Department of English and Modern Languages

Location: 4 Maes Building, Phone: (409) 880-8558 Chair: Jim Sanderson

Director of Writing: Jim Sanderson, 3 Maes Building, (409) 880-8555

Director of Writing Center: Melissa Hudler, 1st Floor, Mary and John Gray Library, (409) 880-8587

Director of Texas Intensive English Program at Lamar: James Moore, Montagne 106A, (409) 880-8012

Modern Language Degree Coordinators:

Spanish Concentration: Dr. Christine Bridges-Esser

French Concentration: Dr. Kenneth Rivers

Mission

The mission of the Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy is to provide superior teaching, research and service. The faculty seeks to develop student literary comprehension, creative and critical thinking, and writing and communicative abilities in a range of diverse intellectual and cultural traditions. The department is committed to fostering sound Liberal Arts academic experience and preparing graduates to meet the educational, professional and cultural needs of the region and beyond. The Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy emphasizes excellent teaching in a variety of languages, literatures, and theories.

The Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees are available in English. Scholarly interests of members of the department include old and middle English, the Renaissance, Shakespeare, eighteenth century studies, English and American romanticism, the Victorian age, contemporary English and American literature, African American literature, West Indian literature, and Rhetoric and Composition. In addition to the study of English and American literature through courses organized by genre, period, and individual author, the student may explore the history and structure of language and the crafts of both creative and technical writing.  The English program endeavors to advance the study and appreciation of the English language as a tool for scholarly analysis, criticism, creativity, and communication. The program also seeks to help students understand literature as an expression of aesthetic and humanistic values.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages, with a concentration in either French or Spanish, is also available, enabling the student to acquire competence in conversation and composition in these languages as well as familiarity with their literature and culture. The department also offers courses in German and minors in Philosophy, French, Spanish, Writing and English.

Majors frequently certify for public school teaching in conjunction with earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in English or Modern Languages (French or Spanish). However, many others pursue the degree as part of their liberal arts educational goals and go on to careers in business or government service, or to graduate study or law school. A degree in a foreign language is especially valuable for those anticipating Foreign Service employment in the public or private sector. The English writing concentration, as well as Modern Languages and Philosophy concentrations, can combine with other majors to improve marketability.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in English -  (Concentrations in Literature, Writing, Rhetoric/Composition or Teacher Certification 120-126 hrs)
Teacher Certification in English Language Arts and Reading 8-12
Minor in English – 18 hrs, of which 9 hours must be chosen from certain advanced level courses.
Minor in Writing - 18 hrs, of which 9 must be chosen from certain advanced level courses
Minor in Philosophy - 18 hrs
Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages (Spanish concentration or French concentration) - 120 hrs
Minor in French - 21 hrs
Minor in Spanish -21 hrs
Teacher Certification in French 8-12
Teacher Certification in Spanish 8-12

Master of Arts in English

Bachelor of Arts – English

Requirements for all English BA degrees:

1) ENGL 3326 – Advanced Expository Writing 2) One American Literature class: 3322, 3324, or 3392 3) One British Literature class: 3382 or 3384 4) One World Literature class: 3330 or 3332 5) Six hours of the twelve academic electives must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.

All English majors must fulfill those requirements. Then students have four options (plans) they can pursue, each with its own additional, plan-specific requirements. Those four options are as follows: Literature Concentration, Writing Concentration, Rhetoric/Composition Concentration, Teacher Certification

Literature Concentration: 1) Students must take correspondent second 4000-level classes in American, British, and World Literature. In other words, students must take two American, two British and two World Literature classes, one from the junior level as required (above) on all degree plans, but then another one in each category at the 4000 level. 2) Students must take three additional 4000-level English electives.

Writing Concentration: 1) Students must take three additional courses from among the following list: 3310 (Technical Writing), 3316 (Poetic Analysis), 3326 (Adv Expository Writing), 3350 (Creative Writing – Poetry or Fiction), 4310 (Teaching of Writing), 4312 (Studies in Language and Linguistics), 4345 (Writing Seminar), 4347 (Multimedia Writing). Some additional writing courses from outside of the department would also qualify, including COMM 3330 (Adv Journalistic Writing), etc. Some courses may be taken more than once to fulfill requirement (3350, et al.) 2) Students must take three additional 4000-level English electives.

