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The art of English

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The art of English looks at creativity in the English language: from everyday language use (conversation, children’s language, letter writing, online chat) to ‘high culture’ literary language and new kinds of media texts. You’ll consider how ‘verbal art’ works in a wide range of texts, and the extent to which the seeds of literary creativity may be found in more routine uses of English. The course has an international dimension too, enabling you to explore language use in different parts of the English-speaking world, and should help you consider your own daily experiences of the English language.

Modules at Level 3 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
27 Sep 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course is relevant to anyone with a general interest in the English language and how it is used by speakers, writers and producers of multimodal texts such as illustrated books and film; or in specific areas of language study such as language and literature; language and media; or children’s language. It is also relevant to teachers and others with a professional interest in English. Unless you have previous experience of studying the English language, or linguistics, language and literature or some other branch of language studies, you are advised to take this course after studying the Level 2 course Worlds of English (U214).

The course is divided into two main sections, organised as two main teaching texts, with accompanying study guides and CD-ROMs. The study guides (one for each main section of the course) link all the components of the course, including audiovisual activities. The course also makes use of two set books, the details of which are given below.

Everyday creativity – The first part of the course looks at everyday creativity or verbal art in both spoken and written English. It examines how speakers routinely use forms of language often associated with literary texts in their everyday talk, for instance in language play, jokes and other forms of verbal humour, metaphorical imagery, narratives of personal experience and everyday performances in interaction with others. We also examine creative uses of written English varying from graffiti and text messages to letters, diaries and blogs, and consider how everyday textual creativity is related to particular cultural contexts and historical moments. Our focus here is on the functions and meanings of linguistic creativity in people’s lives and the ways in which speakers of English use different kinds of reading and writing to construct and express aspects of their identities.

Literary creativity – The second part of the course looks at texts designed for public consumption, including: poetry, plays and novels, picturebooks, performance art, e-literature, and adverts. What distinguishes some of these texts as high quality literature while others are dismissed as ephemeral and of little lasting value? How are new types of technology enabling or even challenging our understanding of literary creativity and its different forms? And how far does considering the processes involved in reading and authoring literary texts help to illuminate these issues? This section of the course explores the idea that more ephemeral texts make creative use of a shared literary and cultural heritage. It also explores social and ideological issues, and the influence of historical processes and different cultural contexts on what counts as literary language and how this is understood.

In exploring creativity across a range of genres and social contexts, this course provides a lively introduction to stylistic, sociolinguistic and multimodal analysis. It draws on work in literature and performance studies as well as English language studies.

Entry

This is a Level 3 course. Level 3 courses build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU. You are expected to have some knowledge of language study, and the course is particularly appropriate if you have taken our course Worlds of English (U214) (or the discontinued course U211).  

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

The set books are available in a comb-bound and DAISY Digital Talking Book format. The printed study materials are available in the DAISY Digital Talking Book format. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books, study guides, CD-ROMs, course guide, other printed material, website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • A netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device is not suitable for this course – check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Short, M H Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman £27.99 - ISBN 9780582291300
  • Carter, R Language and Creativity: The Art of Common Talk, Routledge £26.99 - ISBN 9780415234498

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. 

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Assessment is an essential part of the teaching, so you are expected to complete it all. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the course.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“I really enjoyed this course; it's definitely my favourite so far. The first half of the course starts with creativity ...”
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“Disagree with some comments here. The themes for the six TMAs initially seemed very similar and at first glance the ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code E301
Credits 60
OU Level 3
SCQF level 10
FHEQ level 6
Course work includes:
6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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