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Language Acquisition 6: Dimensions of Composition and Text Analysis


Admission requirements

A pass for Language Acquisition 1 (or an equivalent introductory course on academic writing) and LA 3 (or an equivalent course on English grammar) is required.


In Language Acquistion 6 you will build on your previously developed knowledge of English writing (LA1), vocabulary (LA2), grammar (LA3), rhetoric (LA4), and linguistics research methodologies (LA5), by learning how language functions and is investigated at the level of text and discourse. In the first half of the course, you will attend lectures and read assigned textbook chapters regarding theories and procedures related to register analysis. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of key concepts for register analysis on a mid-term closed-response exam that will be administered electronically.
In the second half of the course, you will participate in seminar workshops in which you conduct your own small-scale register analysis research project with guidance from your tutor and three to four of your peers. You will participate in peer group discussions and peer review sessions to facilitate the process of conveying your research findings to a general audience in a polished and concise final draft essay.

Course objectives

  • Understand theories and procedures related to register analysis

  • Investigate how language functions at the level of text

  • Apply methods of register and genre analysis

  • Engage in independent research

  • Develop audience awareness for effective written communication

  • Write an academic essay in English at CEF-level C1


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar;

  • Research.

Assessment method


  • Mid-term electronic examination with closed questions and short open questions regarding lectures and assigned readings. A pass mark of 6 is needed to participate in the second block of the course (Block IV).

  • Seminar participation. Score is based on percentage of seminars attended with proper preparation.

  • Paper: 3,000-word register analysis essay at the end of the course. A score of 6 is required to pass the course.


  • Mid-term: 40%

  • Seminar participation: 20%

  • Paper: 40%


The end-of-term essay can be resubmitted if the score is between 4.5 and 5.5. This essay resit will constitute for 100% of the final grade, thus replacing all previously earned marks.

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

Biber, D., & Conrad, S. (2019). Register, Genre, and Style (2nd Ed). Cambridge University Press. An electronic copy of the textbook is available via Leiden University Library resources.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.


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

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


Not applicable.