English department adds five new classes

The Newtonite

The English Departement will offer five new courses next school year.

[media-credit name=”Jordan Robins” align=”alignnone” width=”300″][/media-credit]by Samantha Libraty
Three English electives and two senior English classes have been added to the English department’s course offerings for the 2012-2013 school year, according to English department head Melissa Dilworth.
New senior classes include Contemporary Voices and Modern Drama. They will both run four times a week for the full year, Dilworth said.
New electives include Memoir, The Art of the Graphic Novel and Write On. The Art of the Graphic Novel and Write On will run twice a week for one semester. Memoir will run four times a week for a semester, she added.
African-American Literature will run next year as Black Voices. “We completely changed the description and some of the course’s focus,” Dilworth said.
The revisions came from discussions with METCO coordinator Paula Diggs and several students in her Senior Group, she said.
“These student voices contributed to the revamped version of the course,” she added.
These changes came on the heels of a survey the English department conducted, Dilworth said. The survey, consisting of 480 ninth, 10th and 11th graders, was conducted to find out which English electives and classes students would be interested in.
“We wanted to create classes that students want to take. We would like to offer more, but we have to be smart and careful in how we want to grow our elective program,” she said.
“The survey only re-enforced the goal of adding these electives, which is to meet student demand and to allow students to opportunity to learn and enjoy English outside of the required sequence.”
Sixty-two percent of the 480 students surveyed expressed interest in taking two or more English electives in the coming years, she said.
The overwhelming majority, 218 students, showed interest in the Creative Writing class, she said.
“This demand is one we can’t quite meet, but we encourage students to try some of the new electives and classes with various topics,” Dilworth said.
“One issue we have had is that some students have been choosing classes based on a teacher. While that is nice, we want students to choose classes based on their interest and not on its reputation,” she added.
The English department has recently adopted a new senior English program, requiring students to take a full year of an English class, she said.
“Each of the senior classes concentrates on a particular aspect of English that students have previously studied or been exposed to. Therefore, it was only natural that we add a class that focuses on drama,” Dilworth said.
All of the classes will be offered for the upcoming school year, “so sign up on registration day,” she added.
By adding and changing some English courses, “we hope to have responded to student desires as best we could,” she said.