The sociology of English as a language of science.
The history of English as a language of science.
The relationship of language with the world (‘reality’)

English in science communication.
Similarities and differences in the rhetoric of diverse academic disciplines.
Aspects of “ordinary English” as opposed to "scientific" or "academic" English.




To provide an introduction to questions pertaining to the sociology of knowledge and the linguistic ideological questions related to academic knowledge.
To create an awareness of the place and role of the English language in academic research.
To create an awareness of the cross-disciplinary diversity of scientific/academic discourse.
To create an awareness of what tasks language is commonly expected to fulfill in academic contexts.




The course will consist of seminars in which key topics will be discussed and data will be analysed. Assessment will consist of group presentations (in class) and an individual research essay.

Group presentation: 40%
Research paper: 60%




Ammon, Ulrich (ed.). 2001. The dominance of English as a language of science: Effects on other languages and language communities. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Atkinson, Dwight. 1999. Scientific discourse in sociohistorical context. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bazerman, Charles. (1988) Shaping written knowledge: The genre and activity of the experimental article in science. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.

Banks, David. 2008. The development of scientific writing: Linguistic features and historical context. London: Equinox.

Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. 2004. The language of science. London: Continuum.

Martin, James R. & Richard Veel. 1998. Reading science: Critical and functional perspectives on discourses of science. London: Routledge.

Meyer, Paul Georg. 1997. Coming to know: Studies in the lexical semantics and pragmatics of academic English. Tubingen: Narr.

Montgomery, Scott L. 1996. The scientific voice. New York: The Guilford Press.

Nash, Walter (ed.). 1990. The writing scholar: Studies in academic discourse. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Swales, John M. 1990. Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Last updated: 19 July 2016