What is English Language?

You may be wondering, “What’s the difference between an English Language major and an English major?”  While people often assume they’re the same, the two majors are quite different. The English Language major focuses on studying the the structure of the English language and how it is and has been used across communities. Students in the English Language major analyze sounds, grammar, vocabulary, historical changes, social and regional variations, register, standardization, and other social aspects.

Through completing the English Language major, students will gain a detailed knowledge of the English language and will develop language-based analytical skills. These skills are valuable for students preparing for professions such as law, business, and medicine; for students preparing to be editors; for English and English as a Second Language teachers; and for those preparing to be linguists, philologists, and translators (when English is one of the languages involved).

The English Language major has five suggested areas of emphasis:

  • Historical English linguistics
  • Pre-professional studies (for professions such as law, business, and medicine)
  • TESOL (in conjunction with a TESOL minor)
  • English language studies
  • Textual analysis

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