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Second-year course descriptions, 2014-15 Word Document

Senior-Level course descriptions, 2014-15 Word Document

New! Students may now take Creative Writing Minor with English Major (or any other Major).  See an advisor to sign up!


Advising now available for English Major and Minor and Creative Writing Minor - email for appointment.

April: Ken Simpson ( or Nina Johnson (

May:  Ken Simpson ( or Karen Hofmann (

English & Modern LanguagesWelcome 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.

English Studies

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 Word Document  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 Word Document, 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 Word Document 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.

NY Times Article: Literary Fiction and Empathy


Modern Languages

Our language courses contribute to the intellectual and personal enrichment that learning new languages allows: language study facilitates understanding and respect for the perspectives, practices, and products of other cultures; it also offers students a competitive advantage, for language proficiency is an essential component of attractive careers in such diverse fields as international business or law, teaching at all levels, immigration, tourism, journalism, translation, international relations, and the civil or foreign service.

Our small class sizes allow personalized instruction; our language lab facilities allow individualized practice. The course offerings embrace all aspects of language, literature, and culture, focusing on reading, conversation, and composition. We also offer the opportunity for independent study, including study abroad.

Cultural Ambassadorship in Germany, Service Learning 3000 (3cr), Spring/Summer 2014

Would you like to spend the summer in Germany? Have you completed at least one year of German-language courses? If so, you may be eligible for Service Learning 3000, a new course offered by the Department of English and Modern Languages. Successful applicants will spend approximately 3 months (May to early August) in Germany and work under the supervision of a TRU faculty member to fulfil the role of Cultural Ambassador.  The financial support package for the program is approximately $7,000 for domestic students and $8,800 for international students. For details, please read the full course description.  SERV 3000 Word Document

To apply, please submit the following documents by March 14th, 2014: 
Letter of interest outlining your interest in and suitability for the course
A curriculum vitae, including the names of two referees
A copy of your university transcript
Electronic submissions:
Hard copies should be delivered to: Dr. Pitts, OM2788

If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Pitts ( or Cara Cadre, Coordinator, Modern Languages (