The English major provides a balanced program of introductory and advanced work in British, American and Anglophone postcolonial literature, English language and linguistics, and writing. The program offers students the chance to engage in a major humanistic discipline, the study of literature, which is challenging and enriching in itself. The English major also provides sound professional training for those interested in high school or college teaching, the teaching of English as a second language, business or technical writing, or graduate work; and the program is an excellent background for students entering professional schools or planning business careers.
The English major offers five concentrations that have been designed to meet the needs of students with a general interest in literature and of those with special interests in writing or teaching. Students seeking a strong background in literature, history, theory, and analysis should take the literature concentration in English, which combines the historical and critical study of literature with innovative approaches to critical methods, women's studies, nontraditional literatures, and non-Western literature in English. The concentration in English with an emphasis on creative writing offers students a full series of introductory and advanced creative writing courses. The concentration in English with an emphasis on professional writing gives interested students a strong combination of literature and professional writing instruction, including course work in technical writing, professional editing, and document design. The concentration in English with an emphasis on TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) provides a combination of advanced work in applied linguistics with training in current methods of language teaching.
Finally, the concentration in English with an emphasis on Integrated Language Arts offers a combination of courses in literature, communication, language study, and pedagogy for students interested in seeking licensure to teach English and language arts in middle school or high school.
In choosing electives, students should try to select, in consultation with the departmental advisor, courses that complement their major interest and form a coherent unit of study or courses that provide an appropriate career-oriented concentration.
English Honors Program:
The honors program in English is designed to encourage and recognize superior academic accomplishments by English undergraduates. With the approval of the chair of the English department and the departmental honors advisor, students who meet the eligibility standards may enter the English honors program before the beginning of their senior year. Students may be admitted to the program on the recommendation of any member of the English department faculty, or students may petition to enter the program. Under the direction of a faculty tutor, students in the honors program will complete an honors project that culminates in their writing an honors thesis or project report. For further information on eligibility and enrollment, students should consult the departmental honors advisor.
Program Learning Outcomes:
All graduates with a B. A. in English will be:
- Informed readers, able to formulate readings of texts based on their knowledge of literary historical contexts and of basic critical strategies;
- Skilled writers, able to develop a thesis and sustain a coherent written argument about literature using secondary sources.
Students in the Literature Concentration will also be:
- Familiar with works in the Anglo-American literary tradition and other literatures written in English;
- Familiar with and able to use the terms of literary analysis.
Students in the Creative Writing Concentration will also be:
- Familiar with the discipline of creative writing and the value of criticism in the creative process;
- Able to write in their chosen creative forms.
Students in the Professional Writing Concentration will also be:
- Familiar with the fields of professional writing and the primary writing conventions and skills needed in several fields;
- Able to create and edit appropriate professional and/or technical documents.
Students in the TESOL Concentration will also be:
- Familiar with the nature of language, the structure of English, and the fundamentals of language teaching;
- Able to develop a classroom pedagogy informed by their understanding of language.
Students in the Integrated Language Arts Concentration will also be:
- Familiar with the fundamentals of teaching language arts at the high school and middle school levels;
- Able to develop an approach to Language Arts teaching informed by their understanding of literature and language.
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