Is English your favourite subject at school? How does the Netflix series Bridgerton combine the novels of Jane Austen with modern thoughts on women, race and equality? In an ever-growing diverse society, how will studying linguistics improve your communication and analytical skills?
The bachelor programme English Language and Culture at the University of Groningen is consistently rated the best in the country. The three pillars of this programme are language, literature and culture. In an ever-growing international environment there is a need for employees and researchers with a high level of English in writing, reading and speaking. In addition, the programme develops your presentation and debating skills for both an academic and professional context.
Studying English literature not only means you get to read a lot of books, but it also allows you to explore topics related to present-day issues such as gender, identity, crime and punishment and social cohesion. These topics are not only present in modern literature, but they also dominate the popular plays of William Shakespeare, and are also found in a number of medieval works such as The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. The medieval world, like today’s, was full of controversy. People debated about the position of women in society, ways of combatting disease, the virtues and vices of different classes, which way best to pursue one’s religion and many other issues which are debated today.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. By studying linguistics you will not only learn about the English language and its position as a lingua franca, but you will also see how the English language has changed throughout the years and how it continues to change. Knowledge of linguistics is essential for understanding the role of communication and how language can vary between people and situations.
There is a range of study options that complement an English Language and Culture degree, and many students spend time at a foreign university, for example in Ireland, the UK or New Zealand. After the BA degree, many students continue their studies at one of our MA degrees in the field of literature, linguistics or communication. You can also combine your MA in English with a teacher training course.
Language, as well as literature
I have had an interest in the English language for years, and the Groningen programme is rated as the best in the country. I enjoy how the courses all seem to intertwine (e.g. subjects from sociolinguistics used in proficiency classes, for instance). The teachers are not there anymore to hold your hand and guide you through the entire process, though they are always willing to help if you are struggling. You go through a number of books every 8 weeks or so, instead of studying from the same books for an entire year. Once you get used to this speed, you will not experience that much stress. I find Groningen to be one of the nicest cities of the Netherlands.
Meeting the most fascinating people
Ever since I was in secondary school, I knew I wanted to work in a field involving reading and discussing literary works. This passion led me to enroll in the English Language and Culture programme here at the University of Groningen.
This degree programme entails so much more than simply reading a lot of big books. The courses delve into creative and professional writing, the origins of the English language and its linguistic patterns, the numerous literary periods, key works and authors, as well as honing one’s oral skills. In addition to my course load, I am also the chairperson of the Groningen University Theatre Society. In that role, I have not only been able to practice public speaking, but I have had the opportunity to meet the most fascinating people from all over the world. Both seeing and hearing about their experiences has helped me realise that upon completion of the Bachelors program I will be furthering my studies by doing the Research Master in Literary and Cultural Studies here at this university.
I like the fact that it is a mix between linguistics, old literature, modern literature, and proficiency
My name is Eline Spoolder and I am a second-year English Language and Culture student. Before starting this programme, I studied to become an English teacher for one year. I like to read (for pleasure), watch a film or series, or play board games with my friends. If I am not in the University Library, you can find me in a pub with a glass of cider!
I chose to study English because I wanted to get to know everything about the English language. I like the fact that it is a mix between linguistics, old literature, modern literature, and proficiency because that way I could get a taste of everything and decide what I want to specialise in. You do not only learn how to write phonetically or analyse poetry, but you also learn how to look at the broader scope of texts, get the history of the English language and literature, and learn how to think critically. These skills are very helpful, whichever career you want to pursue.
I fell in love with everything this programme had to offer.
My name is Sézaïg Vije and I am a second-year English Language and Culture student. I am also an active member of our study association NUTS, where I do not shy away from a few drinks. In my free time I like playing rugby, reading, and watching movies or series.
I chose to study English because I really enjoyed the literature in secondary school. When I started with this programme, I fell in love with everything it had to offer: linguistics, modern literature, medieval literature, even academic writing. You get a broad view of English, especially in the beginning of this study, but later you also get to specialize in your favorite aspect. You will obtain extra skills as well, like critical thinking and a broader world view.
Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The English Language and Culture programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students. Get to know English Language and Culture by doing some reading and answering some essay questions or multiple choice questions. The course takes about 10 hours in total.
If you are interested in an English Language and Culture web class, register here.