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Language and Linguistics: Tools and Methods


Admission requirements

Only for students of the BA English Language and Culture.


The field of Linguistics covers many additional disciplines to the ones that are part of the regular teaching programme of the BA English at Leiden, such as first language acquisition, corpus linguistics, historical linguistics, and applied linguistics. This course aims to introduce you to some relevant topics from these fields and the different tools with which we are able to describe language and language use.

You will become acquainted with scientific/scholarly tools and methods drawn upon by scholars throughout the world in the fields of child language acquisition (using experimental methods and linguistic analysis to understand how infants and children acquire language), corpus linguistics (using digital methods to study naturally occurring language), and forensic linguistics (using linguistic analysis as evidence in criminal cases).

While the course surveys a wide range of methods, it will devote specific attention to methods from experimental linguistics, corpus linguistics and digital tools to offer insight into current approaches within the study of language. Being able to work with digital programs will be of enormous benefit, not only within linguistics or language acquisition, but also for any research you might want to do within literature and philology: the methods we survey will allow you, for instance, to quickly retrieve information from a large body of (literary) texts, or to measure the similarity between texts written by different authors.

The course comprises three blocks, each of which will be devoted to a single (sub)discipline consisting of three weekly lectures with set reading and/or assignments to be discussed during the lectures. Each series of lectures will be concluded with a lecture free week in which you will have to do a written (practical) assignment that relates to the block in question.

Course objectives

After completing the course you will have

  • become acquainted with a number of important (sub)disciplines within linguistics

  • learnt about a number of current research methods within (applied) linguistics, experimental linguistics, and digital humanities

  • learnt to work with digital research tools

  • gained experience in jointly doing research for the purpose of writing a report together with a fellow student


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Part 1: A written take-home examination

  • Part 2: A digital tool assignment written in the form of a research report, to be carried out in pairs

  • Part 3: A written analysis


  • Part 1: A written take-home examination (30%)

  • Part 2: A digital tool assignment written in the form of a research report, to be carried out in pairs (40%)

  • Part 3: A written analysis (30%)

In order to pass the course, component grades have to be a 5.5 or higher. The final course grade should be at least a 6.


You may resit the component(s) that have a grade below 5.49.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list comprising weekly reading material (mostly articles and book chapters that are available throught the online library) will be made available in Brightspace before the course starts.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal


For the digital tools assignment, students will be expected to work in pairs. Relevant software is available in the Lipsius computerlab.