The prerequisite for ENGL 115, 125, and 135 is a “C” in ENGL 12 or ENGL 067, or a score of Level 4 on the essay part and at least 50% on the objective part of the Language Proficiency Index exam.

First-Year Standards and Expectations

In order to clarify exactly what will be expected of students in first-year English, the English Department has developed the following set of policies and practices:

  • English 115 focuses on writing and composition, whereas English 125 and 135 are devoted to the study of writing and literature; students in all three courses write academic essays to fulfill the requirements of each course.
  • Assigned readings in any of English 115, 125, or 135 will not exceed the equivalent of 3 book-length texts.
  • Readings in English 115 mainly comprise prose nonfiction.  Readings in English 125 and 135 may comprise any mix of prose nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama.  Each of English 125 and 135 must cover a minimum of two genres.
  • The literature studied will include some contemporary and Canadian content.
  • Assignments will comprise approximately 4000-5000 words in total.  A research assignment (min. 1500 words) is required and must demand the use of at least three secondary sources.
  • To ensure that students who pass first-year English courses satisfy a minimum standard of literacy, the following criteria have been established:
    • All first-year English courses will require either one in-class essay and a supervised final exam or two exams (one during the term and one during the exam period), both including an essay;
    • Final exams in first-year English courses will be at least two hours long;
    • Under normal circumstances, a student who cannot write an in-class essay or exam at standards of literacy will not pass the course, regardless of the grades received on take-home or other course assignments.
  • Students should be familiar with institutional policies regarding plagiarism.  Please refer to the VIU Calendar regarding penalties for academic misconduct.
  • Members of the English Department will use inclusive language (language which avoids bias regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability) in our teaching and other professional written and oral communication.  Likewise, students will be expected to use inclusive language in assignments and in in-class discussions.

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