Divison of Humanities
Department of English Language and Literature
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Language
Minor in English Studies
Minor in English Language
Master of Arts (Language Studies) by coursework
Master of Arts by research
Ph.D by research
What is it about
The undergraduate programme in English Language aims to help students to:
- 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.
In the first year, students learn basic concepts concerning the structure of English and the context of its usage. In the subsequent years, students develop these concepts and cover other areas of enquiry associated with the linguistic study of the English language. There are core areas which deal with the sound system, the grammatical structure, the meanings of words, and the overall construction of texts. There are also areas which are more interdisciplinary in their focus. These include psycholinguistics (language and the mind), sociolinguistics (language and society), child language acquisition, language in the media, language and ideology, and language and the Internet.
As for graduate programmes, the concentration in the Language Studies degrees can be defined as English in multilingual settings. The Department provides three foundational modules in this area of concentration. One module deals with the structure of language, that is, with phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Another concerns the sociolinguistic and discourse foundations of language study, and a third explores applied linguistics. Together, the three foundational modules provide expertise at an advanced level in key areas of language study. Other interface modules cover, in varying degrees of detail, language use and its connections with the mind, physiology, computer applications, knowledge and ideology. There is also the possibility for graduate students to take modules from other departments in the Faculty.
Our level 6000 modules are tailored to the needs of research students, especially those doing PhDs. The Graduate Research Seminar is designed to introduce students to the approaches and expectations of the research communities within language studies. The advanced seminars focus on different areas of language studies. These are organized each year to reflect the interests and developing expertise of the students.
The Department of English Language and Literature offers its students majoring in English Language a variety of special programmes including internships on EL3206 Psycholinguistics ; collaborations with writers on the NUS-FASS and The Old Parliament House (TOPH) Writing Fellowship; and a developing creative writing track.
The Department of English Language & Literature (NUS) and the Department of Speech Therapy (SGH) launched a joint internship program in 2004. This programme gives selected students from EL3206 Psycholinguistics an opportunity to explore the field of speech and language therapy as interns in the Department of Speech Therapy (SGH).
The NUS-FASS and The Old Parliament House (TOPH) Writing Fellowship
A first for Singapore, this Fellowship was listed as one of the arts scene's top 10 important developments in 2004. It seeks to nurture and stimulate creative writing by supporting emerging writers as they develop a substantial work, and generating critical discussion through a variety of public programmes. The first recipient of the Fellowship, playwright Huzir Sulaiman, currently teaches EN2271 Introduction to Playwriting (see creative writing below).
The Department is planning to develop a Creative Writing track with three strands - poetry writing, playwriting and prose writing - and modules within each strand at levels 2000 to 4000 (introductory, intermediate and advanced). The first module to be offered, EN2271 Introduction to Playwriting , introduces techniques and genres of playwriting, equipping students with the resources needed to write for the contemporary stage.
The new modular system allows students considerable flexibility in tailoring their programmes of study by choosing courses which meet their needs. The linguistic training and experience students acquire is of great professional value to careers as varied as English language teaching, industry and commerce, advertising, journalism, management and speech related professions including speech therapy. A significant number of graduates also find places in graduate programmes in the U.S. , the U.K. and Australia. Employers and recruiters value our graduates for their training in handling the subtle nuances and complexities of all varieties of texts and discourses, and for their critical intelligence and creativity.