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Course Description (Ph.D. in Language and Communication)

Foundation Course

PLA 5000 Academic and Dissertation Writing

This course helps students gain knowledge of academic written English and develop writing skills necessary for their PhD study and future academic publications. Students in the course will explore various academic writing conventions at the word, sentence, and discourse levels. The course also includes discussions of ethical issues in academic writing.


Core Courses

PLA 6000 Theoretical Approaches to Language Studies

This course reviews theories and concepts related to language studies from descriptive, analytical and critical perspectives. Its aim is to discuss the ontology and epistemology of language in order to provide students with an awareness of the mechanisms of language, and its life and roles in broader communicative as well as social contexts.

PLA 6001 Theoretical Approaches to Communication Studies

The course introduces a wide range of communication studies. Theories and concepts will be introduced to students in this course. Students will gain a variety of tools to be able to analyze communication that occurs in a variety of contexts and arena. Students will be assessed by in-class presentations and a final examination.


Research Methodology Courses

PLA 6002 Qualitative Research in Language and Communication

This course examines qualitative research principles with emphasis on research in language and communication. In addition, students will discuss the variability of qualitative inquiry, including research design, ranging from choosing a research topic, writing a literature review, collecting and analyzing data, to a discussion of findings. This course is constructed to introduce doctoral students to various qualitative research methods in language and communication and provide them with skills necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each qualitative method as well as tensions among them.  

PLA 6003 Quantitative Research in Language and Communication

This course covers the various stages of quantitative research methods, including problem identification, conceptual framework, hypothesis formulation, sampling, measurement, design, data collection and analysis, and application of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques within the context of language and communication. Emphasis will also be placed on solving research problems using appropriate software.



PLA 7101 Critical Discourse Studies

This course reviews theoretical perspectives emerging from various fields of study concerning discourse. The aim of this course is to bridge the grand social theories such as the Critical Theories with linguistic methodology. It also introduces the major discourse analytical frameworks and critical approaches to empirically analyze discourse.

PLA 7102 Discourse and Genre Analysis 

This course introduces various approaches used for the analysis of spoken and written discourse. It emphasizes the genre theory derived from the notions of genre, discourse community, and communicative event. Also discussed are genre analysis and contemporary genre-based research. It draws on a range of authentic samples of different genres and includes extensive hands-on practice.

PLA 7103 Conversation Analysis and Institutional Interactions 

This course explores how to apply conversation analysis (CA) to study the interactions between “professionals” and “clients” in a wide variety of settings, such as doctor-patient consultations, news interviews, and classrooms. Students will gain an understanding of how key aspects of an organization’s work are managed through a distinctively asymmetric form of institutional interaction.    

PLA 7104 Sociocultural Approaches to Language Studies 

This course focuses on some key concepts of sociocultural theory and the essential relationship between human action and language as a mediational tool. It will help student to understand how this mediational tool shapes the action in particular ways. Students will be able to apply their knowledge of sociocultural theory to seek understanding of the developing processes of human minds and human actions in various social contexts.

PLA 7105 Stylistics

This course studies the styles of language usage in different contexts especially in literary and academic contexts in order to determine how language systematically creates meaning, style and effect.  It is concerned with the examination of stylistic features including grammar, lexis, semantics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics with a focus on the significance of form and function that each style fulfills.  It surveys existing theories of style, methods of style analysis, and applications of the theories and methods to selected work. 

PLA 7201 Psychoanalysis, Language and Communication  

This course looks at applications of psychoanalysis theory in the study of language and communication. It explores selected social and cultural aspects of the construction of subjectivity and desire through verbal interaction, and seeks an understanding of the socio-cultural and communicative dynamics that complements the psychoanalytic tradition.

PLA 7202 Cultural and Media Studies 

This course introduces the key concepts in cultural and media studies.  It aims to develop understanding in how meanings values and norms are produced, circulated and exchanged in social practices.  It also discusses how cultural signs are circulated in the media and what are the approaches available to investigate the functions of these signs in society.

PLA 7203 Communication and Social Change

This course explores the relationship between communication and social change, and the development of theories associated with this relationship.  The influence of the relationship, social changes, theories of communication and language, and research will be highlighted.

PLA 7204 Persuasion Theories and Applications

The study of the theories and applications of persuasive communication in various contexts. The nature of human attitudes, attitude change and the relationship between attitudes and behavioral change are examined. Persuasion techniques are also investigated.

PLA 7205 Epistemology of Communication

This course evaluates and critically analyze diverse theories relating to epistemology, the study of truth, and communication. This will range from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to contemporary debates about truth in relationship to the media and politics. The main theories under consideration are Realism, Pragmatism, Antirealism, and Hyperrealism. The students will be assessed by in-class activities and presentations.


Seminar Course

PLA 8000 Seminar in Language and Communication

This course aims to discuss the current issues in language, communication and their related applications. The seminar will deal with selected problems and issues in theory and research in language use, language analysis, applied linguistics, language teaching and learning, and second language acquisition. Discussion on a broad area of communication issues will be offered. Current issues include interpersonal communication, group communication, organizational communication, social communication and mass communication.



PLA 9900 Dissertation and PLA 9901 Dissertation

In-depth, original and systematic investigation of a topic in the area of language and communication. The dissertation should display the student’s independent critical thinking and reflect extensive and substantial research on the topic specified. An excerpt of the dissertation must be of sufficient quality for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Information Updated on January  31, 2021

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