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Program Information

Program Name: MA Program in Sociolinguistics
Alternate Name: Soziolinguistik
Program Homepage:
Institution: Universität Bern
Address: Universität Bern
Center for the Study of Language and Society
City: Berne
Zip/Postal Code: CH-3012
Country: Switzerland
Contact Person: Constanze Vorwerg, Prof.

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Phone: +41-31-6315651
Linguistic Subfield(s): Discourse Analysis
General Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Program Size: Medium (11-25 students)
Program Description: Unique in the German-speaking world, our two-year MA Programme in Sociolinguistics examines, from many different angles, the complex interconnection between language and society. It provides a critical understanding of both theory and method in the discipline, introducing both the latest groundbreaking ideas as well as providing a practical training in empirical research, qualitative and quantitative methods and fieldwork techniques.
We take a deliberately interdisciplinary approach in the MA, introducing topics essential for a broad understanding of language use in its social context, including, in addition to sociolinguistics itself, relevant aspects of, for example, psycholinguistics and second language acquisition. Topics covered include:
• Language and power
• Language and gender
• Language and social inequality
• The function, status and characteristics of dialects
• Language standards and attitudes
• Language planning and policy
• Psycholinguistic aspects of language variation
• The languages of Europe
• Bi- and multilingualism
• Language contact and language change
Qualified in the scientific analysis of linguistic problems in their social context, graduates from the MA Programme are able to demonstrate the skills required for employment in, for example, political or humanitarian organisations, teaching, the media, development agencies, or in the scientific or cultural spheres.
At the University of Bern, sociolinguistics is taught in the Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS ). The CSLS is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together the following Departments of the University: General as well as English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Slavic Linguistics. These Departments offer the courses from which students can design a programme that both meets their own individual research interests and addresses their specific professional objectives. Depending on the Department, courses take place in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. The CSLS offers the following MA Sociolinguistics study programme
• Mono-Master (120 ECTS)
• Major-Master (90 ECTS)
• Minor-Master (30 ECTS)
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