Breadcrumb

English

Yearlong Courses

English 9: Survey of English and Literacies

This course introduces the foundational skills of close reading, critical writing, and public speaking. The course takes a genre-approach (short stories, poetry, novels, nonfiction essays, dramatic scripts) and emphasizes skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, performing, and doing. Study skills are highlighted, as are rudimentary research skills. Students are taught to think with precision, specificity, and clarity in order to engage in sophisticated analysis. Writing assignments range from short, analytical papers to a variety of personal and creative pieces. This work ultimately culminates in the students’ understanding of how to construct and logically develop a formal argument in a sustained essay of three to five pages in length. Students will study literary terms and devices and varied genres/poetic forms in order to develop voice and authority in their own writing. Special attention is paid to grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Students will also be introduced to basic public speaking skills that culminate in the presentation of an expository speech. [One credit.]

English 10: American Literacies

This course develops and reinforces students’ capacities for critical thinking, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, performing, and doing and builds awareness of how meaning is constructed through various American experiences. The main goals of the course are to study the ways in which authors, playwrights, filmmakers, and visionaries have captured and shaped America’s national identity over the past four centuries; to cultivate students’ enjoyment and comprehension of literature and media; and to introduce them with the skills they need to be confident, empowered readers, writers, thinkers, and makers of meaning ready to work at the university level. Students develop their written voices in a variety of genres, and instructors emphasize writing as a process. Aspects of argumentation are introduced and advanced through a persuasive speech while research and skills are further developed. [One credit.]

English 11: Global Literacies and Advanced Composition

This course refines students’ capacities for critical thinking, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, performing, and doing and builds awareness of how meaning is constructed through global literacies. The course emphasizes literacies from around the globe including, but not limited to Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America, and Oceania. The main goals of the course are to study the ways in which authors, playwrights, filmmakers, and visionaries have captured and shaped identities around the world; to nurture students’ enjoyment and comprehension of literature and media; and to provide them with the skills they need to be confident, empowered readers, writers, thinkers, and makers of meaning ready to work at the university level. Students develop their written voices in a variety of genres, and instructors emphasize writing as a process. Aspects of argumentation are reinforced and advanced through public speech while research and study skills are tightened. [One credit.]

English 11: AP Language and Composition : World Cultures

This course is designed to challenge students as readers, writers, and thinkers by exposing them to a variety of genres and by engaging them in multiple modes of writing. The primary focus is the understanding of literary and rhetorical techniques. The course will be organized thematically, with fiction and nonfiction texts spanning both genres and historical time periods to allow students to gain a broad understanding of the ways in which various writers use rhetoric to approach a range of issues in multiple cultures. In addition to international novels, plays, short stories, and poetry, texts include nonfiction essays, editorials, speeches, and memoirs. We will also examine images and film as texts, extending our interpretive and analytical reach to art, photography, political cartoons, advertisements, documentaries, and feature films. Students will engage with these texts through multiple modes of writing, including personal reflection, research papers, persuasive essays, rhetorical analysis, and critical analysis. This course is open to juniors who have earned an A- or higher in their current English class and received the teacher's recommendation. [One credit.]

English 12: AP English: Literature and Composition

This is a college-level course for students who have demonstrated a keen interest in literature and success in analytical writing. The course is designed to further cultivate those students’ critical capacities as readers and writers through studying a wide variety of authors, styles, and literary periods. Classes are predominantly discussion-based, with particular emphasis on the finer points of literary craftsmanship; students should expect 30-40 pages of nightly reading and frequent writing assignments. Students are evaluated on the basis of their mastery of content and terminology, the precision and clarity of their analytical writing, and the originality of a variety of forms of creative expression. While the course will prepare students for the Advanced Placement exam, its larger aim is to cultivate in them an appreciation of the lifelong value of engaged reading and lively critical thinking. This course is open to seniors who have earned an A- or higher in their current English class and received the teacher's recommendation. [Prerequisite: Departmental approval. One credit.]

English 12: Language, Culture, and Identity through Dialogue and the Literary Text

The literary text is used as a vehicle for reflection for discussions, dialogue, and debate on issues of language and identity construction and for allowing students an opportunity to live vicariously in other ethnocultural worlds. The focus is on autobiographical as well as fictional narrative with diversity as a means to our understanding of the “self” in relation to the “other.” Students will explore literature and media, both fiction and nonfiction, that focuses on the experiences of those who live within and between cultural worlds, struggling to find voice, meaning, and balance in their lives. Students will also examine language in its many forms (first and second languages; spoken and written; syntax and semantics), culture in its variety (nations, social institutions, people, social groups), and identity (essentialism and social constructionism). A key focus will be on the power of narrative as a means to understanding oneself. The literary text will be used to connect with language, culture, and identity; learning about others and, in the process, learning more about our own life story. The course will culminate in a final public oral presentation project that incorporates multiple creative and analytical formats. [One credit.]

