Founded in 1973, the Department of English at the University of Klagenfurt is well known for its excellent student-to-teacher ratio and its progressive teaching programmes. It was the first English department in Austria to introduce B.A. and M.A. programmes in 2005 and continues to be committed to equipping students with the methods, knowledge, and critical thinking skills they need in a quickly changing cultural and professional landscape.
In addition to its Teacher Training Programme the department offers a Bachelor Programme and a Master Programme in English and American Studies (Anglistik und Amerikanistik). All our programmes combine traditional and innovate approaches in courses on a wide range of topics, among them applied linguistics, content and language integrated learning methods, and Anglophone literatures and cultures with a special emphasis on film, visual culture, and the new media. Starting in fall 2017, the department also offers an interdisciplinary Master Game Studies and Engineering.
The department is divided into four main areas of research and teaching: English Linguistics, English Teacher Education, Language Education, and Literature and Culture Studies, focusing on British, American, Canadian, Australian, and other Anglophone postcolonial cultures. More information on classes that are currently offered in the department is available here.
Within the Alpen-Adria-University, the department is affiliated with the School of Education and the Language Testing Centre, and it is very active in the AAU’s Visual Culture research cluster and the working group on multilingualism. Beyond the university, the department is part of a network of universities in Europe and worldwide. This offers students exciting opportunities to enrich their experience with studying abroad.
The department offers modern, easily accessible seminar rooms conducive to interactive and inclusive learning experiences.
Literature and Culture Studies
The Literature and Culture Studies section of the department is dedicated to familiarizing students with British, North American, Australian, and Postcolonial cultures. We provide students with a historically informed and geographically diverse perspective on Anglophone cultures, while also developing writing and analytic skills. Our class offerings cover a broad variety of historical and literary topics, and film and media studies figure particularly prominently in our curricula. At the B.A. level, our programme includes introductory classes to literary and film analysis as well as seminars on specific literary and cinematic genres and periods, comics, visual culture, and game studies. At the M.A. level, students are given the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Anglophone cultures while also engaging with a wide variety of critical and scholarly approaches. We also offer an interdisciplinary Master in Game Studies and Engineering.
The following topics represent major areas of interest:
- American liteature and culture from the colonial period to the present
- British Literature from the 18th and the 20th century
- British Pop Culture of the 1960s
- Contemporary Canadian and British drama
- Comics and Graphic Novels
- Ethnic and Indigenous literatures and cultures
- Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction
- Film Studies
- History of British and American Cinema
- Media and Society
- Game Studies
- Gender Studies
- Cognitive Cultural Studies
- Environmental Cultural Studies and Ecocriticism
- Animal Studies
A dedicated team of scholars teaches English linguistics at the Department of English and American Studies. Students gain insight into the nature of the English language and its different functions (e.g. its historical development, its sounds, its structure of words and phrases, its varieties, and its use in conversation and discourse). Beyond that, the individual research specializations among the team of linguists create a rich and versatile program that offers a range of topics at B.A. and M.A. levels in applied and variational language studies including different qualitative and quantitative methods of language analysis. This gives students the opportunity to explore the diversity of linguistic research and to pursue their own preferences for their individual study. We also encourage interdisciplinary approaches that combine linguistic research with other fields. The following topics represent major areas of interest and are offered in our program:
- Professional Communication with a Special Focus on Helping Professions
- Gender, Language and Sexuality
- Working with Discourse: (Critical) Discourse Analysis and Conversation Analysis
- Language and Identity
- Language Testing and Assessment
- Corpus Linguistics
- World Englishes
- Language Contact
- Conceptual Metaphors
- Meaning and Cognition
- Language and Society
English Teacher Education
From problem solving to intercultural communication, studying in the English teacher education programme offers students the necessary skills and knowledge to be competent as teachers in local and international schools. Innovative teaching methodologies and frequent guest lectures from specialists make our programme a unique learning experience. We ensure that students not only learn about but also experience the different dimensions involved in English language education—where theory comes alive and practice informs theory.
Close collaboration between the colleagues engaged in the teacher education programme enables students to specialise in film studies, game studies, applied linguistics, and Anglophone cultures and literatures. The new curriculum (2015) offers a spectrum of methodological specialisations such as CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), English for Specific Purposes, and English learning in multilingual contexts. We treat students as partners in a dialogue, apply problem-oriented, learner-centred methodologies, and collaborate with each other in team-teaching sessions and with highly qualified schoolteachers at lower and upper secondary levels.
We offer exciting teaching internships that are reinforced by engaging lectures, where concrete practice is competently discussed in the light of cutting-edge theories of foreign language acquisition. As of Winter Semester 2017/18, a problem-oriented and learner-centred teaching approach will be applied in all PPS methodology courses in English, which gives teacher education in the subject English in Klagenfurt a real edge. Additionally, the extensive experience in practical aspects of foreign language teaching held by the colleagues at the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia, Victor Frankl UC (Pädagogische Hochschule Kärnten) benefits our students and prepares them for communicative language teaching in authentic classrooms.
The Language Strand
Courses in the Language Strand primarily aim to develop students’ language proficiency in English. The placement test is the entry point into the program and ensures that students are at the required proficiency level of B2 according to the CEFR. Course tasks and classroom activities challenge students to develop their writing, reading, speaking and listening skills as they aspire towards C2-level competence over the course of their studies. At the same time, they allow students to reflect on effective study skills and pedagogic principles in language acquisition. They also provide ample opportunity for practice and include feedback from teachers and peers while they enhance grammatical accuracy, lexical development, fluency and pronunciation. Structure and content of the classes is based on recent developments in methodology and informed by research conducted at the department and internationally.
Courses in the Language Strand also focus heavily on the development of academic skills. In writing, they include the particularities of text organization in the English tradition of academic writing and research skills that students require for any academic work they do. Academic skills, both in writing and speaking, also require the ability to engage with challenging texts and apply critical thinking skills. This is demanded of students regularly when they write academic assignments or practice their speaking skills in frequent classroom discussions and peer presentations on a broad range of literary, linguistic or educational topics and, of course, issues of current concern.
Language education is an integral component of both the B.A. curriculum and the teacher education curriculum, and both groups of students attend language courses together. In the B.A. curriculum, language courses are listed under “Sprachliches Grund- und Aufbaustudium“ (27 ETCS) and include a module on the theory and practice of literary and professional translation (“Fachliches Grund- und Aufbaustudium Translation,” 9 ECTS). In the teacher education curriculum, they comprise modules ENA Introduction to Academic Language, ENB Language Studies, ENC Advanced Language Studies, and END Professional Language Use (25 ECTS).
Find out more about the English language teaching staff.