The first step in establishing the Department of English Language has been marked by the establishment of the Department of Social Sciences and English Language at the College of Teaching in 1382 AH. The department was then separated from social sciences by issuing the regulations of the College of Education in 1385 AH. Since then, the Department has been an independent entity with its own objectives and courses. After that date, the Department joined the College of Social Sciences that has been currently opened at the beginning of the year 1404/1405AH. As a result, the department's objectives have developed according to its new specialties.
The department's objectives have developed according to its used specialties. In the past, such objectives tended to focus on preparing qualified teachers, but now they have become more comprehensive. In addition to graduating English teachers for high and intermediate schools, the department aims at preparing specialists in applied linguistics and different genres of English literature. Such objectives can be summed in the following:
1- Preparing English teachers for high and intermediate stages.
2- Focusing on practical courses to give students the skills of English reading, listening, speaking and writing.
3- Contributing in the preparation of different studies and researches to qualify graduates in English.
4- Partaking in the organization of training courses for English teachers at the Saudi schools and giving them an idea about the key aspects as well as the ongoing changes in such field.
5- Studying English literature with its different genres across different historical periods.
6- Enhancing the spirit of creativity and intellection of students and preparing them to criticize and analyze books as well as literary publications.
7- Making a comprehensive study of languages in general and English in particular as a second language regarding its sounds, letters, development and association between a language and ways of teaching it as a foreign language.
To accomplish such objectives, the Department of English Language focuses on two main aspects. The first one is practical as it includes training for teaching basic linguistic skills, by using language labs equipped with modern devices. The second aspect is a theoretical one, including linguistics and literature.
English B.A. Course
The Department of English Language offers a university course that prepares students to obtain the Bachelor Degree in English. Such degree qualifies students to:
- Teach English at high and intermediate schools or any similar levels at English teaching centers, after having the appropriate educational training.
- Pursue their studies in advanced courses such as M.A. in linguistics, literature or other closely relevant fields.
- Integrate in a number of jobs requiring command of English language.
To ensure that English B.A. students are fully competent, this course seeks to accomplish the following practical objectives:
Stage I: Developing the students' linguistic skills as to listening, speaking, reading and writing in order for graduates to be able to use such skills in various situations easily and smoothly.
Stage II: Giving students the basic rules of:
- Theories of linguistics that offer a description of different linguistic sciences, such as phonology, syntax, grammar and semantics. All such theoretical sciences should primarily focus on English language.
- The most important theories associated with learning English as a second language, including theories of reading and writing English as a foreign language, researches and applications in learning English as a foreign language.
- The most important literary works, including renowned poems, novels, plays, short stories and selections of 20th century prose.
- Some of the issues related to sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.
- Principles of assessment of students' performance in English as a second language and evaluating their skills as well as competencies.
- Main issues, principles and methods of translation.
- Islamic texts written in English.
In addition to the general applicable procedures for the admission of students to Umm Al-Qura University, students at the Department of English Language have to:
- Pass the admission test prepared by the department.
- Achieve a minimum accumulative degree of (1,50) by the end of level B or, otherwise, a student is not allowed to pursue study at the department.
Computer-Aided language learning
For easier English teaching, the department uses language labs; audio and computer ones, to facilitate English learning. Moreover, students are encouraged to take part in web extracurricular activities designed and made accessible by the department's staff.