English 12: Multiliteracies

In addition to reading traditional texts, multiliteracies explores the impact and influence of mass media and popular culture by examining texts such as films, songs, video games, action figures, advertisements, CD covers, clothing, billboards, television shows, magazines, newspapers, photographs, and websites. These texts abound in our electronic information age, and the messages they convey, both overt and implied, can have a significant influence on students’ lives. For this reason, critical thinking as it applies to media products and messages assumes a special significance. Understanding how various texts are constructed and why they are produced enables students to respond to them intelligently and responsibly. Students must be able to differentiate “between fact and opinion; evaluate the credibility of sources; recognize bias; be attuned to discriminatory portrayals of individuals and groups, including women and minorities; and question depictions of violence and crime" (Canada Ministry of Education, 2006). New London Group's 'A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies,’ which addresses how to teach literacy skills in a 21st century, digital age is considered. This framework's main components include situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, and transformed practice. Basically, this framework speaks to the need for changed pedagogies around literacy instruction. [One credit.]

Journalism I

Journalism I is designed to give students an introduction to several key journalistic skills and topics including: the responsibilities of being a journalist, journalistic ethics and law, news writing, features writing, opinion writing, sports writing, becoming a more powerful, more readable writer, interviewing, developing a nose for news, covering a beat, copy editing, writing headlines and photography basics. Students will also gain exposure and practice in the modern news world of digital media, including web editorial writing and the role of social media platforms. Many of the lessons presented in class will focus on real-world examples, using both professional publications and The Spectator as starting points for discussion. No previous experience is required; personal integrity and an eagerness to learn are required. After taking this course, students will be eligible to join and write for the newspaper. Students will try their hand in all genres of newspaper writing during the year. Students will be graded according to effort, meeting deadlines, and mastery of class topics. [One credit, does not count toward English graduation requirement.]

Journalism II

This course will give students the opportunity to learn about journalism firsthand by producing a monthly newspaper, corresponding news website, and developing content for various social media platforms in a professional manner, just as they would in many of today’s journalism and marketing positions. Every student focuses on producing the print publication, but also gains skills and experience working on the digital publication and social media concurrently. Students write in a variety of genres, from straight news writing to features and opinion writing. Students will cover beats around the school and will have real input into what goes into print or on to the web each month. Due to the team-and deadline-driven nature of publication, students on the newspaper must be willing to communicate proactively and openly about the status of their ongoing work with their classmates and the teacher and show a real commitment to meeting deadlines consistently. The class will help students develop the following skills: effective and powerful writing for publication, multimedia journalism, time management, making ethical decisions in a real-world setting, working with others to get jobs done, effective reporting, effective interviewing, and giving and receiving feedback. Students will utilize their basic photography, page design, and graphic skills introduced in Journalism I, while enhancing, and building upon those skills throughout the year. The publication process will also afford opportunities to explore some concrete and theoretical topics of journalism, based upon the national trends or stories of the day. [Prerequisite: Journalism I. One credit, does not count toward English graduation requirement.]

Advanced Journalistic Writing and Reporting

Advanced Journalistic Writing and Reporting, leadership, project management and brand development/management as they relate to writing are taught as well as media literacy with an emphasis on accurate and equitable representation of populations in the news. In addition to leading in the management and execution of assignments, students will also serve as writers and reporters, focusing on honing their writing skills through pieces that require more advanced nuance, style, and reflection, such as opinion pieces and editorials. Students will also need to independently monitor a consistently published workload, including written assignments and editorial responsibilities for the monthly paper, as well as creating written and multimedia content for a daily updated website. Some students will take on leadership roles such as an Editor in Chief or a Managing Editor for one of the sections of the print and digital editions of the school’s newspaper, The Spectator. Students will be graded according to editorial leadership, meeting deadlines, and the quality and growth of their report writing. [Prerequisite: Journalism II and Departmental Approval. One credit.]

Fall Semester Courses

Senior Courses

The senior year in English is designed to develop intellectual curiosity, interpretive and expressive abilities, imaginative thinking, and work ethic. All courses emphasize the development of sound skills in analytical, interpretive, and creative writing; critical reading and research; vocabulary and public speaking; and the use of relevant technologies. Instructors provide a review of grammar, mechanics, and usage as needed and utilize interdisciplinary resources when appropriate. Students will demonstrate mastery of course content through a variety of assessments. Even though courses differ in subject matter, the shared pedagogy relies heavily on the collegiate models of discussion-based classes, writing intensive seminars, and public speaking opportunities. Senior English options include three full-year course options or eight semester options.

Semester Courses

For the 2018-2019 Academic Year, Grade 12 semester options may include:

English 12: Senior Composition and the Writer’s Workshop

This class provides students the opportunity to develop their writing through a variety of skills, including, but not limited to exposition, narration, persuasion, research, and impromptu responses. The emphasis is on composition and writing for college. Using a workshop format, this course focuses on writing as a process, with a strong emphasis on revision. Students will enhance their ability to read and analyze selected models of prose writing, as well as synthesize other authors' ideas. They will also refine their grammar skills and explore technology available in school libraries. Student progress is evaluated throughout the semester in a manner that authorizes students to take an active role in their writing and learning. A student’s overall performance is evaluated at the end of the semester based on a comprehensive writing portfolio review. [Half credit.]

