Teaching English at the tertiary level of education is intended, on the whole, to increase the ability and mastery of the students to use the prerequisite skills of the English language through the presentation of appropriate teaching materials in the classroom.
- Allow the students to build up gradually and confidently the skills for the promotion of using competent English in its spoken, written and literacy modes.
- Encourage the norm of critical thinking in English through the progress of the course, which is expected to lead, in turn, to the students’ independent learning in due course.
- Introduce variety of English language studies: e.g.history, culture, linguistics, literature and literary criticism.
- An award of a B.A. Degree in English language and literature for successful candidates.
The aims outlined above are basically realised through teaching material, together with the methodology of presentation and continual assessment. The material for the study of foreign languages (English, in this case) comprises the following:
- ‘Intensive General Language’
- ‘Intensive General English’ usually presented at the start of English study programmes with the purpose of reviewing, enhancing and promoting the basic skills of the language, (reading, writing, listening and speaking) , besides the vocabulary, grammar and an introduction to the literature. The material of ‘Intensive English Language’ is designed and set to raise the awareness and promotion of the language among students and how it is used for communication.
The reading component starts from simple short texts for comprehension, such as in IGE101 as a part and parcel of the ‘Intensive General English’, Semester 1, and IGE102, in sem. 2. It then advances into variety of reading strategies, such as in IGE201 and IGE202. Reading includes reading for a purpose, for main idea(s), for summarising, for inference and for critical understanding and review of a given text. The selection of reading texts and the accompanying tasks are graded from viewpoint of the length of the text, density of information in it, the speed of reading and the demands of the tasks from: direct simple questions of the text language, content and organisation into inference and a critical study of the reading text. The target aim is to provide the seeds for the reading to grow as a permanent habit among the students, both for their academic purposes and beyond.
The writing component aims to cater for the numerous sub-skills required for the mastery of writing, ‘e.g. structure, organisation, hand writing, selection of words, spelling’. Similar approaches to those of ‘Reading’ equally apply for ‘Writing’. In the same way of Reading, the Writing starts as early as in IGE101 ‘Intensive General English’ in Sem. 1, where the basic building blocks are laid: the English alphabets, the word -spelling and word class- , punctuation; which is extended further in IGE102 in Sem. 2, leading to the beginnings of introducing the sentence. The practice of writing skills is yet carried over in courses IGE201in Sem. 3, while IGE202 Sem. 4 offers an extra reinforcement through training and practice at the level of creating a paragraph in writing. The Writing component rounds up with course AEW401‘Advanced Essay Writing’, in Sem.7, whereby the students are introduced to the stages in the process of how an essay is written.
The listening and speaking together represent the language in its spoken channel, with the starting point, once again, right from IGE101 “the Intensive General English”, Sem. 1. The spoken language starts from simple utterances, dialogues and then gradually develops into a full conversation in IGE102 in Sem. 2 and later reinforced through further graded situational dialogues in IGE201 Sem. 3 and IGE204 SEM.4. Through the progress of the course a range of listening and speaking skills are presented for: understanding simple dialogues, following simple instructions, making variety of responses, asking and answering questions, expressing themselves in real situations in and out the classroom.
The vocabulary and grammar run parallel with the study of the language skills above in a complementary role. The former is intended to enrich the stock of vocabulary in the foreign language among the students through IGE101 in Sem. 1, with, the expectations for the course to offer the students an opportunity of continually adding to their existent knowledge of vocabulary, including the ability to: guess the meaning of unfamiliar words, select the most expressive word in a given situation, detect synonyms, antonyms and collocations. On the grammar part, IGE101 “Intensive General English 1” in Sem. 1 plays the twin role of refining and expanding the students’ knowledge of the basic language structure, enhancing, performance in all other courses, including the four skills of the language, which are, simultaneously, under study with the component of the grammar itself. IGE201 “Intensive General English 3” in Sem. 3 goes further with the rules of the structure of the sentence in areas such as: word order, tenses, concord, negation, interrogation, passive / active voice.
