Why Take English at Langara College?

  • To improve your writing and reading-comprehension skills
  • To learn the fundamentals of academic research
  • To become culturally aware of the world around you
  • For the joy of reading literature
  • To study in a small classroom with plenty of opportunities for one-on-one instruction
  • To take courses with knowledgeable and experienced English faculty who care about your success
  • To transfer to a university with experience and training in academic writing 

Why is English Relevant to Non-English Majors?

First and second-year English courses give you the skills to:

  • enter a profession or trade career with practical communication and language skills
  • succeed in non-English courses that involve reading, writing, and thinking critically (in other words, every course you take in college or university)
  • become a more engaged doctor, nurse, teacher, business person, etc.
  • problem-solve and think creatively in everyday life 
  • be critical in a world of fake news and social media memes

Literature Matters: How Studying Literature Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

Why bother reading literature? It is, after all, based on fictional worlds where fictional people face fictional conflicts. Pshaw. All this focus on fiction when what you’re really interested in is getting your degree so you can get a good job—in the real world. What benefits can reading literature actually give you? What practical (read: employable) skills can literature courses possibly teach you?

A great many skills, it turns out. A May 2016 article from Forbes magazine indicates that critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and interpersonal skills like empathy are among the most sought-after assets in today’s work world. These sentiments are echoed in 2016 articles from Time and The Wall Street Journal, the latter featuring an October 2016 article titled “Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop up English Majors.” It just so happens that literature courses (yes, even those that teach poetry) specialize in these skills by training students how to think critically and creatively; A story about a woman driven mad by yellow wallpaper is a story about how confinement impacts the human psyche, or about how prescribed gender roles are restricting, or about how the human mind can become free through imagination. This ability to see a story from multiple viewpoints is a fundamental part of what it means to “think outside the box”—a highly lucrative skill in the workplace, and a skill that literature courses prioritize.

But perhaps the most important point of studying literature is that you learn how to create and clearly express your own ideas. In an increasingly online professional world, a world where we are judged by our ability to express ourselves through writing and language, convincing others that your words matter is a necessity. Interpreting literature and writing about it is the ability to craft an argument or idea based on evidence, fact, and logic, just as is persuading your employer to hire you or convincing a client that your idea matters. In fact, literature courses are uniquely situated to shape students into critical readers, creative thinkers, and persuasive writers. These are the very skills that allow students to succeed in any field, from the Arts, to the Humanities, to Science and Technology, to Business. Indeed, it is the mastering of these same skills that leads directly to rewarding careers as successful entrepreneurs, politicians, teachers, and scientists.

So yes, literature matters.