By different methods different men excel But where is the one who can do all things well? - Charles Churchill
In the era of 'networking', it's heartening that English teachers constitute one of the largest networks in India. However, the challenges they have to tackle are many. Beginning with the problem of first generation learners who find the learning of a language which is not their own inscrutable, to the e-savvy learners who have moved beyond the academics and find traditional teaching unpalatable, English teachers have an uphill task every day. Yet, English Department, everywhere, to this day, remains one of the most vibrant departments and the English Department of St. Agnes College, fortunately, is no exception. The English department was established in the year 1921 and Major English was introduced in the year 1991.
Operating at both UG and PG level, the department has a sharpened focus on Spoken English in General English and new trends in literature and research in Major English. In addition, the department runs a Public Speaking Add-on Programme 'Gavel Club', Communicative English Certificate Course, Extension activity 'English for fun' and a newly introduced Extracurricular activity' LIT-WIT literary club. The department engages students from all streams. B.A., B.Sc., B.Com., B.B.M., B.S.W. and B.C.A. As a major subject English is offered to students of the B.A. in different combinations.
The General English syllabus designed by the Department has set goals at various levels. At a lower level the goal is to drill students, especially those from a non-English medium stream in school and pre-university education, in the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The students receive a basic course in English grammar structures and phonetics. They also have practical exercises. The facilities available in the Language Laboratory are employed to meet the above-mentioned goal. At a higher level, the goal is to make students cultivate effective communication skills, to hone their powers of expression and comprehension and to draw out their latent creativity. The syllabus, therefore, offers teaching/learning material ranging from media and journalistic writing, business communication, poetry selections, short pieces of prose and fiction and one-act plays.
The syllabus for Major English is tailored to meet the needs of students seeking literary training and to sensitize the students to the finer nuances of literature. The selection of background material, prose, fiction, drama and poetry introduces students systematically to each age of English literature and the characteristic genres and literary movements of that period. The students are also grounded in the basics of research writing and methodology by being trained to write a 20-page term paper. The objective is to fit students out for post-graduate studies in literature and jobs that require advanced literary skills as also to acquaint them with a broader and more sensitive understanding of human and societal relations and their inherent issues and problems.
The English Department is active in involving students in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities organized by the department and college. The faculty also offer their services to other academic bodies and social organizations. They function as examiners, assessors, text book writers and editors, curriculum designers, guest speakers, comperes, judges, health counsellors, and resource persons. They also are in contact with the large number of students as value education/moral science/religion teachers and remedial and tutorial facilitators.
- To hone the powers of comprehension, analysis and expression in the English language in the students
- To develop their skills in public speaking, leadership and the histrionic arts
- To shape the reading habits which would turn them into well informed young people
- To fit them out for careers at the local, national and global levels in academics, the media, the corporate world and administrative services
- To train them in etiquette through exposure to contemporary use of the English language
- To mould them into effective communicators in day-to-day transactions as also business and academic affairs
- To familiarize them with teaching aids and presentation skills
- To nurture sensitivity towards works of Literature
- To develop powers of critical thinking through a grounding in literary criticism and appreciation
- To create awareness of the interdisciplinary possibilities of English studies.
- To be competent learner-centered teachers with necessary knowledge and skills
- To achieve personal goals
- To be constantly in touch with the innovative and creative developments
- To be conscientious, punctual and systematic
- To draw out creativity and originality in students
- To motivate and work with slow learners and advanced learners