“Do you speak English?” Whether traveling or attending a business conference: Nothing works without English these days . The former colonial power Great Britain made the national language the most spoken language in the world.
The cultural influence of the “island” is also undisputed. The works of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens or the music of the Beatles are world famous. Since the end of World War II, American music, Hollywood films, and the economic supremacy of the United States have all helped make English the world’s number 1 language .
English and American studies in comparison
English and American studies are part of the canon of modern philology. They are dedicated to the English language and study the literature and culture of English-speaking societies .
The English studies are mainly concerned with Great Britain . However, the Englishists do not focus exclusively on Shakespeare and Co. The literatures of English-speaking Commonwealth countries, for example India , are of interest to Englishists.
In contrast, the Americanists focus on the United States during their studies. They take a look at the North American literatures and cultures .
The following applies to both areas: Depending on the university, other English-speaking regions are taken into account, such as Canada , Australia or South Africa .
Course structure: from language practice to literary studies
Different disciplines are usually involved in the subjects of English and American studies .
In linguistics , students examine new and older levels of English. For example, they deal with the historical change in language , individual dialects, grammar or vocabulary . Differences between spoken and written language are also a branch of linguistics.
In the practical language part of the course, students should deepen their English language skills through various exercises . They translate texts from English into German and vice versa, practice their pronunciation and learn grammar. The exercises help students internalize the structures of English and develop broader language skills .
The literature dealing with English-language literature from its beginnings to today . The students acquire knowledge about the most important eras and writers. They also get to know different methods with which they analyze and interpret literary texts.
A degree in English and American studies also has a regional or cultural-scientific component. The focus there is on cultural, social and historical aspects of English-speaking countries . The students deal, for example, with English-language films or the music of individual regions. The scientific theories and methods of cultural studies are also an issue. In the higher semesters, students usually have the opportunity to specialize in one of the sub-disciplines of cultural, linguistic or literary studies.
Bachelor or Master? The choice of study program
According to Topschoolsoflaw, the majority of all students follow a bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree. On the one hand, this serves for professional training . On the other hand, it qualifies for management positions in the private sector or a doctorate .
If you want to become an English teacher, you also have to add a master’s degree in order to be admitted to the legal clerkship. In the master’s degree programs, students can specialize in one of the areas of linguistics, cultural or literary studies and / or a specific region .
Requirements for studying English
The English / American studies course is available at almost all German universities. Prospective students should have a weakness for the English language and the cultures of English-speaking countries. In addition, applicants have to be prepared to read a large number of challenging texts during their studies .
Upon graduation, students should have a perfect command of English. Already at baseline are good to very good English language skills required, which are often requested in the form of placement tests. Many universities also require the Latinum .
Study English and then? Possible occupations
Almost half of all English studies students want to become teachers later.
For everyone else, the career path is not so clearly defined . It is recommended to complete internships during your studies in order to get a taste of different professional fields and to gain practical experience.
Classic professions in which English and Americanists work are
- Interpreter or translator
- Journalists , editors, (online) editors
- PR consultant
- Business consultant
- Lecturers in adult education
Other employers for Englishists and Americanists are libraries , cultural institutions or international associations and NGOs .
Study English / American Studies abroad
Experience abroad during their studies is compulsory for English and American studies students and is required by many universities. During one or more semesters abroad in England , the USA or another English-speaking country, students have the opportunity to get to know the culture of the region up close . They can perfect their language skills and train their intercultural sensitivity . In addition, a study visit promotes independent thinking and serves to broaden your personal horizons.