Frequently asked questions
The English Subject Centre has a wide range of activities and projects:
- it runs workshops, study-days and other staff development activities at a number of locations around the country;
- it runs national level conferences and seminars at central locations;
- it collects information about teaching and learning materials and resources which it makes available to the subject community;
- it produces reports and analyses to support all aspects of teaching and learning from the curriculum design to delivery;
- it sets up staff development workshops for departments on request;
- it supports projects running in departments and helps with publicity and dissemination.
The Subject Centre addresses the many issues around the teaching and learning of English in UK Higher Education. Here are some of the issues we are addressing currently:
- Access and Widening Participation
- Transition to Higher Education
- The First Year Curriculum
- Sustainability and English
- New Lecturers
- Employability and Entrepreneurship
- HE in FE
The Subject Centre has a web-site which is its major communications tool . It produces two newsletters each year which include articles, discussion and reviews. It sends out regular mailings on its activities, and it sets up mail-base discussion groups. It responds to all enquiries by telephone, e-mail or letter. The Subject Centre also visits departments on an informal basis.
The Subject Centre has two main lines of reporting: the Higher Education Academy, and the Subject Centre Advisory Board , the latter being made up of senior academics in English who represent a range of institutions and the diversity of the subject.
The Centre is funded to support the teaching and learning of English Literature, Language and Craetive Writing in Higher Education. Thus we provide a service for the teaching of all students at all levels (foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate) in all institutions running HE programmes (Universities, Colleges, Institutes and FE Colleges) funded directly or indirectly by the UK funding councils. If you fall outside these categories, we may still be able to help you, and of course, all the materials on our website are open for all to use. If you are still uncertain about our constituency, why not contact us?
No. The Subject Centre is established to enhance teaching and learning in the subject, and participation in its activities is voluntary.
We are happy to receive unsolicited items for the Newsletter. Articles are normally within the range of 300-2000 words. However, you may prefer to discuss your submission with Subject Centre staff, and if this is the case, please contact our Administrator in the first instance . Articles for the Newsletter should also be sent to the Administrator. We are happy to receive these as electronic attachments by email.
Since the English Subject Centre was established in October 2000, we have visited over 50 English departments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our visits have provided us with invaluable opportunities to find out which issues are of major concern to the subject community. If you would like us to visit you please contact the Administrator in the first instance.
The English Subject Centre's resources on topics such as Plagiarism, Creative Writing and Assessment can be located via pages dedicated to these issues. They provide brief introductions and a summary of resources available. These might include references to Subject Centre events or reports. They might also include references to relevant material produced outside the Subject Centre, on the internet, for example.
If you wish to bring an initiative of any kind to the attention of the English Subject Centre, then contact the Administrator in the first instance.
If you have an idea for a publication of any kind, we would like to hear from you. Our book series, Teaching The New English, may be an appropriate outlet for you to consider, but we also publish reports and a Newsletter, and we are keen to use our website as a major communicative facility for everyone teaching English. If you have something to say that you want others to hear about, we can help. Contact our Administrator, in the first instance.
You can get involved in the Subject Centre's conferences, projects, and planning processes in a number of ways. If you would like to suggest new areas of activity for the Subject Centre we would be happy to accept suggestions.
- Register your interests and experience in our online directory, the Directory of Experience and Interests
- Suggest an idea for teaching a particular topic or text via T3 - Teaching Topics and Texts
- Write an article for our Newsletter
- Suggest a topic for an event, or offer to host a conference or symposium using the web form.
- Write a teaching case study for our website
Contact the Subject Centre through one of the following means:
- e-mail the Administrator
- phone the Centre on 01784 443221;
- join our JISCmail discussion list;
- bookmark our website to stay informed of events and activities
The Subject Centre is both able and willing to offer consultancy and staff development, and we can come and work with individual departments. Depending on the scale of the event, we might suggest that such events are thrown open to neighbouring English Departments, and we may also commission the necessary expertise from the subject community. Normally, there is no charge or this service, and we can help with a whole range of issues from thinking about assessment strategies or curriculum design to making use of IT in English. We are also happy to come and contribute to your awayday sessions where you feel this may be useful or appropriate.
Not exactly, but see the next FAQ. The Subject Centre's primary purpose is to support those who teach or provide other services for students. We do not provide learning materials for students, or advice for students, since those are the responsibilities of institutions and departments themselves. We do not make recommendations of where to study. We do however have an area of the website dedicated to the student experience; we like to involve students in our reviews of textbooks and introductory books, and we are always keen to hear from students about their experiences of English. We also hope to provide potential students with a broad view of the nature and benefits of studying English, through such websites as 'Why Study English'?.
Again, not directly, although from time to time we run workshops to help postgraduates with their first teaching roles and of course are working with lecturers to enhance the postgraduate learning experience.