English - Free topic A: The sociolinguistics of English in Denmark

Course content

English has no official status in Denmark, but it is nevertheless an all-pervasive aspect of the sociolinguistic landscape of Danish society. In this module we will explore the role of English in Denmark from a range of sociolinguistic perspectives and in a range of societal domains, treating Denmark as a case for the study of what has been referred to as the sociolinguistics of globalization.


Central areas to be explored include:


English in popular culture

English in the media (including the role of translation in news production)

English in education (from primary school to higher education)

English in the workplace

English in social media

English in youth culture

English in the family

English in advertising

English in politics

English in the health care system


Despite what this list might imply, English will not be studied in isolation, but approached as part of a complex contemporary sociolinguistic landscape in which Danish and other languages also have important roles to play. This means that beyond texts in English, students will also be introduced to analytical examples – and occasionally course readings – in other languages than English. However, competences in other languages than English are not required in order to pass the module.


The module introduces students to a range of sociolinguistic disciplines and methodologies relevant for the study of the overall topic. Key theoretical concepts include language and globalization, language and identity, language ideologies, language policy, sociolinguistic change, style, mediatization and linguistic commodification.

Classes, with particular emphasis on reading primary and secondary texts, oral discussion and developing proficiency in English.

The module is designed to be highly interactive, based on a mix of teacher-led discussions, data sessions and student presentations. Towards the end of the module, students will conduct an individual small-scale project based on empirical data collection and analysis using methods introduced in the course.

This is a compendium and textbook-free module. All readings used are available online (for free) through the university library. A detailed course plan including readings for each week will be made available via Absalon at least four weeks before the course begins. Students are responsible for getting hold of the material listed in the course plan and reading it in advance of each session. Suggestions for textbooks and other forms of supplementary will be provided on request.

This course only leads to exams Free Topic 1, Free Topic 2 and Free Topic 3.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline June 9th 2021
- one 5-page essay in course week 5 (counts 25% of final grade) with peer feedback
- one 5-page essay in course week 9 (counts 25% of final grade) with peer feedback
- one 11-15 page project assignment to be submitted with final portfolio (counts 50% of final grade). The project assignment has to be based on empirical data collection and analysis using methods introduced in the course. The topic for this assignment can be chosen among the course topics and has to be approved by the teachers in course week 12 at the latest.
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5