Clear communication, persuasive argumentation, and an appreciation of intercultural communication are key skills in the modern world. The ability to select, evaluate and synthesize information, structure ideas in a logical manner and communicate clearly in both written and spoken form are essential twenty-first century competences. These competences are developed at both Bachelor and Master level of the Language Skills and Culture component at the English Department, which focuses on teaching academic writing and cultural studies.
At Bachelor level, we introduce, expand and consolidate key competences in academic writing, such as research skills, critical thinking, argumentation, structuring ideas, and academic style. The cultural studies element explores issues connected to identities, politics, and ideologies in contemporary American and British culture and society. The second year of the Bachelor programme introduces students to media analysis while further developing students’ writing skills. At Master level, Language Skills and Culture classes build on these media analysis skills in conjunction with key concepts and theories from cultural analysis, while further developing academic writing abilities. Students who have completed the Language Skills and Culture components of a course of study at the English Department will thus have a command of key transferable twenty-first century skills.
Language Skills and Culture courses also play an important role in the education of future teachers, offering courses which integrate research insights from second language acquisition and link them to important issues in language pedagogy, including post-communicative teaching methodologies, pedagogical grammar, error analysis, and classroom interaction.
The contributions of the Language Skills and Culture team also reflect the research interests of the members of the teaching staff. The instructors regularly offer lecture series focusing on the portrayal of British, Irish, and American culture