Why Study English Language at Chester?

As one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world with hundreds of millions of speakers, it’s no surprise that the English Language programme at the University of Chester is an extremely popular degree option. Take a look at this blog to find out what you can expect from the course. 

1) Specialist Facilities

As an English Language student at the University of Chester, you will have access to a range of different equipment and facilities to ensure you have a dynamic and stimulating learning experience. Our teaching rooms are supplied with all the technology and equipment needed for presentations and multimedia experiences, whilst our library contains the most up-to-date English Language and Linguistics text books, specialist journals and electronic resources, providing you with all the material you need for independent study and preparing your assignments.

If that’s not enough, you will also benefit from access to a fully equipped English Language Research Lab. This flexible room can not only be used for study group meetings or to practice presentations, but also to carry out your own psycholinguistic experiments or to conduct sociolinguistic interviews and focus group sessions. A dedicated computer runs open source, specialist experiment software (such as Alvin 2 and PsychoPy), so you can design your own applications at home and run them on the machine in the lab with your participants. For your corpus and text analyses, we have licences for Wmatrix and WordSmith.

We have excellent digital voice recorders (Olympus VN-741PC) that plug right into your laptop after the session to backup your data for analysis. These are ideal for interviews and focus group meetings, but if you need high-quality recordings for your acoustic analyses, we also have some amazing recorders (Olympus LS-12) allowing you to record at a lossless 96kHz sampling rate (and at 24 bit!). If your analysis includes nonverbal cues, you may wish to use our HD video camera (Sony HDR-CX405) to capture all aspects of verbal and non-verbal behaviour in speaker interaction.

Recently we invested in a range of standardised language tests, such as the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-4 UK), which can be used for carrying out research into children’s language (5 to 16 years). If you want to work with even younger children (3 to 6 years), we also have the CELF-Preschool 2 UK, as well as the Preschool and Primary Inventory of Phonological Awareness (PIPA). Whatever your fascination with English Language may be and wherever your curiosity takes you, our English Language Research Lab has you covered!

2) Influential Guest Speakers

To enhance your English Language experience at Chester, we regularly host talks by academics and researchers from other universities; these cover a range of topics related to the degree programme including cutting-edge research ranging from acoustic phonetics to discourse analysis and beyond.

Our first guest speaker of the 2016-17 academic year was Professor Paul Kerswill (University of York) who talked to students about his research on Multicultural London English, a new variety of English emerging in London’s East End and around the capital. Further recent research seminars included lectures by Dr Andrea Mayr (Queen’s University, Belfast) who investigated the topics of multimodality and ideology in the news media; Dr Louise Nuttall (University of Huddersfield) who applied the Cognitive Stylistic model of Text World Theory to reader responses to the novel We Need to Talk about Kevin; Dr Caroline Tagg (Open University) whose research investigates how the nature of giving and taking offence is interpreted on Facebook; and Professor Barry Heselwood (University of Leeds) who discussed processes of phonetic assimilation.

3) Innovative Teaching

Whilst all of our current English Language staff are active researchers, writing and publishing in the various sub-disciplines of English Language and Linguistics, their main priority will always be your learning. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise to learn that in 2015 the Faculty of Humanities’ Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to a member of the English Language lecturing team for the third year running. The award, which celebrates innovative and excellent teaching, was won by Dr Frank Herrmann in 2013, Dr Joanne Close in 2014, and Dr Matt Davies in 2015. In 2015, Dr Urszula Skrzypik and Helen West were also commended for their work supporting first year students with their academic development.  

4) Employability 

At Chester, our programme has been designed to not only help you reach your full academic potential, but also to prepare you for life after graduation. Whether you’re writing a piece for our successful online Language Debates blog​ as part of one of your assessments, or gaining work experience relevant to your needs as an English Language student on our excellent Work Based Learning module, you’ll have lots of opportunities to add valuable skills and experiences to your CV.

There may also be the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either a term or a full academic year; other options include a three-month study placement at the end of Year Two. These practical work experience opportunities and study abroad options are great for helping you stand out to employers, whilst allowing you to explore which career path is right for you. 

5) The Personal Touch

At Chester we pride ourselves on offering our students a personal university experience, where you will never be just a number. If you ever have a question or a concern, your tutors are available throughout the week for one-to-one appointments. In addition, when you commence your studies at Chester you will be allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), who will become your first point of call for any academic and pastoral concerns you may have. By getting to know you on a personal level, your PAT can offer you tailored support to help you reach your full academic and personal potential.

Want to Find Out More?

For further information about studying English Language at Chester, take a look at the course page on our website, or contact the English Departmental Administrators.

Contact us

E: englishadmin@chester.ac.uk T: 01244 513152.

If you have any questions about living and studying at the University of Chester, please feel free to contact us; we’ll be more than happy to help.

E: enquiries@chester.ac.uk T: 01244 511000

Visit us

If you would like to find out more about this course and see what it is like to study and live at the University of Chester, take the opportunity to visit us.

E: visitus@chester.ac.uk T: 01244 511000