The English Majors versus Generalists: A New View of College Language Education

Nicholas Goldberg: Where have all the English majors gone? What was once a common occurrence among English majors is now a rarity. In this lecture, Professor Goldberg will provide an explanation for this trend…

The English Majors versus Generalists: A New View of College Language Education

Nicholas Goldberg: Where have all the English majors gone?

What was once a common occurrence among English majors is now a rarity. In this lecture, Professor Goldberg will provide an explanation for this trend in English language education. He will draw on data from the Survey of English Majors, and specifically one of the most significant data sets ever compiled in college language education. He will also take to task the notion of “English majors versus generalists”, or “English majors in language education”, and will argue that this oversimplified view of college language education as “English majors in language education” is both inaccurate and detrimental to the field.

Professor Nicholas Goldberg is an Associate Professor at the University of New Orleans’ English-Language-Center (ELTC). He earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1999, M.H.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001, and Ph.D. in English and Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2012. His research and teaching interests include the history and current status of language education, college English language education, and pedagogy of the English language for non-native speakers. Dr. Goldberg has published on the topic of the nature and characteristics of college English language education, and on pedagogy of the English language for non-native speakers.

Professor Goldberg is the author of The English Professors: Writing for a World of Readers. The book discusses the nature and development of writing instruction across countries and regions in the English-speaking world, and examines the reasons why the same kinds of writing instruction do not exist in places where English is not the dominant language. His third book, The English Teacher: Learning to Teach English in a World of Reading, is currently in beta review.

This work is an edited version of a talk presented on February 21, 2019 in the College of Humanities and Social Science, University of New Orleans. The talk was originally given on March 12, 2019.

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