Wel­co­me to the De­part­ment of Eng­lish and Ame­ri­can Stu­dies:

A Note on Language Skills


What you can expect

During your time here you will have the opportunity to study English in depth through attending the courses which are on offer in the fields of study in English linguistics, literature, and cultural studies. In addition to this, those of you who are studying for the B.Ed. / M.Ed. will have courses in Teaching English as a Foreign Language where you will study the theory and practice involved in teaching and learning a language.  As these courses are all delivered in English, it is important that you realise that studying a language and learning a language are two distinctly different concepts at University level; yet the two are closely bound together.

In order for you to get the most out of your courses, the proficiency that you have in the language will have an effect on how well you deal with the challenges of studying the language. In order to ensure that you continue to develop your proficiency in the language all students in the department are also afforded the opportunity to participate in Sprachpraxis courses. The Sprachpraxis team is committed to supporting you by providing a platform for you to advance your language skills to an academic level. These courses have two aims, on the one hand to develop your meta- knowledge of English, and on the other hand they are also designed to develop your proficiency in English with a clear focus on language production and comprehension.  

All of the teaching staff in the English department are here to support you, however, as you are no doubt already aware, this can only work if you invest the necessary time and in your studies.


What is expected of you

At the start of your Bachelor program you are expected to have already attained B2 level (or above) on the Common European Language Framework, and by the end of your Masters Program you are expected to have reached C2 level. What we expect from you is that this level is reflected in the standard of your academic work in written and spoken form in, for example, presentations, essays and term papers. As students in full-time education you are also expected to turn up for your courses well prepared and well read. When you are there we expect you to actively participate. The input you receive in your courses is only the starting point; it is important that you first of all gain subject knowledge and acquire an understanding of the various theories and concepts.  However, as academics, it is necessary to expand and explore these theories and concepts through thorough evaluation, application and analysis. And this is where you will have to invest time and effort if you are to maximize your potential.

We must also stress that although you will attend a wide range of courses during your studies, your attendance at these courses alone will not be enough to develop your language level from B2 toward C2. This means that you as a student are expected to invest time in identifying and addressing any shortcomings you may have.  If you are unsure about how to manage this, we recommend that you arrange an appointment with a member of the Sprachpraxis staff who will be happy to advise you.