Language and Communication



Language and Communication (L&C), an interdisciplinary programme within the Faculty of Arts, centres on the study and use of language in society in a multilingual, globalized world, with a particular focus on languages of global import, such as English, as well as those with local significance, in how they are appropriated and positioned in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia. The programme provides the theoretical foundations and applied contexts for understanding and addressing linguistic and social questions of language and communication. It equips students with the intellectual and practical tools to critically examine, intelligently reflect on, and competently participate in communicative situations, in real-world contexts, such as in the workplace as well as in more informal sites of multilingual communication. The L&C programme takes particular pride in engaging in experiential learning, from projects in courses involving fieldwork in Hong Kong, to initiatives such as overseas field trips and internships. In addressing the need in society for linguistically versatile and culturally sensitive leaders in the 21st-century knowledge economy of Asia’s world city and beyond, the programme aims at honing transferable skills for a wide range of careers, including education, materials development, editing and publishing, public administration, public relations, marketing, the media, event organization, tourism, cultural affairs and global creative industries.




Programme Outcomes

Students who declare a major or minor in Language and Communication will:

  • Identify and critique relevant issues in the study of language and communication, and apply theoretical and methodological knowledge to real-world social and linguistic data;
  • Critically evaluate established knowledge and creatively apply it to novel, contemporary contexts of communication, in this multilingual, globalized world, in particular in the settings of Hong Kong and Asia;
  • Critically reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of their own and others’ viewpoints and communicative practices, and challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about language and communication;
  • Identify, appreciate and critically examine the role of diversity in languages and communicative strategies across cultures and time, and how this shapes one’s linguistic identity and comes to bear upon communicative situations, drawing on cross-cultural perspectives in the study of language and communication;
  • Use the necessary intellectual, communicative and practical skills to participate in intellectual discussions of linguistic and social issues and collaborate productively in projects, in and for both institutional and real-world contexts;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of contemporary social and political issues of language and communication in the context of globalization – such as the appropriation and positioning of languages of global significance, in particular English, and the fine balance struck with other local languages, with a view to sustainability in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia – which allows for intelligent, significant and responsible contributions to society.



Syllabus for students admitted in 2013-14


First-year Prerequisite
Students intending to major or minor in Language and Communication must pass two introductory courses in the first year (12 credits) (at least one introductory LCOM course from List A and one introductory ENGL course from List B).

Admission to all introductory courses is on the basis of academic record including a minimum Level 5 in English Language in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination, or a C grade in the Use of English AS-level exam, or their equivalents.


Introductory Courses
Students declaring a major are required to take 18 credits of introductory courses (including the prerequisites to be taken in the first year), which consist of:

  1. 6 credits of introductory LCOM course from List A;
  2. 6 credits from List B; and
  3. 6 credits from List C.

Students declaring a minor are required to take 18 credits of introductory courses (including the prerequisites to be taken in the first year), with at least 6 credits from List A, List B and List C.

List A: Historical and Theoretical Foundations
The courses in this list will introduce students to the history and organization of diverse areas of literary and linguistic scholarship. Students will acquire a general overview of selected areas and issues, including major theoretical distinctions or classifications and their historical development over time.

ENGL1011.   An introduction to the study of meaning (6 credits)
ENGL1012.   Language as social action (6 credits)
ENGL1015.   Introduction to English linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1017.   Introduction to sociolinguistics (6 credits)
ENGL1018.   Language and gender (6 credits)
ENGL1037.   Persuasion (6 credits)

LCOM1002.   Language, communication, society, field (6 credits)
LCOM1003.   Theorizing communication (6 credits)
LCOM1004.   Introduction to pragmatics (6 credits)

List B: Critical Reading, Analysis and Writing
The courses in this list will introduce students to the practice and methods of critical reading, analysis and writing, focusing on different areas of literary and linguistic study. Students will acquire a basic grasp of analytical distinctions and terminology, and learn to ask questions and construct critical arguments.

