Department of English and Modern Languages

Departmental Office

Location: O4 Maes Building

Chair: Jim Sanderson

Administrative Assistant: Michelle Lansdale

Phone: (409) 880-8555


Key Faculty and Staff

Writing Director: Katt Blackwell-Starnes, O3 Maes Building, (409) 880-7652

Writing Center Director: Jennifer Ravey, 1st Floor, Mary and John Gray Library, (409) 880-8587

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

Philosophy Concentration: Michael Matthis

Modern Languages-Director: Catalina Castillon, 17 Maes, (409) 880-8580


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About Our Department

The mission of the Department of English and Modern Languages (which also houses 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 and Modern Languages 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 a Master of Arts in Teacjing in Spanish. The department also offers minors in Philosophy, French, Spanish, Writing, English, and Humanities for Professionals.

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.

The graduate programs of the Department of English and Modern Languages offer 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.


Links to Degree Course Requirements

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
Minor in French - 21 hrs
Minor in Spanish -21 hrs

Bachelor of Arts – English

Requirements for all English BA degrees:

1) Core Curriculum Requirements, 45 hours.

2) Academic Foundation Requirements, 9 hours: language 1312, 2311, and 2312.

3) ENGL 3326 – Advanced Expository Writing, One American Literature class: 3322, 3324, or 3392, One British Literature class: 3382 or 3384, One World Literature class: 3330 or 3332.

4) 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 four additional 4000/3000 level English courses. Students may substitute a 3000/4000 philosophy course or an additional language course for an advanced English elective.

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 four additional 4000/3000 level English courses. Students may substitute a 3000/4000 philosophy course or an additional language course for an advanced English elective.

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 four additional 4000/3000 level English courses. Students may substitute a 3000/4000 philosophy course or an additional language course for an advanced English elective.

Teacher Certification (see also below): 1) 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 five additional 3000/4000-level English electives. Students may substitute a 3000/4000 philosophy course or an additional language course for an advanced English elective. 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 or Spanish, through the intermediate level (six hours beginning 1311, 1312 and six hours intermediate 2311, 2312)

Total Hours for the BA English: 120

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Bachelor of Arts in English with Teacher Certification

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.

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.

Total Hours for the BA English with teacher certification: 120

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Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages/French concentration

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, 45 hours.
  2. Academic Foundation Requirements, 9 hours: FREN 1312, 2311, and 2312.
  3. ML/French Concentration Major, 30 hours: 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, and three advanced (3000 or 4000-level) French, English, Spanish, or Philosophy courses.
  4. Minor: 18 hours, including at least nine hours of advanced courses.
  5. Academic Electives: 18 hours, including at least 6 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 

Students majoring in ML/French with Teacher Certification do not need to have a minor.  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.

Total Hours for the BA Modern Languages/French: 120

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Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages/Spanish concentration

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, 45 hours.
  2. Academic Foundations Requirements, 9 hours: SPAN 1312 (Beginning Spanish  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 Advanced Conversation.
  4. Minor, 18 hours, including at least nine hours of advanced courses.
  5. Academic Electives: 18 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.

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. 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 requires nine hours of academic electives. 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.

Total Hours for the BA Modern Languages/Spanish: 120

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Master of Arts in English

The Department reserves the right to waive these requirements under special circumstances.

The degree of Master of Arts in English offers a thesis option, a non-thesis option, and an alternative teacher certification option.

The thesis option requires the completion of 30 semester hours of graduate work: 24 in English (or 18 with an approved 6 graduate hours outside of the department) and six in thesis. Students may write a creative or critical thesis or complete an approved written academic project. And students must orally defend their theses.

In the non-thesis option, students substitute 12 semester hours of coursework for the thesis, resulting in 36 hours of coursework (with the possibility of 6 graduate hours outside of the department). Students must orally defend their coursework.

In the M.A. in English with alternative teacher certification, a student works simultaneously on English courses (24 hours) and the post bac, alternative education program (15 hours plus 6 hours of teaching internship or student teaching) offered through the College of Education. Students should contact the Teacher Education Department. Students must orally defend their coursework. See Post Bac alternative certification Program: https://www.lamar.edu/education/teacher-education/degrees/certifications/Additional%20Information%20for%20PB%20Certification.html

For All Options:

1) Students must take English 5335 — Introduction to the Profession.

