In addition to providing future language teachers with a solid theoretical background, we educate specialists to answer the demands of the many fields where English is important. We do this by examining the structure and character of English as a medium of communication and by analysing English texts in their literary, cultural and historical contexts. We are not, in other words, a language school, but assume from our students an interest in the wider contexts of English, as well as a high standard of proficiency in the language itself.
We provide teaching covering both the contemporary scene and the rich linguistic, cultural, literary and historical heritage of English. We also take into account both sides of the Atlantic, and the Commonwealth, i.e. British and American English and the status of English in other anglophone areas. As a result, the career opportunities for our students are manifold and attractive, from foreign language teaching or translation and interpreting to areas such as mass media, tourism, the civil service, international relations and, of course, research.
English has been a full major subject at the University of Turku since 1946, but the teaching of English began as early as 1926. Professor Outi Paloposki succeeds Joel Kuortti (2014-2015), Risto Hiltunen (1988-2014), Inna Koskenniemi (1967-1988) and Y. M. Biese (1946-1967) as the Department chair.
Until the end of the year 2009, the Department of English and the separate Department of English Translation Studies (chaired by Professor Jorma Tommola) formed the School of English. In 2010 these two departments were combined into a new, larger Department of English, which is a part of the School of Languages and Translation Studies. The new Department has four professors, ten lecturers, and a varying number of researchers.