Students react to new curriculum changes in English department


Archit Kalra

The English department’s new course offerings for juniors and seniors next year have been appealing to many students.

As per department chairperson Kim Walker, the new courses were created to have more options for students and focus on more creative aspects of literature.

“If you’re not taking one of the full year, fully weighted courses, you still have to take a composition (course), but then you can take courses with other options, like etymology, creative writing, biblical literature, and classical literature,” Walker said. “What we’ve done now is just add more options, so that students can easily understand ‘if I’m choosing something from this column, what do I have to choose from that column?’”

Though sophomore Lucca Mo says he is unsure if he will end up taking one of the new courses, he said he is interested in them.

“I like that (the department is offering new courses),” he said. “I know debate and government (are) all good (classes), but if you’re including more cultural literature, I would be down to take some of those classes. I am Christian, so it would be cool to take one of those biblical literature classes.”

“I wouldn’t really like to take some of (the psychological thriller or other similarly themed) classes, (though). I don’t really like poetry and thriller and those types of literature, but I think other people would (like) to take those classes,” Mo said.

Walker said the curriculum changes have a built-in failsafe to ensure the classes being offered are always appealing for students.

“Each year, because these have a generic term–one being called themes in literature and one being called genres of literature–we can actually replace (a course) at any point in time, year-to-year,” she said. “If next year we decide that our students really didn’t like Short Stories, and we want to replace short stories with a different genre like poetry, we can do that. Now that they’ve been approved, we can continue to move forward and make changes as needed.”

Walker added via email, “By exposing students to a variety of texts and modalities of expression, English courses aim to provide a foundation for all learning experiences. We recognize that we need to diversify the curriculum and our hope is that these new courses will bring more meaningful choices to students.”

The new courses for the 2021-2022 school year will be ethnic literature, linguistics, themes in literature: heroes and villains, themes in literature: humor, genres of literature: psychological thriller, and genres of literature: short stories.