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School of Applied Language & Intercultural Studies

Languages - English

Why study English in DCU?

Studying English, and becoming proficient in the language, opens up the English-speaking world to you. It is the first language in many important countries and cultures, and has become the second language of choice all over the world. Culturally and professionally, the English language functions like a passport – if you have it, you gain entry!

An honours degree programme for non-native speakers of English
If you are a non-native speaker of English, you can study English in our honours BA programme, the BA in Languages for International Communication (English Studies).

Studying English in Contemporary Ireland

You have come to Ireland to learn English. Both as a visitor with a curiosity about the society in which you are now living and as a student, you may find it very useful to explore, alongside your fellow-students, a range of issues that are at the heart of contemporary Irish experience.

The broad lines of Irish society will be mapped out for you. You will then explore in greater depth a topic such as the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger, immigration and emigration, the controversies surrounding the Catholic Church's role in Irish life, Dublin's Docklands as a window on social change, and so on. As a result of your own work and of discussions with other groups, you will have a detailed map of the world around you and perhaps greater confidence in your ability to take your journey further.


Studying the English language in DCU

You will learn the different registers, accents and genres of English, ranging from the formal language of academia to the idiomatic language of the street. You will be taught by experienced language lecturers in a school which is renowned for its applied approach to language. You will be encouraged to learn by doing things, often in pairs and groups. The focus is on both practising English and thinking critically about the language.

Our students are active rather than passive learners, so you will learn the language in innovative ways – for example, by discussing topical issues, writing blog entries, negotiating business deals, designing schemes, developing concepts, writing magazine and newspaper articles, carrying out surveys, and making formal presentations. There will be a strong focus on your ability to produce contextually appropriate language, on extending your vocabulary range, and on developing your mastery of both spoken and written grammar. There is a special emphasis on being able to produce competent and articulate academic texts which make use of correct referencing conventions, and which are expressed in appropriate registers.

You will also attend also to the intercultural dimension of language. Languages are used in multicultural environments which both influence the languages spoken and the way they are spoken. Languages also constitute a key aspect of identity. SALIS is a multicultural and multilingual school which provides an ideal environment for investigating further the intercultural and sociolinguistc dimensions of language, both in the range of modules on offer and informally through interaction with people from different cultures.

Studying English literature in DCU

In keeping with the contemporary focus of our teaching and learning of English, our literature courses offer you the best literature from modern and contemporary English-language literatures – you will study male and female writers from Ireland, Britain and North America.

Our teaching approach is to develop in our students strong analytical and interpretive skills in literature. Rather than having you superficially read vast quantities of literature, you will be concentrating on a smaller number of literary texts and learning to become competent close readers of literature. Literature is a particular organisation and use of language – we need to learn how to read it and to learn how it functions. In short, we need to know how to analyse it, interpret it, evaluate it, and then communicate orally and in writing what we have learned.

So, in our literature courses you won't be sitting passively in large lecture halls being told by a lecturer what a literary text is 'about'. Rather, you will be an active participant in seminar discussions on literary texts that you will have read and analysed in advance of the seminar.

Studying Interculturalism in DCU

You will learn about important issues in relation to interculturalism, both in Ireland and abroad. You will take an active role in seminar discussions with students of different nationalities on areas such as cross-cultural adaptation, cultural variation, intercultural communication, identity, stereotyping, racism, and prejudice.

Our aim is to encourage you to use intercultural theory as a tool for analysing the cross-cultural experience of individuals or groups and to reflect on your own experiences in this area.

What our Graduates Say

Anna Zurowska

Anna Zurowska
BA in Languages for International Communication (English Studies)
Graduated 2010

"The BA in Languages for International Communication at DCU was my first and best choice! This programme is a great option for somebody who's interested in modern communication, languages and culture. It made my choice simple because I could study English as well as a second language, in my case German. I had a great time at the University where I made many friends.
When I reflect on my years at DCU, the most rewarding experience was the quality of the relationship between the lecturers and the students. The human element of the programme, which was extremely important, along with the academic side, made my years at DCU exciting and challenging.
To anybody who's interested in languages and communication, this degree is a great choice. After graduation you can choose from a variety of MA courses. Thanks to this programme, I was able to pursue my academic career by doing an MA in Trinity College Dublin."

Laura Merloiu

Laura Merloiu
BA in Languages for International Communication (English Studies)
Graduated 2010

"During my time in DCU, I made friends from all over the world and I also gained precious knowledge of how important culture and intercultural knowledge is in the business environment. I am now back in my home country of Romania, working for a major multinational company, Procter and Gamble. My ENGLIC degree was a big help in my getting this job. As Bob McDonald (CEO of P&G) says, cultural problems in business can be a greater barrier than finding talented people - his words couldn't emphasize more the usefulness of my ENGLIC degree in DCU."

Contact us

Contact Annette Simon for queries relating to studying English at DCU

  • Room C2112
  • Tel: 01 700 5463