Student, teacher discuss benefits of innovative English classes

Archit Kalra

For senior James Zhang, English classes that involve more creativity have always been enjoyable.

“I’m taking creative writing this semester, and I feel like it’s going to be a good experience because writing whatever I want is a stress-relieving activity and provides me with an avenue to channel my creativity,” Zhang said via email.

Zhang said he feels some of the new courses that the English department has pioneered in recent years have been more conducive to his views on writing.

“Personally, I’ve always wanted the ability to write about fantastic, fictional worlds based off of pop culture, so I definitely prefer creative writing over more confining courses like AP Literature.”

As per English department chairperson Kim Walker, some of the goals of the English department’s recent curriculum changes were to increase course options and advocate for some of the new avenues that Zhang mentioned.

“(We created the new courses because we were) just focusing on our students and what their interests are,” she said. “It’s just offering more opportunities for students. That’s why we did away with that (old communications class requirement, where) we had students who were being forced to take a communications class when communications was not their forte; they didn’t want to take Speech or Debate, but the curriculum was requiring them to do so, so we took that requirement off a couple of years ago and opened up our options.”