English isn’t about language

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The greatest misconception about English, especially among the previous generation, is that it’s a spoken-English course. It isn’t. “It’s not a finishing school programme for giving refinement,” says Swaroopa Mukherjee, who teaches the subject at Hindu College, “It is purely literature. What is taught at school level is not literature at all and students have no idea what to expect.” Over the course, they pick up “discursive writing”, the ability to mount an argument and some even develop a reading habit.
English has been one of the most popular subjects in DU and cutoffs are generally high. In 2013, the cutoff was highest at Hindu-97.75%-98.5%-and lowest at Aurobindo College (evening)-65%. Laxmi Bai College had a cutoff range of 65%-85%. The minimum scores for admission were lowered in subsequent lists but they tend to remain in the mid to high 80’s in most colleges.
Eligibility: All colleges will issue cutoff marks for English. The most widely taught subject in Delhi University, a total of 51 colleges teach it.
Discipline I: The student will study 20 papers including two on research. Course titles include European classical literature, Indian writing in English, British poetry and drama: 14th to 17th centuries, popular literature, British poetry and drama: 17th and 18th centuries, American literature, women’s writing, Indian classical literature, post-colonial literatures and literary theory.
Discipline II: Contains six papers-individual and society, crime and literature, literature and film, cultural diversity in India, reading world literature and literature of the partition.
Applied Course: Four papers will cover academic writing and composition, media and communication skills, text and performance and English language teaching
Road Ahead: “The job prospects for English graduates are fairly good. Many of our students get recruited in print and visual media,” observes Mukherjee, “Content writing is another new area our students get into.” She adds that students intern at NGOs and even corporate set-ups “which are looking for people who are more coherent in their expression.” More English graduates are entering academics, including school education.

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