Competencies taught by the English department incorporate two kinds of instruction, the second following naturally from the first: (1) teaching students skills in reading and creating texts, and (2) preparing them for jobs in careers where reading and writing are central.

We teach such skills as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to participate actively in discussion groups
  • Research methods
  • Familiarity with and ability to critique our literary and linguistic heritage, including English, American, and literatures and the structure of the English language itself
  • Analysis of many kinds of complex texts (literary, cultural, and virtual)
  • Cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary understanding
  • Writing clearly and effectively

These skills are valuable not only in careers that require writing-publishing, journalism, advertising-but also in the professions and in fields that require understanding of our own and other cultures-such as business, government, and cultural institutions. In an increasingly unified global culture, the ability to interpret and understand texts becomes central.