BA Hons English Language with Chinese
English has over 330 million native speakers, and there are about 810 million more who speak it regularly as a second language. Add to these the hundreds of millions of the world's population who learned English in school, or are learning it today, as a foreign language - there are more people learning English in China than the total population of the USA! - and you can see how important English is for the world.
People talk nowadays of an "English language industry": a vast world-wide enterprise which provides employment opportunities for native and non-native speakers of English all round the world. These jobs are primarily in education - at every level from primary school to university and adult education, taking in such vital areas as English for science and business. But they are also in language-related fields such as publishing, the media and information technology, and in fields where international communication is important, like science, trade and international relations.
Studying the English language is a good way into the study of language in general:
- the sounds of language (phonetics)
- the structure of language (grammar, text and discourse structure)
- the meaning and significance of language (semantics and pragmatics)
- language in its broad psychological and social contexts
- the way the language has developed over the centuries.
In your first year you will take Part I Chinese, an intensive language course, taught ab initio, with an element of the course relating to the society, culture and history but with the greater part of the course devoted to the teaching of practical language skills. In your second and third years you will take Part II Chinese, this will build on the intensive language introduction offered at Part I and increase the level of your language skills through further language tuition and understanding of the structure of Chinese. You will engage more thoroughly with the social and cultural context of (especially twentieth century) China.
What will I study?
In Part I you will take the following:
- Part I English Language
- Part I Chinese
- A third Part I subject of your choice (perhaps Linguistics?).
In Part II you take eight units in total, four in each year. All eight units must be taken within the Department.
The following courses are compulsory:
- LING222 English Grammar (second year)
- LING223 English Phonetics (second year)
- CHIN200 Chinese Language 2 (15 credits)
- CHIN201 Chinese Language 3 (15 credits)
- LING301 Dissertation (final year)
- LING326 Corpus-based Methods in English Language Studies (final year)
- LING327 Advanced English Phonetics (final year)
- CHIN300 Chinese Language 4 (15 credits)
- CHIN310 Chinese Culture and Society (15 credits)
The remaining units can be selected from the Department’s Part II courses.
What qualifications will I need?
We normally expect successful applicants to have AAB inc. English Language, English Language and Literature Combined or a modern/classical language. We normally expect three A-levels. One (but only one) of these grades may be achieved from the average of two AS-level grades, one of which should have been taken in year 13, with each contributory grade in a different subject.
For the degree scheme with Chinese, an additional requirement will be normally made for a grade A or A* in the study of a modern or classical language at GCSE, or a B at AS or A2 level, to ensure students are prepared for the ab initio study of a new foreign language.
How is my work assessed?
As in all courses, there are examinations at the end of the first year before proceeding to the second and final years. In the second and final years, you will normally take an examination for each course at the end of the year in which you study it. Coursework typically involves an essay (2000-2500 words) each term for each course, but it often comes in other forms. The weighting of coursework varies with departments: in the Department of Linguistics and English Language the final mark is usually based on 40% coursework and 60% examination.