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The study of literature is central to the education of our students.  It helps them examine great ideas, pose ethical questions, and gain insight into the human condition—all of which lead them to a greater understanding of themselves and to the development of their own personal voice.

Students learn a school wide writing process. Each year builds upon that instruction, so that by the time students graduate, they are clear and competent writers, who have written frequently in many genres. To help them develop their writing skills, students learn the resources of the language: vocabulary, grammar, and stylistic techniques. All grade levels maintain a written portfolio in the classroom.

Students develop their oral skills in their English classes through lively discussion and dramatic performances. Every class reads a Shakespearean play—and performs scenes from those plays at the annual Renaissance Festival.

The English Department has two levels - college preparatory (C) and honors (H/AP). Initial placement in the honors program for students entering grade 9 is determined by test scores (90th percentile or above in vocabulary, reading comprehension and Language), a writing sample, and the department chairperson.

The goal of the English Department is to graduate articulate and confident critical thinkers, whose oral and writing skills give them an advantage in college and beyond.

Course Code:  C=College Prep, H=Honors, AP-Advanced Placement

 

English 9-C

Literature in this class focuses on units in the short story, poetry, mythology, drama, and biography.  Several novels and a Shakespearean play are read. Expository writing is emphasized and includes the analytical essay, explication, and the comparison/contrast essay. In addition, students study vocabulary (based on the study of word roots), grammar, usage, and mechanics.  Speech and research skills are also part of the curriculum.

English 9-H

This course is a more rigorous study of the curriculum outlined in English 9-C with a strong emphasis on analytical writing and longer essays. Literature focuses on units in the short story, poetry, mythol- ogy, drama, and biography. Several novels and a Shakespearean play are read. Expository writing is emphasized and includes the analytical essay, the explication, and the comparison/contrast essay. In addition, students study vocabulary (based on the study of word roots), grammar, usage, and mechanics.  Speech and research skills are also part of the curriculum.

English 10-C

An historical survey of American literature is the focus of this course. American novels and a Shakespearean play are read.  The teaching of expository writing skills continues, with the writing of multi-paragraph essays. Grammar and speech skills, with an emphasis on expository speaking, are also included in the course. Vocabulary study prepares students for the SAT and ACT. This course is similar to the curriculum outlined in 10-C, but includes an introduction to the research paper and more challenging reading.

English 10-H

An historical survey of American literature is the focus of this course. American novels and a Shakespearean play are read.  The teaching of expository writing skills continues, with the writing of multi-paragraph essays. Grammar and speech skills, with an emphasis on expository speaking are also included in the course. Vocabulary prepares students for the SAT and ACT. This course is similar to the curriculum outlined in 10-C, but includes an introduction to the research paper and more challenging reading.

English 11-C

This course is an historical survey of English literature, from Beowulf to the 20th century. British novels are read, as is a Shakespearean play.  The explication and the critical analysis of literature are the main concentration of the essay writing. Writing instruction also includes a research paper that stresses organizational and research skills and the critical analysis of literature. The course also prepares students to write the SAT and ACT essay. Vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and the study of grammar prepare students to take the SAT, the ACT and Subject exams.

English 11-AP Literature and Composition

This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement test in English Literature and Composition. It is a survey course of English literature, requiring extensive reading and writing. It includes the reading of British novels and a Shakespearean play. The critical analysis of novels, poetry and prose is an integral part of the course.  Timed writings are frequent.  Writing instruction also includes a research paper that stresses organizational and research skills and critical analysis of literature. Vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and the study of grammar prepare students to take the SAT, the ACT, and Subject exams.

English 12-C

This course prepares students for college reading and writing. Students read non-fiction on a broad variety of topics and a Shakespearean play.  They learn to synthesize information, evaluate sources, and identify rhetorical strategies. The purpose of the course is to help students write clearly and effectively for any audience. The course emphasizes expository writing, particularly argumentation. Development of a personal writing voice through observation and reflection is also a component of this course.

English 12-AP Language and Composition

This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement English test in Language and Composition and to be successful in college writing.  Students read non-fiction on a broad variety of topics and a Shakespearean play. They learn to synthesize information, evaluate sources, and identify rhetorical strategies. The purpose of the course is to help students write clearly and effectively for any audience.  The course emphasizes expository writing, particularly argumentation.  Development of a personal writing voice through observation and reflection and frequent timed writings are components of this course.

Speech-C

This course is a graduation requirement. It teaches skills that help students become more effective communicators. It covers the methods of proper research, speech structure and style, editing skills, and delivery techniques for informative, persuasive, and literary speeches. Interview skills are also taught. Students receive extensive practice writing and delivering speeches.

Creative Writing-C

The emphasis of this course is on creative writing, including the personal essay, the short story, the poem, and the play.  Students learn how to plan, compose, and edit on the computer.  They develop their personal writing voice and style and keep an extensive portfolio of their work.  Students are encouraged to submit their work for publication on the local and national level.

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