semantics

  • Conceptual vs Associative meanings
  • Semantic features and roles
  • Lexical relations
  • Collocation

8.  Pragmatics

  • Context
  • Referential relations
  • Speech Acts
  • Politeness

9.  Discourse Analysis

  • Cohesion/coherence
  • Speech events
  • Co-operative principle
  • Background knowledge 

Mode of Instruction
The teacher may use some of the following teaching modes: 

  • lectures 
  • questions and answer techniques 
  • classroom discussion 
  • pair/group work 
  • individual consultation 
  • student presentations
Several methods of verbal and written evaluation will be practised.

Prescribed Texts
The Study of Language, 6th Edition:Yule, G., Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN# 9781107658172

Teaching American English Pronunciation: Avery, P and Ehrlich, S.,  Oxford University Press, ISBN# 9780194328159

Reference Material

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Linguistics Symposium 20%
Linguistic Analysis 15%
Phonetics & Phonology Assignment 15%
Discourse Analysis Assignment 10%
2 in-class quizzes 5% 5% each
Final Exam 30%

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the dates specified.  Begin your assignments early in anticipation of unforeseen problems that may arise in your work or personal life.  Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your instructor immediately, prior to when your assignment is due, so an appropriate course of action can be established.  Late assignments may be subject to a penalty of up to 10% per week and will not generally be accepted beyond two weeks after the assignment due date.

Students must attain a grade of at least 60% to pass the course. 



Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood