University of The Free State English Department

By | December 29, 2021

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University of The Free State English Department

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University of The Free State English Department, Departments of English literary, language, and cultural studies across the globe have in recent years increasingly embraced forms of instruction attentive to the links between education and democracy, texts and contexts, even as they train students in basic skills that range from the close reading of cultural, linguistic and theoretical texts, to the ability to speak and write in clear and grammatically accurate English.

These shifts are central to how the Department of English at the University of the Free State is preparing students to contribute to the long-term process of critical social engagement required of them in contemporary South Africa.

The Department of English has a key role to play in the academic and human projects articulated in the current strategic plan of the University of the Free State. These projects have the two-fold aim of:

  • cultivating lively and productive intellectual cultures that will, amongst other things, enrich the teaching and pedagogical practices of staff, and
  • advancing social responsibility and promoting “openness to the perspectives, experiences and cultures of others”.

These aims are reflected in the many exciting research and teaching projects currently undertaken by staff and students in this department.

University of The Free State English Department, The department consists of two academic streams – one in English Literary and Cultural Studies and the other in Linguistics (co-offered with the Department of Linguistics) – that give students access to a variety of skills fundamental to the analysis of language, literature and culture.

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Majoring in one or both of these academic streams will offer students extensive training in a range of texts tied to specific historical periods and movements, as well as to local South African and global contexts.

Students are further given rigorous instruction in the interpretative, analytical, writing, reading, and oral communication skills at the heart of critical and creative deliberation in contemporary South Africa. This knowledge and skills base provides the foundation for students to enter national and international conversations in and beyond their chosen areas of specialisation. It also serves as a firm intellectual basis for students who choose to embark on advanced research both at the UFS and elsewhere.

We are currently phasing in an exciting new curriculum that is the result of an extensive curricular review that took place over the past three years. Our revised curriculum serves our department’s long-standing mission to:

  • nurture the critical sensibilities of our students through a curriculum that meets national and international standards;
  • value the unique cultural and experiential background of each student;
  • facilitate participatory forms of education that will encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning; and
  • train students in a range of literacies – including critical, visual, cross-cultural, transnational, and digital literacies – that might contribute to the formation of an engaged South African public.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.