Welcome to the Department of English and Modern Languages Web pages. We offer courses in English language and literature, creative writing, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Our aim is to prepare students to communicate and create new knowledge in the many different communities – academic and business, personal and international - in which they will live and work. We are committed to providing our students with opportunities for frequent writing and detailed instructor feedback in a discussion-centred classroom environment. Many of our students have gone on to achieve distinction in the creative arts, teaching, journalism, business, and graduate study.
Department members are themselves active scholars as well as teachers, and have won international recognition for their work. Books by department members (and contributions to books) have been published by Cambridge UP, Cambridge University; U of Toronto P, the University of Toronto; U of Alberta P, University of Alberta; Michigan State UP, Michigan State University; Inkshed Publications, University of Manitoba; Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, to name only a few.
The study of English introduces students to a wide range of human creative activity, from the literature of ancient civilizations to the most recent developments in film and creative writing. Because our courses focus on reading, writing, thinking, and imagining, English studies also form natural interdisciplinary links with a variety of other areas, including history, Canadian studies, law, journalism, philosophy, fine arts, sociology, and psychology. But English is also a good start for those interested in the ministry and religious paths, counselling and therapy, social work, education, management, and other areas where imagination, precision, organization, and good communication skills are important.
Our introductory literature and composition courses emphasize writing, but they also introduce Arts students to the close reading and interpretation of texts, a process that is essential in understanding ourselves and how language, images, and stories work in all walks of life. For our senior-level students, we offer English Major and English Minor programs. The English Major provides students with the opportunity to experience both the depth and breadth of literature and writing in English, from Medieval to Postmodern, Canadian to African, children’s literature to aboriginal drama. While engaging the imagination and probing the human condition, English studies also encourage students to develop complex reading, writing and thinking skills, all of which are essential in the Information Age. The English Minor, although less concentrated than the Major, also allows students to develop interests in imaginative writing and earn a valuable credential in conjunction with another Major program at TRU. The Creative Writing Minor challenges students to tap into their creativity, teaches them the elements of form through critique of contemporary works, and provides them with the opportunity to practice writing in the following genres: short fiction, novel, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.
A degree in English will never be obsolete; it provides experiences and develops skills that will remain valuable throughout one’s lifetime.
New! Students may now take Creative Writing Minor with English Major (or any other Major). See an advisor to sign up!
Advising is now available for English Major and Minor and Creative Writing Minor - email for appointment.