Department of English Language
A Brief History of the Department of English Language and Literature at Jimma University
The Department of English (now called the Department of English Language and Literature) took its inception in 1983 as a two-man unit of English along with the opening of a pre-medicine department which was later renamed, the Department of Natural and Social Sciences. The Pre-medicine Department constituted the earliest phase of the establishment of Jimma Institute of Health Sciences in the same year.
From the outset, the goals and objectives of the unit were to provide the students of the Institute with the skills of English language required for academic purposes. The Unit offered only two courses entitled Freshman English I and Freshman English II. When the Basic Natural and Social Science Department was upgraded to the level of Basic Natural and Social Science Programme in 1993, the English Unit attained the status of ‘Department’ along with other units. Following the establishment of the Basic Science Programme, the Institute opened Post--Basic programmes in different areas of health sciences. The opening of these new undergraduate programmes necessitated the offering of one more common course entitled Sophomore English to all degree students across the departments and schools of the Institute.
In 1999, when Jimma Institute of Health Science was merged with Jimma College of Agriculture and became a university, the Department of English attained more strength with the addition of an English teacher from the College as there had been only three prior to the merger. It was during this time that the Ministry of Education (MoE) revealed its plan to launch new fields of training in the natural and social sciences, in English language and other areas, thus inducing the upgrading of the Basic and Applied Science Programme to faculty level; the Faculty of Education was fully established in 2001. It was after the establishment of the Education Faculty that the English Department enrolled the first batch of 30 students to be trained in B.ED degree in English Language. The Department also began to run two other programmes at different levels. It offered B.ED degree courses to extension and summer students and a diploma course to extension students. It currently runs two undergraduate programmes: BA degree courses for regular students and B.ED courses for summer and distance students.
The Department of English Language and Literature has now reached a high level of performance and has several highly qualified instructors. With these assets, the Department has launched an MA in TEFL programme and will graduate the first cohort of MA students in January 2012. As part of its programme expansion and upgrading scheme, the Department is currently working hard to launch an MA in Literature in September 2012.