Central to the English department philosophy is the belief that good reading and writing empower and enrich our lives. Expectations are high for all students; the program is known for its rigorous reading, writing and discussion practices, as well as for instructors’ ability to motivate students to dig deeply into the challenging assignments and readings.
English instructors at St. Stephen's are passionate educators who seek to prepare students for college-level reading and writing, build students’ critical thinking skills, and develop rich and rewarding teacher-student relationships. Instructors include a diversity of texts and perspectives in their classrooms and strive to contextualize class readings within larger frameworks, such as class, race and culture, in order to illuminate the uniqueness of the author’s or character’s voice. Discussion-based classes cultivate a safe space for students to share their personal opinions and experiences, which means that teachers understand the unique strengths and challenges of each individual student. Instructors also foster student-to-student interaction by including small group work, debates and discussions into their classes.