ENGL1014.   Imaginary geographies: The art of writing place (6 credits)
ENGL1026.   Adaptation: From text to screen (6 credits)
ENGL1027.   Analyzing discourse (6 credits)
ENGL1028.   Awakenings: Exploring women’s writing (6 credits)
ENGL1029.   Drama: Comedy and renewal (6 credits)
ENGL1030.   Dramatic changes: Versions of Renaissance literature (6 credits)
ENGL1031.   English grammar(s) (6 credits)
ENGL1032.   'High' and 'low' literature (6 credits)
ENGL1033.   Intercultural communication (6 credits)
ENGL1034.   Language and prejudice (6 credits)
ENGL1035.   Language crimes (6 credits)
ENGL1036.   Meaning and metaphor (6 credits)
ENGL1038.   Practice of criticism (6 credits)
ENGL1039.   Realism and representation (6 credits)
ENGL1040.   Rewriting and writing back (6 credits)
ENGL1041.   Modernity and literary modernism (6 credits)
ENGL1042.   World Englishes matters (6 credits)
ENGL1043.   An introduction to 20th-century English poetry (6 credits)

List C: Introductory Courses from other programmes
Comparative Literature
CLIT1008.       Ways of reading: Film, literature, and culture (6 credits)

Global Creative Industries
GCIN1001.    Introduction to global creative industries (6 credits)

LING1000.      Introduction to language (6 credits)
LING2004.      Phonetics: Describing sounds (6 credits)
LING2009.      Languages of the world (6 credits)
LING2048.      Language and cognition (6 credits)
LING2050.      Grammatical description (6 credits)
LING2056.      Sociolinguistics (6 credits)

CHIN2333.      Culture and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2334.      Power of speech in written translation (6 credits)
CHIN2352.      Language contrast and translation I (6 credits)
CHIN2355.      Translation criticism (6 credits)

Students should note that LING1001 is the pre-requisite for the five other introductory LING courses. However students who have completed any introductory course in List A may enroll in these LING courses without the pre-requisite LING course.



Advanced Courses
Students declaring a major have to take 42 credits of advanced courses, which consist of:

  1. 24 credits from the ENGL and LCOM course lists below (of which at least 12 credits must be from LCOM);
  2. 18 credits from any other programmes from the list below.

Students declaring a minor have to take 18 credits of advanced courses from the list below (of which at least 6 credits must be from LCOM).

Students intending to enroll in any advanced courses in English Studies or Language and Communication must normally have completed 12 credits of introductory courses, with at least 6 credits from both List A and List B.

Students should note that they bear the responsibility of fulfilling the necessary pre-requisites, if any, for advanced courses in other programmes. Students who have completed any introductory course in List A may however enroll in some of the advanced LING courses in the list below without having to do the pre-requisite and/or introductory LING course(s), though it may still be preferable to do so.

American Studies
AMER2014.    A dream in the heart: varieties of Asian American culture (6 credits)
AMER2022.    What’s on TV? Television and American culture (6 credits)
AMER2033.    Asia on America’s screen (6 credits)
AMER2040.    Creating culture in the world: American creative industries in age of globalization (6 credits)
AMER2042.    Consuming culture: decoding American symbols (6 credits)
AMER2043.    Born in the USA: U.S. youth cultures (6 credits)

Comparative Literature
CLIT2025.       Visual cultures (6 credits).
CLIT2026.       Digital cultures (6 credits)
CLIT2064.       Hong Kong culture: Popular arts and everyday life (6 credits)
CLIT2083.       Film art, language and culture (6 credits)

English Studies
ENGL2002.   Language in society (6 credits)
ENGL2004.   English syntax (6 credits)
ENGL2007.   Literary linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL2030.   World Englishes (6 credits)
ENGL2031.   The semantics and pragmatics of English (6 credits)
ENGL2039.   Gender and discourse (6 credits)
ENGL2047.   English discourse structures and strategies (6 credits)
ENGL2048.   Language and jargon (6 credits)
ENGL2050.   English corpus linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL2057.   Text and image (6 credits)
ENGL2069.   Form and meaning (6 credits)
ENGL2092.   Postcolonial English (6 credits)
ENGL2099.   Language, identity, and Asian Americans (6 credits)
ENGL2103.   Language and new media (6 credits)
ENGL2104.   Language in the USA (6 credits)
ENGL2112.   An introduction to the history of English (6 credits)
ENGL2115.   Theories of language acquisition (6 credits)
ENGL2117.   English phonology and morphology (6 credits)
ENGL2123.   Language and identity in Hong Kong (6 credits)
ENGL2125.   English construction grammar (6 credits)
ENGL2126.   Law, meaning, and interpretation (6 credits)
ENGL2127.   Legal discourse and the mind (6 credits)
ENGL2129.   English as a language of science (6 credits)
ENGL2130.   Signs, language and meaning: Integrational reflections (6 credits)
ENGL2138.   Language and globalization (6 credits)
ENGL2140.   Ideologies of language in early modernity (6 credits)
ENGL2141.   Doing discourse analysis (6 credits)
ENGL3036.   Research seminar in English linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL3037.   Research seminar in language and society (6 credits)