English 12: Foundations of Speech and Communication: Intrapersonal Skills

Speech communication is the study of human symbolic behavior in many forms. Speech is the oldest academic discipline, (tracing its roots to Aristotle), and one of the most modern in its concern with interpersonal relationships. Initially taught in the schools of ancient Greece, speech communication retains value because of its practical nature. This course helps students develop their understanding and appreciation of human communication processes and explores oral and written communication practices. The first semester course develops an awareness of intrapersonal communication while also emphasizing the significance of oral communication and listening for success in academic, work, and social lives; delivers an understanding of how language is used to create change; develops competent delivery skills; evaluates information found in research and public discourse; and emphasizes the role of tone, voice, and audience. The first semester course will emphasize intrapersonal communication skills. The course may include activities such as public speaking, oral interpretation, public address, an analysis of the self (self-concept; self-esteem; self-awareness), and conflict management. Assessments will be based on participation and performance activities, listening skills, growth, risk, peer review, and written work. [Half credit. No prerequisite.]

English 12: Shakespeare

One of the great reasons for the popularity of Shakespeare’s works is that they are part of our oral tradition. Shakespeare was meant to be heard – and performed – not merely read by students from a text, even though there is value to studying his language. In this course, we will read, write, and discuss several major plays and some of his sonnets. Students will prepare and eventually perform scenes from a few of his plays while analyzing for themes, motifs, symbols, figurative language, and other literary devices. This will be done while considering the memorably rendered characters that dominate his works, including monarchs, fools, and shrews. [Half credit.]

Spring Semester Courses

Senior Courses

The senior year in English is designed to develop intellectual curiosity, interpretive and expressive abilities, imaginative thinking, and work ethic. All courses emphasize the development of sound skills in analytical, interpretive, and creative writing; critical reading and research; vocabulary and public speaking; and the use of relevant technologies. Instructors provide a review of grammar, mechanics, and usage as needed and utilize interdisciplinary resources when appropriate. Students will demonstrate mastery of course content through a variety of assessments. Even though courses differ in subject matter, the shared pedagogy relies heavily on the collegiate models of discussion-based classes, writing intensive seminars, and public speaking opportunities. Senior English options include three full-year course options or eight semester options.

Semester Courses

For the 2018-2019 Academic Year, Grade 12 semester options may include:

English 12: Written Expressions

This course emphasizes creative writing, playwriting, screenwriting, and other forms of fiction/nonfiction writing. Students will refine their skills in writing and analyzing stories, plays, and poetry. Projects, readings, and assignments will cover the various genres that allow students to pursue individual interests. Class discussions focus on the analysis and consideration of different writing styles and genres including, but not limited to, fiction, poetry, and drama. Students explore writing in greater depth than in previous courses of study, examining how various genres impact writing style and what it means to create voice in writing. The course format is a workshop that includes daily writing. Students will give and receive feedback and peer edit in small and full class groups. Students are also required to read and annotate fiction and nonfiction. All students participate in a wide variety of approaches to literacy development and apply what they learn to the art of writing creatively. [Half credit.]

English 12: Foundations of Speech and Communication: Interpersonal Skills

This second semester course reviews human communication processes and enhances oral and written communication practices while considering interpersonal communication skills. The course emphasizes the art of persuasion; refines delivery skills; assesses the quality of arguments; evaluates information found in research and public discourse; and cultivates rhetorical sensitivity in order to better connect with individuals and audiences. The course may include activities such as an analysis of historical and modern rhetorical theory and criticism, interpersonal communication, small group communication, public speaking, debate, and/or parliamentary procedure. Assessments will be based on participation and performance activities, listening skills, growth, risk, peer review, and written work. [Half credit. No prerequisite.]

English 12: Gothic Literature and Moral Courage

Heinrich Heine, an early 19th Century German poet and essayist, once wrote, “People in those old times had convictions; we moderns have only opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral.” Where do any of us learn and form our opinions, thoughts, and convictions? In what ways are our identities, beliefs, and actions shaped and developed? And what does our moral courage--standing up for one's core values in the face of complicated and complex forces--say about who we are? Using Gothic literature, themes, and influences as a framework, this course explores one's humanity and inhumanity, and our inherent struggles surrounding goodness, evil, (ir)rationality, integrity, and identity. As we unpack the macabre, we will contest status-quo norms, taken-for-granted privileges, and the concept of 'neutrality' as we consider social justice and anti-oppressive issues (race, class, gender, and sexual orientation) to learn more about ourselves. We'll consider how understanding and embodying moral courage creates a better society if--learned from our study of Gothic fiction, horror, fear and doubt, phantasm, and the "monstrous other"--we have the willingness to overcome perversity and lead and live life (even when facing the undead!) with integrity and ethical behaviors. [Half credit.]