Amy Limei Chambers
Why study English Language?
Studying English Language–also known as ‘Linguistics’ among students in FASS, as we also study the structures of many other languages–is truly rewarding, as there is so much that we can learn about our society as well as our human brains just from the human phenomenon of Language alone. It is also fascinating to see the evolution and development of the English Language over the years. English is a dynamic entity that continues to evolve every day. On the practical side, my communication skills have improved beyond what I would have ever expected.
Why NUS FASS?
Firstly, NUS FASS has an outstanding English Language department with many excellent professors whom I have learnt so much from. Furthermore, NUS FASS also provides mandatory modules on academic and public writing, as well as presenting, to better equip students with the necessary skills to pursue an Arts degree. I also really appreciate that NUS FASS has given me the opportunity to take a variety of electives. To graduate, FASS students must complete three ‘basket’ modules: an Arts module (of which I took Literature), a Social Science module (of which I took Psychology) and an Asian Studies module (of which I took Chinese Linguistics). I also got to study French and Japanese as my electives.
What were some of your concerns about coming to FASS?
One of the concerns I had at first was speaking up in class, since class participation is an integral grading component for many modules in FASS. I honestly still struggle with this sometimes because I feel like my contributions may not be legitimate enough, but I kept at it, and last semester, I even managed to make the Dean’s List for the first time! My advice to incoming freshmen is to go for it! Sharing your opinions is definitely worthwhile as you and your peers will learn from the experience.
Was English Language your intended major?
Yes, English Language was my intended major.
What has been your biggest takeaway from your classes so far?
Apart from the interesting content that I have learnt (I will elaborate on this in a bit), I have also learnt research, essay writing and critical thinking skills. My biggest ‘hurdle’ was writing my Honours Thesis. I worked closely with my professor and got valuable first-hand advice from him on how to present arguments, and I also learnt more about academic writing conventions. Additionally, my favourite subfields of Linguistics would be Literary Stylistics (analysing literary texts from a Linguistic perspective), which was what I wrote my Honours Thesis on, and psycholinguistics (the study of the relationship between linguistic behaviour and psychological processes). Studying literary Stylistics has helped shape the way I understand and interpret literary texts, and studying language acquisition (under psycholinguistics) has amazed me as to how incredible and powerful the human brain is.
What do you intend to do after graduation?
I am going to be an MOE secondary school English Language and English Literature teacher. I am honestly quite thrilled to start working! I hope to be able to ignite a passion in my students for the English Language when I embark on my teaching journey.