ENGLISH 305 - Exploring the English Language
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Sociopolitical Dimensions of the English Language
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Recommended for students preparing to teach English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


How do slang words go viral? And when did “viral” become slang for “spread through social media”? Why are there regional differences in how people pronounce “caramel”? Does language reflect or shape what we think (or both)? Is there such a thing as “correct English”? What role does language play in how we understand ourselves and our relationships to others? Is texting ruining the English language? How is language use regulated and legislated, and why should we care?

In this course, we will investigate contemporary conversations and debates about the English language. We will examine language use – as well as research and teaching about language – as socially, politically, and historically situated activities. We will unpack common myths about language change and variation. And we will develop our identities as critical language users. This course is for anyone interested in how language works and is particularly recommended for students interested in teaching English in school settings.

This course satisfies the following CURRENT English major/minor requirement: Identity/Difference

This course satisfies the following NEW English major/minor requirements: Foundations & Methods 300/400-level

Course Requirements:

The course requires daily participation, timely completion of reading and writing assignments, and active involvement in writing workshops. Students will write a series of short response papers and develop two longer papers in multiple drafts: a theorization of learning essay and a final language project. No mid-term, no final exam.

Intended Audience:

This course is for any undergraduate student who is curious about how language works, and it is particularly recommended for students interested in teaching English in school settings.


ENGLISH 305 - Exploring the English Language
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 305 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)