Rhetoric/Composition Concentration: 1) Students must take three additional courses from among the following list: 3327 (Advanced Argumentation), 4300 (Introduction to Linguistics), 4301 (History of the English Language), 4303 (Sociolinguistics), 4312 (Studies in Language and Linguistics), 4314 (Studies in Critical Theory), 4346 (Studies in Rhetoric), 4347 (Multimedia Writing) 2) Students must take three additional 4000-level English electives.

Teacher Certification: 1) Students must take ENGL 4321 (Issues in Language and Literature 2) Students must take two of the following “genre” courses, 3316 (Poetic Analysis), 3320 (Child and Adolescent Literature), 3340 (Mythology), 3350 (Creative Writing), 3360 (The Short Story), 3370 (The Drama), 3380 (British Novel), 3390 (American Novel). 3) Students must take three additional 4000-level English electives. 4) See below for further information about requirements in the Teacher Certification program.

Minor: Students in all concentrations except for Teacher Certification must in addition have an approved minor of at least 18 semester hours, including 9 semester hours of advanced courses. Marketable minors in areas such as business or computer science are encouraged. Students and advisors should obtain current information from individual departments about their requirements for minors in their fields.

Academic Foundations Requirements, 12 hours. All students must complete a modern language, either French, German or Spanish, through the intermediate level (six hours beginning 1311, 1312 and six hours intermediate 2311, 2312)

Bachelor of Arts in English Total Min Hours: 120

To become certified to teach in Texas, students must complete an undergraduate degree, pass state exams in both a subject area and in pedagogy, and must comply with other state requirements. Students wishing to teach English in Texas must choose either the teacher certification program for English Language Arts/Reading Grades 4-8 or for English Language Arts/Reading Grades 8-12. The Grades 4-8 certification program is offered only in the College of Education and Human Development. The Grades 8-12 certification program is offered only in the Department of English and Modern Languages.

Students wishing teacher certification in English must fulfill all requirements for the major as listed above, specifically those requirements listed under the Teacher Certification plan. In addition, these students must complete all required courses in professional pedagogy, including student teaching, must comply with all current departmental/university state preparation/remediation policies, and must pass appropriate local and state qualifying examinations.

Bachelor of Arts in English with Teacher Certification: 126 Hours

Minor in English (no grade less than a “C”). A minor in English requires 18 hours above the 9-hour core composition and sophomore literature requirements, with at least 6 hours at the advanced 4000-level.

  • may include 1 additional sophomore literature course
  • must include 1 advanced 3000 or 4000-level British literature course
  • must include 1 advanced 3000 or 4000-level American literature course
  • must include 1 advanced 3000 or 4000-level Genre or World literature course
  • must include 2 additional advanced 3000 or 4000-level literature and/or linguistics courses

Minor in Writing (No grade less than “C”) A minor in writing requires 18 hours above 6-hour core curriculum composition requirement, of which 9 hours must be chosen from the following advanced-level creative, technical, or critical writing courses:

  • ENGL 3326 Advanced Expository Writing
  • ENGL 3350 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENGL 3350 Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENGL 4345 Writing Seminar: Poetry
  • ENGL 4345 Writing Seminar: Fiction
  • ENGL 3310 Technical Report Writing
  • ENGL 4347 Multimedia Writing

With departmental approval, advanced writing classes from English or other disciplines may substitute for the classes listed above for the minor.

Minor in Philosophy (No grade less than “C”). Students who wish to minor in philosophy must complete 18 hours of courses in philosophy while adhering to the following guidelines:

  • PHIL 1370 or PHIL 1360 Philosophy of Knowledge (or approved transfer core curriculum equivalent)
  • PHIL 2303 Logic
  • PHIL 2306 Ethics
  • Nine hours of advanced 3000-or 4000-level Philosophy course work

With departmental approval, these may include classes with philosophical content taught in other disciplines.

Modern Languages

The Modern Languages program strives to promote the study of languages, literature and communication, to develop cultural awareness, and to encourage an appreciation of international values.

Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages/French concentration (120 hours)

The degree of Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/French concentration combines general requirements, including the Core Curriculum with its emphasis on ways of knowing, and the more specialized study within the major:

  1. Core Curriculum Requirements, 48 hours. Note: Modern Languages/French concentration majors must take SPAN 1311 or GERM 1311, or COMM 1315, 1360, 2373, 3310
  2. Academic Foundation Requirements, 6 hours: Three additional hours from ENGL 3330 or 3332, HIST 4310 or HIST 4324
  3. ML/French Concentration Major, 33 hours: FREN 1311 and 1312 (Beginning French I and II), FREN 2311 and 2312 (Intermediate French I and II), FREN 3300 (French Conversation), FREN 3370 (Advanced Grammar and Composition), FREN 3380 (French Phonetics), FREN 3390 (French Culture and Civilization), Three advanced (3000-or 4000-level) French courses, one of which must be at the 4000 level.
  4. Minor: 18 hours, including at least nine hours of advanced courses.
  5. Academic Electives: 15 hours, including at least nine hours of advanced courses.

Minor in French (No grade less than “C”) Students who wish to minor in French must take 18 hours beyond FREN 1311, including the following:  

  • FREN 1312 Beginning French II
  • FREN 2311 Intermediate French I
  • FREN 2312 Intermediate French II
  • 9 hours Advanced (3000-or 4000-level) French Electives 

Suggested Program of Study: Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/French concentration Total Min. Hours: 120

Students majoring in ML/French with Teacher Certification do not need to have a minor. In addition, these students must complete FREN 4350 – Teaching Methods EC-6 and FREN 4360 – Teaching Methods 6-12. These students must also complete all required courses in professional pedagogy, including student teaching, must comply with all current departmental/university and state preparation/remediation policies, and must pass appropriate local and state qualifying examinations.Students wishing to certify with French as the primary teaching field should major in the Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy and receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages/French concentration.

Those receiving the Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/French concentration with a Teaching Certification must take the same core curriculum and departmental foundations outlined in Bachelor of Arts-ML/French and similar major studies.

Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages/Spanish concentration (minimum 120 hours)

The degree of Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/Spanish concentration combines general requirements, including the Core Curriculum with its emphasis on ways of knowing, and the more specialized study within the major:

  1. Core Curriculum Requirements, 48 hours. Note: Modern Languages/Spanish concentration majors must take FREN 1311 or GERM 1311, or COMM 1315, 1360, 2373, or 3310
  2. Academic Foundations Requirements, 15 hours: SPAN 1311 and 1312 (Beginning Spanish I and II), SPAN 2311 and 2312 (Intermediate Spanish I and II),
    Three additional hours selected from ENGL 3330 or 3332
  3. Major, 30 hours advanced Spanish: SPAN 3300 Spanish Conversation,,SPAN 3310 Advanced Grammar and Composition, SPAN 3315 Advanced Expository Writing, SPAN 3320 Culture and Civilization of Spain, SPAN 3330 Culture and Civilization of Spanish America, SPAN 4310 Survey of Spanish Peninsular Literature I, SPAN 4320 Survey of Spanish-American Literature I, SPAN 4330 Survey of Spanish Peninsular Literature II, SPAN 4340 Survey of Spanish-American Literature II, SPAN 4380 Special Topics: Advanced Conversation
  4. Minor, 18 hours, including at least nine hours of advanced courses.
  5. Academic Electives: 9 hours, including at least 3 hours of advanced courses.

Students wishing to certify with Spanish as the primary teaching field should major in the Department of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy and receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages/Spanish concentration.

Suggested Program of Study: Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/Spanish concentration Total Min. Hours: 120

Those receiving the Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/ Spanish with a Teaching certification must take the same core curriculum and departmental foundations outlined in Bachelor of Arts Modern Languages/Spanish and similar major studies with the exceptions listed below.

Students majoring in Modern Languages/Spanish with Teaching Certification do not need to have a minor, nor are they required to take ENGL 3330 or 3332. In addition, these students must complete SPAN 4350 – Teaching Methods EC-6 and SPAN 4360 – Teaching Methods 6-12. The ML/Spanish with Teaching Certification degree only requires three hours of academic electives – SPAN 2300 (Study Abroad) is recommended. These students must also complete all required courses in professional pedagogy, including student teaching, must comply with all current departmental/university and state preparation/remediation policies, and must pass appropriate local and state qualifying examinations.

For requirements for elementary teacher certification with Spanish specialization, consult the College of Education and Human Development.

