The subject of English is characterised by a post-colonial and intercultural profile and primarily comprises studies of literature and linguistics. Courses on the A-level aim to provide students with both an overview of the literary and linguistic study of English and a perspective of English as a global language connected to many regions and cultures of the world. Courses on the B-level promote a deeper understanding of the colonial history and post-colonial literature of English-speaking people, and of discourses of power as well as linguistic methods for their analysis. On the C-level, students become more familiar with discussing and applying literary and linguistic theory in preparation for the independent project in English with a literary or linguistic orientation. Throughout all levels, students improve their language proficiency and practice academic writing. Additional courses offered by the subject of English include English for Higher Education Studies, Academic Writing, and Business English.
Research conducted by the staff reflects the subject’s two orientations, namely, literature and linguistics, but also includes literature and language didactics as well as interdisciplinary investigations.
The subject’s literary research focuses on American and British literature and other English-language texts relevant to multiculturalism and post-colonialism. Race and ethnicity, class, and the representation of minorities and refugees comprise additional areas of focus. Current research projects also include perspectives on gender, capitalism, and human rights.
Linguistic research at the subject of English is primarily sociolinguistic in nature, but also incorporates the fields of interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and discourse analysis. Multilingualism, cognitive linguistics, and corpus linguistics are also represented in current research projects. Much of the research focuses on variation in contemporary English as represented in the media and in popular culture. In line with the subject’s post-colonial and multicultural profile, linguistic research investigates contact between English and other languages, and how this contact is manifested in varieties of English as a second or foreign language.
The didactic research within the subject of English focuses primarily on language teaching and classroom discourse (including in distance learning contexts) and on academic writing in English as a second or foreign language. Additional didactic research concerns literary didactics, with a specific focus on teaching critical reading.