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Unit of study_

SLCS4201: Languages, Societies, Institutions

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

What is the relationship between language, society and institutions? How does understanding language help us understand the working of institutions? This unit equips students with knowledge and skills to address these questions by focusing on language use in institutions such as the workplace, family, media, and religion in different societies.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SLCS4201
Academic unit Languages and Cultures
Credit points 6
144 credit points and (FASS3999 or FASS3333 or equivalent)
Assumed knowledge

Successful completion of a Table A major from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Dwi Noverini Djenar,
Lecturer(s) Yoko Yonezawa,
Dwi Noverini Djenar,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Oral Presentation
Present a persuasive argument concerning a theoretical concept
20% Multiple weeks Equivalent to 1000wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly Tasks
Online submission. Please see Canvas for details.
15% Multiple weeks Equivalent to 1000wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Research Assignment
Apply theoretical concepts to real examples of institutional language
50% Multiple weeks 3000wds
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2 LO1
Assignment Annotated bibliography
Write annotated bibliography on literature relevant to research project
15% Multiple weeks 1000wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO5

Assessment summary

  • Weekly Tasks
    Submit weekly tasks to check your understanding of the key concepts discussed in the unit.
  • Annotated bibliography
    Familiarise yourself with the literature relevant to the topic you have chosen to write about in your Research Assignment. Demonstrate your familiarity by writing an annotation for a minimum of 4 references.
  • Research assignment
    Collect real examples of institutional language and analyse them by applying the theoretical concepts covered in the unit.
  • Oral presentation
    Present a persuasive argument in the form of an oral presentation concernng a theoretical approach relevant for analysing the relationship between language, society,and institution.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work that meets the learning outcomes of the unit to an exceptional standard


75 - 84

Work that meets the learning outcomes of the unit to a very high standard


65 - 74

Work that meets the learning outcomes of the unit to a good standard


50 - 64

Work that meets the learning outcomes of the unit to an acceptable standard


0 - 49

Work that does not meet the learning outcomes of the unit to an acceptable standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

5% for each day after the due date. No extension for the Weekly Tasks as each task is worth 1.5%. No submission beyond 10 days after the due date.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Preliminaries Seminar (2 hr) LO6
Week 02 Module A: What is 'institutional' about institutional language? Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 03 Module A: Language and publics Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 04 Module A: Footing & Participation Framework Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 05 Module A: Neutralism and Adversariality Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 06 Module A: Addressing and referring to an addressee Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 07 Oral Presentations on Module A Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Module B - Introducing Communities of Practice Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 09 Module B - Frame and Framing Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 10 Module B - Metaphor Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 11 Module B - Identity Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 12 Module B - Reflexivity Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 13 Oral Presentations on Module B Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All prescribed readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate advanced knowledge of theoretical approaches to researching language use in institutional contexts in different societies
  • LO2. apply appropriate theoretical approaches to analysing language in real-world institutional contexts
  • LO3. analyse critically and evaluate existing scholarship, and apply the understandings gained for academic purposes
  • LO4. demonstrate advanced technical skills and well-developed ethical judgements in gathering and analysing natural language data
  • LO5. demonstrate advanced skills in transmitting ideas effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing
  • LO6. work responsibly and adaptably in diverse groups

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This Unit has been taught twice (Sem. 2, 2021 and Sem. 1, 2022), in both cases in remote mode. Feedback on the unit was gathered throughout the semester in both cases, and adjustments made. For 2023, we have revised some of the the readings and we will focus more on preparing students for the final research project.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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