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Course Description

Credit Units: 2

Dr Oladotun O.  Olagbaju (B.A(Ed),  M.Ed, PhD English Language Education) Email address:, College of Education and Social Sciences, Department of Education

Course description:

The course is an examination of the interrelationship between language, culture and the society. The course content covers language and culture, multilingualism, multiculturalism, sociolinguistics, social dialects, social class, Diglossia, language universals, linguistic determinism and language in society. Also, it covers the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis on the language acquisition process.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, student should be able to:

  1. Explain the relationship between language, culture and society
  2. Define and discuss concepts in first and  second language acquisition 
  3. Explain a speech community

Course content

There is a social aspect to language and this is the crux of language in society or sociolinguistics. Speech is a form of social identity used   consciously or unconsciously to indicate membership of different social groups or speech communities. The term speech community refers to a group of people with a shared or common set of norms, rules and expectations regarding the use of language. Sociolinguistics deals with the inter-relationships between language and society. Language plays a crucial role in the organization of social groups and institutions. Dialects are products of language variations used by groups and often defined by class, education, age, sex and other social parameters. Other forms of social and regional dialect variations                 include idiolects, styles, registers, jargon, Diglossia. Language and culture are inseparable because linguistic variations are closely related to cultural differences. Language is a vehicle of communication in every hum an society and it is either acquired (first language) or   learned (second or target language).  


Language, society and culture explain the intricacies language in the human society. The processes of language acquisition are either by nature or nurture within the complexity of the human culture and society. The course covers other topics such as:

Mother Tongue




Linguistic determinism

Language universals




Recommended references for further reading

Yule, G. (1997). The Study of Language (2nd Edition). Cambridge Low Price Editions. Lousiana: Cambridge University Press.


International Journal of Socio and Applied linguistics

Please click on the course content tab to have access to all required materials for this course.

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