The Department of English offers one major course, English and a University wide Core Module, English Communication Skills (ECS). Students who want to major in English can take any other subject, from those listed as majors in the calendar, as a second major.
Cognisant of the inestimable value of studying texts from a wide range of critical perspectives, genres, periods and locations, the Department of English at the University of Venda aims to provide high quality teaching and research in a myriad of areas in English literature and language.
The mission of the Department of English at the University of Venda is to teach skills relevant to the study of English in a creative and stimulating way in order to help students communicate competently and think critically and creatively. In order to achieve this, it uses appropriate study materials and teaching methods. The Department also strives to develop according to the needs of the career market and society as a whole. Because of the disadvantaged background of most students who enrol at the University of Venda, the Department, if necessary, develops specific programmes to help it deal with possible inadequacies in such students. It also strives to foster a strong research culture among students and staff in order to help create new knowledge and thereby contribute to social development among students and staff in order to help create new knowledge and thereby contribute to social development.
For more information, please contact the Head of Department, Dr Lesibana Rafapa or Sectional Co-ordinators.
Tel: 015 962 8361
Fax: 015 962 4749 / 0865200906
The following modules are offered in the Department of English:
ECS (English Communication Skills)
English Communication Skills (ECS) consists of two modules. Module one is offered in the first semester and module two in the second semester. The first module ECS 1541 is a core module and must be taken by all first-year students from all schools enrolling for the first time, but also by those from other year groups who are repeating the ELP or ECS course. Thus many students are registered for this subject every year – roughly 3000. In order to accommodate them all in groups, there are quite a number of groups to choose from. Every student enrolled for ECS 1541 has to belong to one of these groups. The group the student chooses has to be selected according to the student’s own personal timetable. Since some groups’ lecturing times will clash with the lecturing times of other subjects, students have to be sure that they choose a group which will allow them to attend all four of the ECS 1541 lecturing periods. Students can therefore not come to an ECS 1541 lecturer, complaining that on a specific day they were unable to attend his/her class, because they (students) had a clash with another subject. Students simply have to choose another group, which does not clash with that subject. It is for this very reason that such a large number of ECS 1541 groups exist. Every group has four teaching periods per week. The lecturer assigned to that group will explain to students how these periods will be utilised. Students are expected to attend every period, as this is a practical skills based module, which entails working in class. As a result of the large numbers lecturers have to work with, the setting of dates for tests and assignments is a laborious affair, which can easily be complicated. In this regard, students’ full cooperation and patience will be greatly appreciated.
In the second semester students are expected to register for their School Specific Module i.e.
ECS 1641 for Human & Social Sciences
ECS 1642 for Education
ECS 1643 for Business & Management Sciences
ECS 1644 for Law
ECS 1645 for Natural & Agricultural Sciences
ECS 1646 for Environmental & Health Sciences
The same principles for choosing groups, as applied in ECS 1541, hold true for the students’ respective electives.
As English is an important key to educational success in South Africa, the aim of the English language courses is to develop knowledge and skills in the English language and the way in which it is used in various social contexts. The language course is divided into two categories; namely, language structure and language use.
This section of the course focuses on phonology (how sounds combine), phonetics (the sounds of language), morphology (structure of words), syntax (sentence structure), semantics (meaning of sentences) and pragmatics (meaning of sentences in situations).
This section of the course examines the uses of English for everyday communication. It focuses on the grammatical usage of English for various purposes. Common language errors and mistakes that second-language (L2) students make in various uses of English are also addressed. The following language modules are offered.
ENG 1561 Introduction to the English Language (Structure & Usage)
ENG 2561 English Structure and Usage: Intermediate Level
ENG 3541 Advanced English Structure (Core)
ENG 3542 Advanced English Usage (Core)
The literature course is designed to open new vistas in the students’ minds by showing lives, experiences, values and beliefs that are different from their own. The course is meant to inculcate in students knowledge of the three genres of poetry, prose and drama and their characteristics. The main aim of the course is to make students conversant with critical concepts as well as literary conventions and how they change. The course aims to inculcate a strong critical sensibility in students. Students will be expected to thoroughly familiarise themselves with all the literary terms employed in the criticism of each genre and work out what texts signify as well as determine the aesthetic value of a text. Hereunder is a list of modules offered.
ENG 1661 Introduction to Literary Studies
ENG 2661 Postcoloniality and the African World in Literature
ENG 3641 Postcoloniality and the Novel (Core)
ENG 3642 The Poetry of Love, Protest & Resistance (Elective)
ENG 3643 The Drama of Class, Race and Cultural Differences (Elective)
B.A. Honours in English Language Teaching (ELT)
ELT 5522 Poetics: Plato to the Nineteenth Century (core)
ELT 5523 Language Teaching Methodology (core)
ELT 5524 Psycholinguistics (elective)
ELT 5525 Discourse Analysis (elective)
ELT 5526 Language Testing (elective)
ELT 5527 Language and Society (elective)
ELT 5529 Literary Research Methods: Theory and Practice (core)
ELT 5622 Modern Critical Theory and Practice (core)
ELT 5623 Language Syllabus Design (core)
ELT 5624 Psycholinguistics (elective)
ELT 5625 Discourse Analysis (elective)
ELT 5626 Language Testing (elective)
ELT 5627 Language & Culture (elective)
ELT 5629 Language Research Methods: Theory and Practice (core)
ELT 5721 Dissertation
B.A. Honours in Literature
ESH 5521 Poetics: Plato to the Nineteenth Century (core)
ESH 5522 Black South African Literature in English (elective)
ESH 5523 Background to Modern African Literature in English (elective)
ESH 5524 American Literature (elective)
ESH 5525 Shakespeare: Background and Plays (elective)
ESH 5526 The Romantic Period: Background and Essays (elective)
ESH 5529 Literary Research Methods: Theory and Practice (core)
ESH 5621 Modern Critical Theory and Practice (core)
ESH 5622 Liberalism and Protest in South African English Literature (elective)
ESH 5623 Postcolonial African Literature in English (excluding South African Literature) (elective)
ESH 5624 American Literature (elective)
ESH 5625 Shakespeare’s Sonnets (elective)
ESH 5626 The Romantic Period: Poetry (elective)
ESH 5629 Language Research Methods: Theory and Practice (core)
ESH 5721 Dissertation
In addition to the packages above students may, in consultation with both the Head of Department of English and that of Communication and Applied Language Studies, register for a B.A. Honours in Literature and Media Studies Package. More details in this regard can be found in the School of Human and Social Sciences’ Calendar.
ENG 800 M.A (by research) – A dissertation on any aspect of English language or literature in English approved by the Department.
ENG 900 PhD (by research) – A thesis on any aspect of English studies (language and / or literature) approved by the Department.