The M.A. programme English as a World Language represents a collaborative effort by the Department of English and the Department of Asian and African Studies, with the Department of English assuming the main administrative responsibility.

The programme covers varieties of English around the world, from traditional English dialects to more recent post-colonial varieties and English-based pidgin and creole languages. In line with the areas of specialization of the departments involved, emphasis is placed on English in Africa, and in South and Southeast Asia (in addition to the varieties “closer to home”).

The substantive interest of the programme derives from the fact that we are witnessing a major change in the status, function, and structure of many of the so-called New Englishes: they are undergoing a process of nativization during which English is gradually shifting from a second to a first language. The approach adopted in the programme is both structural and sociolinguistic, with due attention to both language-internal and language-external factors.

As part of the syllabus, students are given the opportunity of independent study and receive intensive one-to-one tutoring.

The programme prepares MA students for a career in higher education, business, diplomacy, or cultural affairs.

Applicants are expected to have a first university degree in English language or a similar linguistic degree, as well as high proficiency in English and German. Classes taught at the Department of English are taught in English; others may be in German.

The programme starts in October. The annual deadline for applications is mid-July.