We’d like to do away with one prejudice right away: British Studies doesn’t mean to learn English. This does not mean you won’t improve your English while studying but it is expected of you to do this by yourself outside of the curriculum (the Sprachenzentrum offers great courses in English, just check out their courses for this semester). British Studies at the University of Leipzig has three focal points: Literature, Culture and Linguistics. Just imagine this with the help of an example about the British Empire: We, students of British Studies, are not only interested in how long Ireland has been a British colony, but also how South African English emerged and what the author of the Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling has to say about the Empire. And of course you should find a connection between the different aspects! The most important thing is that you are willing to read a lot for your studies, even when it gets a bit demanding.
Just as in British Studies the main point of focus is not on learning English, but to improve it on the side. In your seminars you will also be prepared to use English on an academic level. Furthermore you will study literature, culture, linguistics as well as history, society and politics. Across-the-board you are expected to read the weekly material for your seminars to be able to take part in the discussions. You can find further information on the homepage of the American Studies Department if you select Curriculum and then Courses. There you can find the current courses and put together your timetable.
Yes, the teacher’s programme is meant to train teachers. But no, it’s not only about what is being taught at school. It is expected of teachers that they show some interest in the topic they teach and should therefore know a bit more about said topic. Therefore you’ll study many interdisciplinary modules together with students of British and American studies. In practice your studies will be split into four different topics: In the modules about Culture and Literature of the English speaking world you’ll learn something about literary periods, history, and the theories of symbols, meaning and power. In the three modules concerning linguistics of the English language you’ll study (almost) everything from word formation to dialects. In TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) you’ll discuss questions concerning methods and strategies for teaching a foreign language which will be accompanied by internships. Whereas the last area is concerned with teaching itself, the other modules are a lot more theoretical and require e.g. essays or presentations to pass. In the best-case scenario you’ll have acquired expert knowledge and an idea on how to best teach it at the end of your studies. And of course it’s necessary to read a lot and to know the language. To help with this you’ll need to study abroad for at least three months.