- Linguistics and Applied Linguistics:
- The study of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics starts simply from Semester 3 and gradually develops through the rest of the Programme. The reason for the later start is to ensure that the students’ competency of language has reached an adequate level to pursue the specialised analyses of language study. The linguistics components roughly fall into 2 major areas; the phonetics and phonology and morphemes, on one side, and the rest of the linguistics study, on the other. The division is made on grounds that the former, being the basic minimal unit sounds and graphics of the language. The remaining branches go beyond the level of the sentence. A note on each of the two types is briefly stated below.
- .a. Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology:
INP201 “Introduction to Phonetics 1”, Sem. 3 provides the basics of sounds in English, organs of speech, classification and transcription of sounds. The next one, PHO204 “Phonetics” in Sem. 4 develops the concepts of sound in the previous PHO202 and expands into articulator and acoustic phonetics, stress and intonation. Phonology 1 is introduced in Sem. 5 and followed by PHO302 “Phonology 2” in Sem. 6; both are investigating the property of language sounds system and exposing students to syllabic and metric phenomena. Morphology is also operating at the basic minimum unit of language graphics, introduces students to the basic concepts of morphology through the various ways of word formation: derivation, affixes, prefixes, suffixes and it further familiarise the students to the intersection between phonology, morphology and semantics.
2.1. b. Linguistics Study and Analyses:
Linguistics study is partially concerned with the level of the structure of the sentence, i.e. the Syntactic analysis, such as in SYN401 “Syntax” in Sem. 7; the course presents how words are combined for the structure of the sentence, including the Generative Grammar Model of Ghomsky. Otherwise, the analysis and study of linguistics basically operates around the language at the text level. Courses of the latter of Linguistics include: IINL202, Sem. 4 “Introduction to Linguistics”, DAN301 “Discourse Analysis”, Sem. 5, SOL301 “ Socio-linguistics”, Sem. 5, SPR401 “Semantics and Pragmatics” in Sem. 7, APL402 “Applied Linguistics”, and IGA402 “Introduction to Genre Analysis”, Sem. 8.
- Literature in English:
The Literature courses have the role of exposing the students to the “Literacy Appreciation” LIA201, Sem.3, and “Literacy Criticism” LIC401, Sem. 7. The former familiarises the students with the concept of literature where the latter goes further into a critical study of Literature. The gap between the two is to enable the student an adequate exposition to a wide range of examples of literature study in order to reach the competence required for a critical use of literature.
During the gap between early introduction to literature and the critical study of it later, the student is offered a collection of various types of literature in Drama
: IND202 “Introduction to Drama”, Sem. 4, RED302 “Renaissance Drama”, Sem. 6 and MED402 “Modern English Drama” in Sem.8.
, the student is introduced to “Introduction to Fiction” in Course INF202, Sem. 4; “20century British Novel” in TCN301, Sem. 5 and “The Short Story” in TSS302.
, the student is exposed to a pair of courses; INP202, Sem. 4 “Introduction to Poetry 1” and POE302, “Poetry 2” in Sem. 6. Other areas of literature include; and AFL301 “African Literature”, Sem. 5.
- Adjunct Skills:
The components in this part are required to enhance the pursuit of studying the foreign language (English) academically. One of these courses is STS 101 and 102“Study Skills”,
Sem. 2 to help with skills like: using the dictionary, using the library, summary writing, note making and statistical representations.
There are two courses of Pedagogical Translation
in this Part; PTR302, Sem. 6 and PTR401, Sem. 7; both provide schools and bases of translation with reference to translation from English to Arabic and vise – versa. There is a course under TEF402 “Teaching English as a Foreign Language 1”
in Sem.8 with the purpose of introducing the students to theories and approaches to TEFL.
There is finally a course of ACW401, Sem. 7 to introduce standard norms of ‘Academic Writing’
which is helpful as it enables the students to write their own piece of reports, papers etc., REP402“Research Paper
” as a prerequisite work prior graduation.