Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University


Courses Ideas


(I'd like to submit a comment.)


As part of the effort to create excellent literature classes as requirements for English majors and electives for interested Chula students, the English Department hatched two eggs, the courses 2202234 and 2202235, in rethinking the previous 2202232 (Introduction to the Study of English Fiction) and 2202242 (Introduction to the Study of English Poetry) offering. We will be experimenting constantly with 234 and 235 and monitor and review them most critically to see that they grow into worthy birds. Your comments and suggestions would be a great help in this always-ongoing process. Please tell us what we can do to create a useful resource and space for studying literature written in English. Arts students past and present have given ideas about what these new courses could and should do as well as shared their own experiences of literature courses. Here they are:


What is a good literature class?   What is a good literature coursebook?

Don't forget analytical skills

I learned analytical skills when I began work, not in my Arts education. This is what I feel is necessary but lacking from the literature classes I took as an undergraduate. We went to the library to read what others have said about the poem, or short story, or novel, or play, and remembered it and used it in writing our exams. The professor tells us what she/he knows about the poem (and we write down what the professor says, memorized it, and write it in our exams) but doesn't show us how to read and analyze the text for ourselves. We were never taught the process that resulted in that reading that the professor gave. New Arts graduates that come into my firm these days also do not know how to analyze or think analytically. If I could go back and take those lit classes now, I would get an A for analysis.

N Arts '29


More meat!

Class should be more than memorization of literary terms. I came to Aksorn Chula to learn about the field of academic study called Letters. While my Med friends are reading about the human physiology in English and my Engineering friends are carrying around glossy English Thermodynamics textbooks, what is the disciplinary meat of Arts in English?

NK '49


Chronological context is helpful

How about separating the two classes by period instead of by genre (fiction or poetry)?...This category would provide students with an easier approach to the understanding of literature by comparing the materials with those in the same period.

Arts '49


Open Minds

The biggest problem we have now is not the textbook, not really the curriculum, but certain teachers. Of course there are ones that enjoy discussions and listening to various opinions from different students, but I have also come across conservative ones who only pretend to listen to the students' ideas then quickly dismiss them if they do not correspond with their conclusions/beliefs.


Open-minded teachers naturally lead to the building up of the undergrads' analytical skills (already addressed by someone) as they will accept lots and lots of academic inputs and talk through them while allowing the students to do the inspection and evaluation (= analysis) themselves. These teachers are the ones that say openly there is no one right answer. These, are the teachers of today.


The students, too, need to have their minds open :D

Jasmine Baker '48 




Reading without a "Textbook"

As far as I can recall my college year in the US I took two courses in literature: one is intro to French lit. another is intro to Russian lit. 

As the college is in the US, I didn't have to take Eng. lit intro. That is embodied already in Eng. 1 and 2 that all students must take regardless of their intended major. In Eng class, we do the same, i.e. read a lot across history, poetry included. The class doesn't have any text, instead we were asked to read a series of literature which are from different periods, which in a way is the intro to major writers across the literary landscape of that language. Russian is done in English, of course.

The teachers must spend a lot of time to draw up a course outline and select literature. In the course we learn how to analyze, how to write, and how to do research for a term paper on one of the authors or the book we selected. During a 10-week course, we read 5 novels.

Therefore I think these skills are a necessary backbone of the course on intro to lit., i.e. read, analyze, research, and write.
If there is need for one text book, I think it is rather a text book for instructors. It is not useful to let students learn all the terminology without really understanding and practicing with a real novel of choice. If there is a must to write a student text, it should be full of examples plus questions to provoke thoughts, without giving an answer of course, because interpretation is never an absolute and final answer nor the only answer.



Careful proofreading, please

It should not have any typos!

TA '48


Contemporary poems as well as classic

There should be more modern poems.

Arts '48


Add some color

It would be ideal if there were some colored pages

Arts '49




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Last updated March 17, 2011