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 is to improve and expand students’ proficiency in English. The focus is on: a) the English you need at university in order to study successfully; and b) the English you will need for professional purposes. This includes improving your ability to read, discuss and write about texts of all kinds used in literature, linguistics and cultural studies (including audio and video material) as well as English for Educational Purposes. 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 serves both to assess students’ proficiency in English and counsel them on what they can do to keep improving their English. 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.
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 become increasingly more proficient in academic discourse. Students have the possibility of attending a language course which is tied to one of the other courses being offered in literature, cultural studies or linguistics. Those who are planning to become teachers will also have the opportunity to attend a course in English for Educational Purposes.
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. 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. We (as well as the International Student Office (ISO)) do our best to help students organize such stays abroad. Visit the website section on studying abroad for further information.