ABOUT THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
The English language today is the most important means of international communication. Both teaching and research in the department strongly reflect the status of English as a world language. Current areas of research include the study of English in different communicative contexts both today and in the past, contemporary literature in the anglophone world, and English as a target language for the Finnish learner.
In addition to providing future language teachers with a solid theoretical background, we educate specialists to answer the demands of the many fields where English is important. We do this by examining the structure and character of English as a medium of communication and by analysing English texts in their literary, cultural and historical contexts. We are not, in other words, a "language school", but assume from our students an interest in the wider contexts of English, as well as a high standard of proficiency in the language itself.
We provide teaching covering both the contemporary scene and the rich linguistic, cultural, literary and historical heritage of English. We also take into account both sides of the Atlantic, and the Commonwealth, i.e. British and American English and the status of English in other anglophone areas. As a result, the career opportunities for our students are manifold and attractive, from foreign language teaching to areas such as mass media, tourism, the civil service, international relations and, of course, research.
English has been a full major subject at the University of Turku since 1946, but the teaching of English began as early as 1926. Today, the Department of English and the separate Department of English Translation Studies form the School of English, one of the largest schools within the Faculty of Humanities at Turku. The Department has three professors, six lecturers, two assistants and a varying number of researchers. Professor Risto Hiltunen succeeds Y. M. Biese (1946-1967) and Inna Koskenniemi (1967-1988) as the Department chair.
Approximately 350 applicants take the Department's entrance examination every June. Based on the results of this exam and of the matriculation examination, 40 major and 20 minor subject students are selected to study at the Department of English. Thirty of the major students are subsequently accepted for teacher training. There are approximately 500 registered undergraduate and postgraduate students of English at the University of Turku. The number of M.A. theses completed each year is on average 25.