Sunday, March 19, 2006

What do students who major in English Language study?

"The English Language program aims to help students

  • develop the capacity for critical enquiry into various aspects of the study of language; and
  • acquire specialized knowledge about the structure, development, and functions of English."

From the website of The Department of English Language and Literature, NUS [here] [ed: FYI, the ELL department offers three sub-disciplines for undergraduates: English Language, English Literature and Theatre Studies. What's confounding is the complete omission of Theatre Studies in the department's title. Just waiting for such a revision...]

A question that I have found 'served' to me many a times during conversations.

On such an occasion last night, i found myself answering while driving:

"... we study the structure of English, its grammar; we also use English to learn about the structures of other languages..."

"... we don't really learn how to come up with more effective ways to teach English in schools..."

"... for example, it is often claimed that Chinese dialects [ed: yah, perhaps wrong terminology; I find myself increasingly hating each occasion of using 'dialect'] are similar to Mandarin in all aspects, but it isn't as close a association as we would have thought it to be..."

[Coincidentally, I found an extremely insightful article on the Yawning Bread about Mandarin and the Southern Chinese (a geographical group that most of our forefathers were part of); perhaps those EWL-ers and Multiling-ers out there can take a look and derive some inspiration hehe]

And now I found myself wanting; there's so much more to say about academic life as an EL major, yet in occasions like this, I always find myself saying whatever comes into my mind and giving comments to others' perceptions of the programme, that I regretted not saying more in retrospection. I believe my counterparts in the Chinese Language and Chinese Studies might suffer from the same problem.

Why major in English Language? Most often, it is NOT because we want to go NIE.

And now, I have to get 'moving' on the Narrative Essay before I get into DEEP trouble.

Signing off........... Exercising the right to space for expression...........

No comments:

Post a Comment