2) Students should take at least 12 hours in one concentration offered within the department: literature, writing, rhetoric, or pedagogy.

3) With written justification and approval from the department chair, students may take up to 6 hours outside of the department, with the exception of the alternative certification option.

4) With approval of chair and a graduate faculty member’s endorsement and sponsorship, a student may pursue up to 6 hours of coursework in independent writing, research projects, or internships intended for potential publication or vocational use.

5) Students who have completed the 12-hour language requirement for the BA (four semesters of a modern language other than English) or who are able to exhibit a reading knowledge of a language by examination may take the thesis option or the non-thesis option in any concentration.

6) Students who do not have the language requirement must take the 36-hour option.

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Master of Arts for Teachers of Spanish (MATS)

This graduate program is a collaborative effort between Lamar University and the University of Salamanca.  It leads to the Master of Arts for Teachers of Spanish (MAT), awarded by Lamar University. It also includes the distinctive certificates that are awarded by the University of Salamanca that acknowledge your summer sessions in residence in Spain where you will complete our Máster Interuniversitario Hispano-Norteamericano en Lengua Española y Culturas Hispanas, awarded by the University of Salamanca. The University of Salamanca has a well-developed curriculum for foreign students who aspire to teach Spanish and its Cursos para Profesores and enjoy a high level of academic prestige around the world.

Requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree in Spanish from an accredited college or University, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 grading scale) in the student's undergraduate major documented by an official transcript.
  2. Proficiency in the Spanish language. Proficiency may be demonstrated by two options:
    1. By exam. The official exam determining this proficiency is offered once a year at Lamar University.
    2. Or, students may earn the Diploma in Spanish issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (Nivel intermedio, B2). The Diploma must be earned within 3 years of the date of application.
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation. At least 2 of these should be from professors. These letters may be sent by mail or electronically, after applying, to the director of the Program.  Dr. Elia Hatfield, Director, Spanish M.A.T, Box 10023, English Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710
  4. A personal statement, in which you explain your reasons for pursuing the Spanish Graduate Program.  The statement should be written in English. These letters should also be addressed to the Director (see above) and may be sent after applying.
  5. We do not request GRE scores for admission to the MAT in Spanish program

Although applicants are expected to have a B.A. in Spanish, admission may be considered for those who otherwise demonstrate the competency necessary for successful graduate work in Spanish. At a minimum, students lacking advanced coursework in Spanish will be required to take 4000 level courses in each of the four principal content areas in which they are deficient: composition, conversation, literature, and culture. Students must complete these courses with a grade of B or better before beginning the graduate curriculum, either at Lamar University or at the University of Salamanca.  Students must also meet all other university-required standards for admittance.

Core Curriculum Requirements: consists of a total of 30 graduate credit hours. After 27 hours of courses successfully completed with a B or better, students must enroll in the teaching practicum course. In lieu of a thesis students will take Span 5390 (3hrs) where they will undertake a teaching Practicum. In this course they will demonstrate in a classroom setting that they have mastered the teaching methods taught in their Masters studies, present a portfolio of papers and teaching projects undergone during their studies.

By following the prescribed sequence of courses, students may complete the MA-TS in two continuous summers and one class in each fall and spring session. Students should take: SPAN 5300 Critical Approaches to Literature and Culture for Teachers, SPAN 5310 Acquisition of Spanish as a Second Language and Methods of Teaching, SPAN 5350 Teaching of Foreign Language to Non Native and Heritage Language Learners.  The two-year cycle includes curriculum rotation featuring Spain: SPAN 5320 Sintaxis del Español. (Spanish Syntax), SPAN 5330 Literatura Española (Spanish Peninsular Literature), and SPAN 5340 Cultura Española (Spanish Peninsular Culture). Latin America, and Mexico/Hispanic United States: SPAN 5360 Studies in Latin American Literature Topics in Contemporary Spanish American Literature, SPAN 5370 Studies in Latin American Culture, and SPAN 5380 Studies of Hispanic Literatures in the United States. All student must take SPAN 5390 Special Topics in Teaching: Practicum in Teaching. Students may write a thesis (which also requires an oral thesis defense) OR take the writing portfolio option (which requires an oral examination based on coursework). Students should consult with the director of the MATS program each semester for an exact plan of study.

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