English language classes are offered through undergraduate and graduate programs that include English, English education, English literature and English for foreign language students. The types of courses taken in English-related degree programs depend on the program's area of study, but they often focus on literature, writing, grammar or pronunciation.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in English language courses:
- Researching Tools
- Organizing and Stylizing
- Writing Practice and Improvement
- Pronunciation for Spoken Language
- Grammar and Vocabulary Skills
- Reading Comprehension
- Analytical Interpretation
Students pursuing a degree in English or English literature often read materials from various genres of literature, including poetry, dramas and novels, as well as take specialized writing classes. Those in an English education program study the history of the language, composition, grammar, reading, language acquisition and language development. Such education programs include several other courses that prepare students to make lesson plans and teach classes. International students may take standalone courses that teach them the basic English skills needed to study in the United States.
List of Classes
Composition or Expository Writing Course
This English class is commonly required for most college students in the United States. In it, students gain the writing and researching abilities that will help them succeed in higher education. They write papers and practice using a writing style and structure that is acceptable at the university level. Often, students edit their own work for basic grammar, style and spelling mistakes.
English Pronunciation and Speaking Course
This English language class is for foreign language speakers who are learning to speak English properly. Students repeat words and sentences, working with a language coach to correct their pronunciation. Topics of study include phrasing, intonation and rhythm, all of which come naturally to a native speaker. By taking courses like this, speakers of foreign languages learn to speak English more articulately and gain self-confidence in speaking. Students have the opportunity to talk with their classmates and professors, discussing ways to decrease misunderstanding that comes from mispronunciation and word misuse.
English Grammar Course
English grammar courses are offered at beginning level to new speakers of English; at the advanced level, grammar courses are designed for native and fluent speakers studying English, English literature or English education. Beginning students practice writing sentences and phrases correctly, paying attention to verb agreement, conjugation and sentence structure. Advanced courses are designed so students can increase their writing skills to further idea development and coherence. At any level, students demonstrate their skills by researching and writing term papers.
Reading and Vocabulary Course
Typically, these courses broaden students' vocabularies and increase their reading abilities. Students learn to speed-read and scan written materials for information that will be useful for research purposes. In English language courses like this, students develop analytical discussion skills. Often, students are required to read about current news and events, sometimes a specified number of pages or articles per week, and discuss them in class. The course develops students' rhetoric skills so they can create and support an argument based on fact.