Logo Students

LING1120 – Exploring English

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Maria Herke
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

The English language is used in many different ways: to inform, to question, to report, to regulate, to express emotions, to advertise products, to create images, to construct works of literature. Drawing on a view of language as a 'social semiotic', this unit moves from some basic and traditional concepts in English grammar to looking at the grammatical choices users of English make in a variety of contexts, with lectures covering both theory and practice. The theoretical lectures provide an introduction to some basic concepts of, and tools for, a functional approach to grammar description and analysis of its application to context. The practical lectures and online activities invite students to explore the relationship between the grammar of and the contextual meanings in texts - both spoken and written - drawn from many different social contexts.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate an understanding of what is meant by a functional approach to English grammar, and in particular the functional approach taken by systemic functional grammarians.
  • ULO2: Use basic terminology (in terms of both traditional and systemic functional grammar) used by grammarians to describe grammatical phenomena.
  • ULO3: Analyse short texts in terms of their grammatical patterns.
  • ULO4: Discuss the role of language as it is used in a variety of social contexts.
  • ULO5: Communicate in academic writing the ways composers of either written or spoken texts use language choices and other text design strategies to target their chosen audience as well as meet their own needs in the communicative process.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

The final grade for LING1120 will be based on your aggregate marks across all assessments, including the final examination.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Unit delivery

We deliver this unit through online lectures and weekly tutorials, both beginning in week 1. Lectures will be accessible through the unit  iLearn site. We also use iLearn for uploading notes and other materials. 

This unit runs over the full 13 weeks of Semester , however Week 13 will be used to summarise the work throughout the semester. Please note that the Semester break is a break from face to face teaching, not a vacation break, and we may set work to be done during those two weeks.


There is a set textbook: Butt, Fahey, Feez and Spinks, Using Functional Grammar: An explorer's guide to English, Edition 3, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Please ensure you purchase a copy as early as possible because it is an invaluable resource for this unit.


Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Late Assignment Submission

  • Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 3% of the total mark available for the assessment task per day including weekend days (i.e. this is 3% of the total marks possible for the task – NOT 3% of the marks the student received. For example, if the assessment task is worth 100 marks and the student is two days late their mark for the task is reduced by 6 marks.)
  • Late submission of an assessment task without an extension will not be accepted at all after the date on which marked assessment tasks have been released to the rest of the class. Any student with unsubmitted work at this date will receive a mark of 0 for the assessment task.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation.
  • Extensions that will result in submissions after the assessment task has been returned to the class will require a separate assessment task to be completed at the unit convenor's discretion.
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration\
  • If a student fails the unit due to non-submission of an assignment or non-attendance at an exam, an FA grade will be applied in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy.
  • Unit convenors have the discretion to determine whether or not students should fail a unit on the basis of lateness penalties alone if other learning outcomes of the unit have been met.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.