 

Developmental Writing (DWRT)

0371 Developmental Writing: the improvement of basic composition skills as required by the state’s Success Initiative Plan. The course is a prerequisite to ENGL 1301 for all students who do not pass the writing component of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) exam; students must enroll in developmental writing until they pass the course with a grade of C or better or pass their retake of the writing component of the THEA exam. The course neither satisfies general degree requirements for freshman English nor counts toward graduation hours. However, a student’s final grade in the course is both computed into the student’s GPA and recorded on the student’s official transcript.

Graduate Program

The graduate program of the Department of English and Modern Languages offers opportunity for intensive study of language and literature. Scholarly interests of members of the department include old and middle English, the Renaissance, Shakespeare, eighteenth century studies, English, German, and American romanticism, the Victorian age, modern English and American literature, African American and Caribbean literatures, rhetoric and composition studies, and comparative literature. In addition to the study of literature through courses organized by genre, period and individual author, the student may explore the history and structure of language and language acquisition and the crafts of both creative and technical writing.

Degree Requirements

The degree of Master of Arts in English requires the completion of 30 semester hours of graduate work: 24 in English (or 18 with an approved six-hour minor), and six in thesis. In general, students are encouraged to emphasize graduate seminars (courses numbered 5000 or above) in their graduate coursework. In the non-thesis alternative, 12 semester hours of coursework may be substituted for the thesis. The creative thesis, as well as the traditional critical thesis, is an option.

All students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.5/4.0 overall on the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses. In addition, international students must score at least 550 on the TOEFL before admission. Students interested in pursuing an M.A. degree in English whose undergraduate major was not English should consult the English department chair.

Graduate Work

Undergraduates planning to go on to graduate study in English at Lamar should consider taking ENGL 4314 Literary Criticism, 4301 History of the English Language, or 4300 Linguistics while working on their bachelors. Undergraduates wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship within Lamar’s English Department should consider taking ENGL 4310 Teaching English and 4312 Studies in Language and Linguistics (Grammar). ENGL 5310 Teaching English and 5312 Studies in Language and Linguistics (Grammar) are strongly encouraged for graduate assistants or those wishing to teach at the college or high school level, unless satisfied at 4000-level (see above) or through experience.

Graduate Program Review: The Chair and the Writing Director (or an equivalent appointed committee within the department) will monitor students’ progress and advise and approve students’ study and course choices. After students complete 4 courses (12 hours), the Chair and/or the Writing Director will review students’ progress. Among other criteria, the chair and/or Writing Director, consulting with other Graduate Faculty, will assess a student’s overall GPA (3.0 minimum), ability to meet deadlines, ethical integrity, respect for colleagues and peers, evolving awareness of professional opportunities, and the likely potential either for generating a scholarly/creative thesis or command of the coursework necessary for passing the Oral Examination. Satisfactory progress must be demonstrated for a student to be permitted to continue in the program.

M.A. Tracks:

Track 1: Concentration in traditional study of Literature, Writing, or Linguistics. This track is intended for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. or who wish to pursue a traditional M.A. degree with a focus on Literature, Writing, or Linguistics. These students should have completed the 12-hour language requirement for the B.A., or should be able to otherwise exhibit a “reading knowledge” of a language by examination. Students may write a thesis (which also requires an oral thesis defense) OR take the 36-hour non-thesis option (which requires an oral examination based on coursework). Students should consult with an advisor each semester for an exact plan of study.

1) Students must take one of the following: ENGL 5314 Literary Criticism, 5301 History of the English Language, or 5300 Linguistics.

2) Students must take ENGL 5335 — Introduction to profession course.

3) Students must take at least 12 hours of Literature courses.

4) With written justification and approval from the department chair, students may take up to 6 graduate hours outside of the department.

Track 2: Concentration in an applied M.A. in English. This track is intended for students who are not planning to pursue a Ph.D. in English or other terminal degree, who are planning to pursue vocational interests, or who are primarily interested in writing and/or pedagogy or rhetoric. Students pursuing this track need not complete the language requirement. Students must take the 36-hour non-thesis option (which requires an oral examination based on coursework). Students should consult each semester with an advisor for an exact plan of study.

1) Students must take ENGL 5335 – Introduction to the Profession

2) As determined by their individual degree focus, students must take 3 of the following classes: ENGL 5301 History of the English Language, 5300 Linguistics, 5310 Teaching of Writing, 5312 Studies in Language and Linguistics (Grammar), or 5314 Critical Theory.