European Studies
EUST2010.      European Identity (6 credits)

Global Creative Industries
GNIC2002.    Commercializing creativity: A cultural critique (6 credits)
GNIC2006.    Fashion and luxury: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)
GNIC2007.    Film and media: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)
GNIC2008.    Advertising: Cultural and organizational dynamics (6 credits)

Japanese Studies
JAPN2029.      Japanese popular music and Hong Kong society (6 credits)
JAPN2031.      The media and Japan (6 credits)
JAPN2045.      Sex, gender, and technology in Japan and East Asia (6 credits)
JAPN2046.      Critical inquiries into Japanese and East Asian modernities (6 credits)
JAPN2050.      Creative industries in East Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan) (6 credits)
JAPN2051.      Interpretation I (6 credits)
JAPN2057.      Multi-cultural advertising (6 credits)
JAPN2058.      Understanding popular culture in Japan and Greater China (Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China) (6 credits)
JAPN2067.      Japanese pragmatics: Understanding the hidden meaning (6 credits)
JAPN3021.      Communication and society (6 credits)
JAPN3022.      Introduction to teaching Japanese as a foreign language (6 credits)
JAPN3028.      Contrastive linguistics: Discourse analysis of Japanese and Cantonese (6 credits)

Language and Communication
LCOM2001.    Theories of language and communication (6 credits)
LCOM2002.    Language in the workplace (6 credits)
LCOM2003.    Language and politeness (6 credits)
LCOM2004.    Language, communication and the media (6 credits)
LCOM2005.    Language, communication and globalization: Politics, peril, pop (6 credits)
LCOM2007.   Visual communication (6 credits)
LCOM2008.   Health communication, ‘healthy’ communication (6 credits)
LCOM3001.    Cultural dimensions of language and communication (6 credits)
LCOM3003.    LCOM Papers: Writing for, editing, and producing an academic e-journal (12 credits)
LCOM3004.    Language and communication field trip (6 credits)
LCOM3005.    Internship in language and communication (6 credits)
LCOM3006.    Extended essay in language and communication (6 credits)

LING2003.      Semantics: Meaning and grammar (6 credits)
LING2013.      Language typology: The study of linguistic diversity (6 credits)
LING2023.      Discourse analysis (6 credits)
LING2034.      Psycholinguistics (6 credits)
LING2036.      Child language (6 credits)
LING2037.      Bilingualism (6 credits)
LING2040.      Languages in contact (6 credits)
LING2057.      Language evolution (6 credits)

**As indicated in the L&C curriculum for 2011/12, students majoring/minoring in L&C can enrol in those senior ENGL and LING courses listed in the L&C curriculum without having to do the pre-requisites ENGL1009 and LING1001 respectively, as long as they have passed LCOM1001 with a minimum C grade. However, because the computer system is unable to deal with such a waiver, for enrolling in any of the 4 LING courses, students should send an email to Ms Golly Lo [] in the Department of Linguistics office and cc Ms Michelle Wong [] of the School of Humanities office and Mr Tamix Wong [] of the School of English office, to inform them of their situation and request that they be enrolled in LING20xx as an L&C major/minor, with LING1001 waived. Ms Lo will then see to their enrolment. If students face further problems, they should contact the School of English's office ( and the L&C coordinator (

PHIL2075.       The semantics/pragmatics distinction (6 credits)
PHIL2230.       Philosophy and cognitive science (6 credits)
PHIL2410.       Mind and language in Chinese thought (6 credits)

CHIN2331.      Choice of words in translation (6 credits)
CHIN2332.      Translation in Hong Kong society (6 credits)
CHIN2339.      Translation for administration and business (6 credits)
CHIN2340.      Film translation workshop (6 credits)
CHIN2341.      Translating writings on art (6 credits)
CHIN2342.      Interpretation workshop II (6 credits)
CHIN2343.      Legal interpreting (6 credits)
CHIN2344.      Short stories: East and West (6 credits)
CHIN2345.      Syntax-based translation (6 credits)
CHIN2346.      From page to stage: A workshop on drama adaptation and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2356       Language contrast and translation II (6 credits)
CHIN3311       Translation and Sinology (6 credits)



Course offerings and time-table

Please see for the courses offered in the first and second semester of 2015-16 and the updated time-table with location of the classrooms.




Dr B. Bolander
School of English
The University of Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3917 5141
Fax: (852) 2559 7139



Last updated: 1 September 2016