Why choose this course?
- no. 13 in the UK for English (2023 Guardian League Table)
- You can study a European or Eastern language alongside your degree
- Use our eye tracking suite for psycholinguistic experiments
We give you:
- A grounding in one of five languages as an integral part of your English language teaching course
- An optional year’s study abroad in the country of your chosen language
- A supportive, research-active academic team
- A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
- Access to huge online databases to underpin your original research projects
- A guaranteed post-graduation interview with the School of Education
In the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS), our English Language degree achieved an overall satisfaction rating of 90%. When asked, 100% of students reported that teachers were good at explaining things and that they had the right opportunities to work with other students. Advice and guidance from lecturers was also praised highly at 90% - well above the sector average.
What's the course about?
How do humans learn language? We’re all experts in our native tongue, so why can it be so hard to become fluent in a language we learn later in life? By understanding how we learn language, we can understand how to teach it.
Through this BA English Language and Applied Linguistics you’ll do both: English language teaching is an integral part of your course, while you’ll also have the opportunity to learn one of five languages – French, Spanish, German, Japanese or Mandarin. All are for beginners or GCSE level (apart from Mandarin), with the exception of Spanish, which can be taken by those who already have A-level Spanish.
This combined programme of English language teaching and language learning will give you an excellent grounding if you plan to teach English as a foreign language following postgraduate teacher training. Alternatively you could be teaching children in primary or secondary schools whose second language is English.
You’ll take two English Language Teaching (ELT) modules each year. We offer a career development module in your second year that will equip you to take up an English Language teaching work placement - perhaps teaching phonics to primary school pupils or teaching at a special needs school - or become a Stroke Association volunteer. You may also shadow speech and language therapists or help with specialist language teaching in sixth form college. In your final year you’ll study Global Englishes and a compulsory project looking at a particular aspect of English Language teaching. This could involve field work or observing teaching and learning methods in a college setting.
Alongside your ELT studies you’ll take a semester in your chosen language, using language laboratories and practising conversation with native speakers wherever possible. You’ll also be introduced to Linguistics, the scientific study of everything to do with language, from its structure to the ways it reflects society, how it’s used, and how it changes over time.
From forensic linguistics to the study of language disorders, what links your courses is our focus on the applied use of English language.
Across all modules you’ll be taught and supported by research-active academics working in cutting-edge areas such as language and gender, formulaic language, corpus studies, bilingualism, bilingual processing and codeswitching. Their research will inform your own final year projects, which allow you to develop your research skills and learn how to collect and analyse data from vast databases of our infinitely rich and complex English language.
Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
Your main campus is de Havilland
You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.
What will I study?
Our English Language students benefit from being part of a supportive, research-active academic community. From tutorials and group work to eye-opening psycholinguistic experiments, we use a range of engaging, student-centred teaching methods to help you work confidently and creatively.
You’ll dive into real-life data, get involved in research and learn from guest experts. You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies, such as working for the student newspaper or radio station. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV.
Meet Alex Olney who has applied his skills in communication to the gaming industry. He is currently a Senior Video Producer at Nintendo Life.Read more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Senior Video Producer|
|Year of graduation||2015|
|Course of study||BA(Hons) English Language and Communication|
While not his first choice of university, Alex is grateful that he applied to the University of Hertfordshire through Clearing as whilst at the University he discovered and explored his passion for everything linguistic. This passion has had a profound impact on his life since graduating.
He says, ‘Studying a language gave me confidence and a deeper understanding of human and non-human communication and has allowed me to create a distinct idiolect that identifies me as a creator and, more importantly, entertains tens of thousands of people every day.’
He credits his success to the support he received from his lecturers who encouraged him throughout his studies: ‘The lecturers were not only well informed about the subject matter but had a genuine passion for language.’ He states that they pushed him to explore languages so much so that ‘it became a driving force in my everyday life.’
Alex also believes that the transferable skills he learnt while at the University have helped him throughout his professional life including time management. He states that he learnt effective time management skills to ensure that he never leaves projects and deadlines to the last minute and plans out in advance what is required.
Alex really enjoys his current role at Nintendo Life as he likes the hands on nature of producing content but would eventually like to manage and become a head of the video editing department.