Directed Readings in a Language of South or Southeast Asia

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
South East Asia Section

Module overview

The objective of the Directed Readings module is to provide students with advanced language skills with the opportunity to explore readings in a South East Asian language on a specific area of interest (e.g. literature, history, film, linguistics, culture) in greater depth and breadth than more traditional lecture-based modules permit. The student will thereby gain both insight into new perspectives on the subject (which may be significantly different from the perspectives to be gained from reading in English) and a deeper understanding of the language in question.

The range of languages in which this module may be made available is normally Burmese, Indonesian, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese. Other South East Asian languages, such as Khmer, may be possible if suitable supervision can be arranged.

A suitable programme of readings in the relevant language will be agreed in consultation between the supervisor and the student to match the interests and abilities of the student.

Anyone wishing to take a Directed Readings module should contact the relevant convenor and identify a potential supervisor well in advance to discuss the feasibility of their proposed topic.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. locate and evaluate data in a South East Asian language on their chosen topic
  2. demonstrate knowledge of aspects of the region within the topic of choice
  3. demonstrate an awareness of current critical thinking on the topic of choice
  4. demonstrate precision and caution in assessing reading in a SEAsian language
  5. demonstrate critical awareness and independence of thought.
  6. demonstrate sensitivity to the existence of non-Eurocentric views and an awareness of the limitations of purely Eurocentric interpretations of their chosen topic
  7. demonstrate awareness of the value of a South East Asian language in understanding the topic chosen
  8. communicate in writing about the chosen topic
  9. communicate in spoken language about the chosen topic
  10. demonstrate specialist knowledge of a South East Asian language in the chosen topic


Total of 15 hours project supervision throughout the term.

Scope and syllabus

The syllabus is determined by the student's own interests and needs and is agreed at the start of the module between student and supervisor.

Method of assessment

  • a draft proposal of 1,000 words, consisting of draft title, detailed main body and bibliography submitted Term 2 (10%)
  • an essay of 5,000 words to be submitted term 3 (90%)
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page

Suggested reading

Readings will be discussed in consultation with the supervisor, but given SOAS library's extensive holding of texts and films in South East Asian Languages, there will be no problem finding auitable materials on most topics related to film, literature, culture and history.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules