British universities will lose out by scrapping English and linguistics courses | Letters

While it is shocking and regrettable that Sheffield Hallam University’s English Literature degree no longer exists, very little attention has been paid to the suspension of the English degree (Letters, July 4).

This course was successful in recruiting bright working-class students who were interested in how spoken and written language works in society. Students learned vital transferable skills in communication, as well as critical and analytical thinking. Graduates have gone on to careers in speech therapy, marketing, teaching, and publishing, to name a few.

Lately, recruitment has been affected by the same factors as other humanities subjects, but also by changes to the GCSE curriculum. It has become so regressive and boring that schoolchildren do not consider going any further.

The demise of English language and linguistics at Sheffield Hallam (and other universities such as Huddersfield) is not only a disgrace to the education of young people, but also to linguistics research. Currently, English teachers contribute to a cutting-edge, world-class research center in Hallam – but this will no longer be the case if there are no jobs for these experts.
Karen Grainger
Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, Sheffield Hallam University

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