Teaching Focus

The English Department offers foundation and elective courses in literature, applied linguistics and communication. Foundation courses are designed to equip students with basic knowledge, whereas elective courses focus on specialised studies in literature and linguistics and emphasise critical, analytical and interpretative skills.
The aims of the literature programme are to:
(1) introduce the major ideas that have shaped Western literature and culture;
(2) cultivate the ability to criticise constructively, analyse, and appreciate literature and culture;
(3) explore literary and cultural theories and conduct comparative studies of Chinese and Western literature;
(4) extend students’ knowledge and understanding of the many cultures in which English is spoken; and
(5) foster the development of their historical knowledge and imagination.
The literature programme covers: introduction to literary studies, introduction to world literatures in English, English literature from the Renaissance to the contemporary period, introduction to comparative literature, topics in various literary genres and periods, issues in literary criticism, study of major writers (e.g., Shakespeare), gender and literature, children’s literature, creative writing and more.
The aims of the applied English linguistics programme are to:
(1) help students to understand the fundamental properties of language;
(2) deepen their appreciation of the importance of language for the individual and for society;
(3) foster their understanding of the relation of language to thought and culture; and
(4) familiarise them with the major findings of applied linguistics research.
The linguistics programme includes: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, English language teaching and learning and intercultural communication.

The dual purpose of the communication courses is to strengthen students’ ability to express themselves in English and to provide them with critical thinking, speaking and writing experience that will be important in their future lives and careers.

The three areas of literature, linguistics and communication complement one another in producing graduates who are able to think critically, creatively and independently and who are highly proficient in the global language of English.