Enhancement, Expansion, Diversification
BA Programmme (Hons) in English language & Literature
While the first program – English Language and Literature – is essentially made up of courses within the traditional, interrelated realms of language, literature and linguistics, it does venture also into the spheres of discourse analysis, pragmatics and culture. Clearly, a BA program in English Language and Literature enables the graduates of the program to be competent in the fields of linguistics and English Literature, two fields essential to any intellectual, well-rounded person’s education and to any society’s needs – stressing here that English literature has actually expanded over the years to include all literatures written in (or even translated into) English. Such crucial development comes with the aim of catering to students’ global education and outlook – a must in today’s world. But a degree in language and literature also qualifies students for the workplace. Graduates of literature and linguistics develop a command of the language that transcends their specific fields of study to include the language of journalism, media, the marketplace, politics, etc. After all, a program in English Language and Literature graduates students in possession of excellent language communication skills, both oral and written.
BA Programme (Hons) in English Language and Literature with Business
The ELL with Business, an interdisciplinary program, combines the best of two worlds: English and Business. This joint – hybrid – program prepares students specifically for the labor market, focusing on the various skills needed in the business world, in diplomatic missions with an economic focus, in ministries of planning, in media organizations whose main domain is business, etc. Those who join the program get the extra necessary skills in English which they do not get if they study business alone, and they get the extra business skills which they do not get if they study English alone. Such complementarity is a great advantage.
BA Programme in English Language and Literature with Translation (Track)
ELL with Translation comes for the purpose of filling an important gap. Translation is much needed in today’s world. Though English is certainly a global language, much communication and business in this small globe are still conducted in languages other than English. Arabic is one of those languages. In order to transfer a lot of discourse and communication from English to Arabic and vice versa, there is a need for competent translators in this realm. ELL with Translation aims to provide our branch countries with such competent translators.
Three Media Programs:
FLS has started offering three media/communication programs: Radio and Television, Electronic Media, and Public Relations and Advertising.
The three programs are the icing on the cake. The media/communication sector is fast expanding and growing in importance. There are so many potential employment opportunities in it for graduates with the relevant skills. The three media programs aim to provide the sector with bilingual specialists, who have excellent command of English and Arabic, and who have the right training in the specific media field(s).
At the postgraduate level, FLS has started introducing MA programs which, at once, are attractive to students and give them an edge in the workplace. The first of these is an MA in English Literature, which has been open to students (first in the Jordan Branch) as of the first semester 2012. Another program in the making is an MA in Translation, which FLS is working on.
FLS prides itself on having tutors who are extremely competent in methods of open and blended learning, and of the material taught in their courses. They constantly challenge their students to new horizons of thinking and knowledge. Beyond their competence in their fields of specialization and diligence, however, the tutors are also extremely supportive of students, always going out of their way to make students feel welcome and to offer prompt assistance when needed. FLS will continue to prioritize hiring not only outstanding tutors but stars in the field.
FLS faculty members devote a lot of time to tutoring. After all, helping our students learn, develop and excel is our major task. Nevertheless, FLS tutors devote increasing attention to scientific research, which is part and parcel of the mission of AOU. They author and publish individual and joint research in refereed journals of the best standards. While much of the research focuses on knowledge that is viable in the international arena (as any research should) much of it also aims to serve concerns of the Arab-Islamic nation – with specific reference to the Arabic language, Arabic literature and Arab culture. After all our university is a significant “pan-Arab” initiative, established (in part) with the aim of espousing matters directly pertaining to the Arab nation.
Continuous growth and development
Though more than a decade old, FLS is still growing and developing with the aim of both matching developments in our fast-changing world, and catering to the diverse and ever-expanding needs of learners, wherever they are and no matter what their level in English is. A host of new programs and activities are in the making, and they will be announced in due course.
Students Ready to Take the Challenge
FLS, like AOU at large, attracts students with great aspirations who value independent, open education. There is no doubt that face-to-face learning has its own value. But it also has its limitations. Too much of it tends to make students too reliant on tutors, which results in spoon-feeding, and dependence on personal contact. This is why FLS champions on-line, independent learning which not only weans students from tutors, but builds on students’ own motivation to learn... Self-learning is the most effective form of learning because, among other things, it capitalizes on students wanting to learn. But FLS, like AOU again, offers both face-to-face (25%) and self-learning (75%) – what we affectionately refer to as blended learning. Many of our students are mature students, who at once pursue a career and seek continuous growth.
Sustainable International Partnerships
FLS is proud of the fact that it is strongly affiliated with the OU-UK which validates and assesses FLS education. And this is a major source of our strength. But FLS also seeks partnerships with other HE institutions in the region with similar vision and mission, and international institutions from both East and West. In a world which has become visibly multicultural and global, global partnerships are a must – sharing experience and cooperating on several specific initiatives, projects and programs.