Head of Department
Regardless of what you eventually decide to do with your degree in English, your language proficiency will be important. Of course, this not only means speaking English correctly, but it also means being able to have the communicative competence necessary to negotiate a wide variety of situations, from attending an academic conference to mastering classroom discourse.
The goal of Language Practice (Sprachpraxis) is to improve students’ overall proficiency as productive users of English. The focus is on both the English to successfully complete your university studies; and the English you will need for professional purposes, for example as language teachers. This involves improving your ability to read, discuss and write about texts of all kinds used in literature, cultural studies and linguistics (including audiovisual material) as well as dealing with English for the classroom. Since there are many resources available via the internet, you will also learn how to assess the quality of the English you find there.
The first semester of the Basismodul (ang080) serves both to assess students’ proficiency in English and provide advice on specific strengths and weaknesses and how to tackle these. In the second semester all students attend a course in academic speaking and writing skills to enable them to deliver effective presentations and papers in courses in later semesters, and to take part in academic discussions in English.
Sprachpraxis courses in the Aufbaumodul are loosely content-based; the topics of these courses explore different aspects of the Anglophone world. The aim of these courses - one in written and one in spoken academic English - is to help students further improve their advanced language skills.
In Sprachpraxis courses at the Master’s level, students are able to focus more on their own interests. There are language courses aimed at future teachers under the general title of "English for Educational Purposes", as well as other classes exploring advanced academic discourse, general advanced language proficiency, or different forms of translation.
All students are encouraged at some point during their studies, or between their BA and MA/MEd, to live in an English-speaking country for a year, and this is compulsory for students planning to become teachers and work in Lower Saxony.
Although we only require a 3-month stay abroad, experience has shown that those students who either work or study abroad for longer profit enormously from the experience. There are a number of exchange programs and internship programs which can help students organize a year abroad. Visit the website section on studying abroad for further information.