English Language & Linguistics (ELL) is helping students to make the most out of their University experience and build the skills needed for employment or further study. In addition to developing the transferable skills one expects to learn on a good humanities course, the study of linguistics provides you with strong analytical skills as well as the opportunity to hone your quantitative and IT skills. In addition, the English Language and Lingusitics programme offers a number of modules with direct relevance to the world of work.
Those modules reflect some of the careers for which our graduates are particularly well suited, such as language teaching, publishing, advertising and the media. Additional options include careers in which a sensitivity to and understanding of language is important, such as speech and language therapy, speech and language technology, forensic work for the police and judiciary, and the civil and diplomatic services. Sensitivity to the structure and uses of language gives ELL graduates the edge in a variety of careers, notably professional writing and editing, journalism, publishing, speech therapy, the law, policing, and English language teaching in the UK and abroad.
Of course, further study is always a popular option, and the department offers a range of new postgraduate opportunities for those who wish to take their studies to a higher level.
In addition, a new range of study abroad options enables students to broaden their horizons, pick up a foreign language and enhance their employability while pursuing their studies through the medium of English at an overseas University as part of their ELL programme.
LL510: Creative Writing
This module proceeds from the premise that the ambition to write creatively presupposes an interest in the ‘expressive mechanics’ of language. A more in-depth understanding of these processes will benefit the creative writer in many ways, for example by providing them with useful ways of describing various fictional, poetic and dramatic techniques and accounting for their effects, and by enhancing their understanding of the enormous creative and expressive possibilities of language. Students are at first introduced to various stylistic and narratological concepts, then expected to produce exercises which creatively explore these concepts (for example, using linguistic deviation to foreground themes and images or using varying points of view to tell a story from different perspectives). Various core ‘input’ texts (from all three genres: poetry, fiction and drama) will be used as examples of the techniques and concepts under discussion. This process culminates in the production of a portfolio of their creative work (which may be one or more complete stories, a selection of poems, a dramatic text, or a mixture), accompanied by a critical commentary which will focus on how an understanding of stylistics has impacted on the work. A selection of the students’ work will be published at the end of the module, either in anthology form or as what will become an annual literary magazine.
LL530: Writing In The Media
This module is aimed towards students who are considering a career in journalism, freelance writing, publishing and related fields, but will also be of great use to those with a general interest in the area of media and language studies. It enables students to put into practice theories and methods of discourse analysis by producing their own portfolio of journalism and media-related writing. The course functions as a useful and complementary ‘sister module’ to LL510 Creative Writing: A Stylistic Approach, but can be taken independently. A consideration of the impact of new media (‘multimodality’) on the field will form a substantial component of the module’s content. Students will carry out their own research, for example using Canterbury and its environs as their news area, collecting information, arranging and carrying out relevant interviews, and writing up projects. They will produce and submit a portfolio of original journalism in which they demonstrate their ability to use the English language and to structure their writing with the target audience in mind. Accompanying this, students will submit a critical commentary in which they will reflect on how an understanding of relevant discourse, stylistic and narratological theory has impacted on their writing. The module will be structured along both theoretical and practical lines, with 2-hour workshops based on ‘input’, analysis and practice.
LL539/LL540: An Introduction to English Language Teaching
These two modules are a useful taster for anyone who may be considering teaching English in the future, although it provides a rich variety of transferable skills for any participant. It raises awareness of the English language, introduces lesson planning, classroom organisation, language teaching and feedback. There will be an opportunity to observe English Language teaching and plan and prepare two short lessons. The emphasis is on building strategies and techniques for teaching and understanding what makes good practice.
The second module builds on the first by increasing the range of skills and considering how to go about teaching specific groups of learners and assessing their needs. Guidance will be given on writing a syllabus, using resources and creating materials for learners. There will be an opportunity to deliver a short lesson.
LL532: Learning and Teaching Languages
This module examines the principles on which contemporary second language teaching methods are founded. It will analyse first and second language acquisition theories in the light of current developments in psychology and learning theory. Students will analyse a range of language teaching methods taking into account the ways in which they reflect acquisition theory. The module will give students the opportunity to compare L2 teaching methods from the perspective of: focus on form, function and meaning and student and teacher roles. This will allow students to evaluate the effectiveness of specific language teaching methods against criteria of accuracy and fluency. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the ways in which a variety of social, educational and cultural contexts directly influence the implementation of L2 teaching methods, and will be able to follow personal interests by investigating language teaching methods in context.
Although the focus is primarily on learning and teaching English, the language acquisition theories and L2 teaching methods examined in this module will be equally applicable to teaching and learning other languages.
CP659: Comparative literature and English and Linguistics in the Classroom
These modules provide students with the opportunity to combine an academic course with work experience, so they can also gain credits towards their degree while working. Students are placed at a secondary school which will gives them an insight into a teaching career option. Even if it is not their chosen career path the experience extends their abilities and enhances their future work opportunities.
Students enrol on the each of these modules as normal, but final admission will be via informal interviews during the spring term.
Please contact Yadira Ross, email: Y.Ross@kent.ac.uk for further information as spaces are limited.