English Department

The Prentice Hall Literature Series is designed to appeal to all ability levels and is used throughout the English curriculum, with the exception of the Advanced Placement class which uses a college-level text.  The series provides a literature-based language arts and humanities program and a process approach to writing.  Throughout the English curriculum creative, critical thinking and writing skills are introduced, practiced or extended as students progress.  

All classes are required to complete the reading of supplementary / independent literature, both in the summer and during the course of the year.  Through the SAT program, preparation for the College Board Entrance Exams is an integral part of the curriculum.  In addition, each level of English from 9-12 introduces or reviews, through Smart Board technology, research paper skills and goals of non-print media.

FRESHMEN SEMINAR
During the first eight weeks of school, all freshmen will take a study skills seminar that will address issues such as assessment organization, time management, and note taking.  In addition, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of solid research, including plagiarism, the concepts of articulate public speaking, the challenge of critical readings through SAT passages, and the tools for cogent, expository writing.

English I

011 – English I, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
Freshman English reviews study skills, usage rules and introduces the writing process, reading strategies, collaborative learning methods and skills necessary to analyze a variety of texts, including non-print media.  In addition, the summer reading program provides the basis for literary analysis and initial language development.  Through both outside and in-class readings, the course will concentrate on vocabulary acquisition and usage.  These readings provide the foundation for an integrated approach to literature and composition, focusing on the structure of the expository essay.  Oral, interactive, and multimedia presentations using Smart Board technology are required.  The primary objective of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals to advance through the Language Arts curriculum.

012 – English I, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
Freshman English introduces fundamental language arts skills necessary to communicate ideas.  The course provides students with opportunities in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Vocabulary and basic grammar are taught through various outside and in-class readings and through analytical and creative writing assignments.  To address critical thinking and writing skills, considerable time is spent on the writing process.  Once established, these acquired skills can then be applied to the students’ reading and comprehension of various literary genres.   These reading strategies culminate in the composition of the expository essay.  Department approval is required.

016 – English I, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
Honors English instills an appreciation of literature and an appetite for reading through analysis of various texts.  Close readings and writing assignments emphasize critical thinking and the necessity of precision in written and in verbal expression.  Focusing on the development of a thesis statement, the format of the writing process is explored using literary and student-based ideas.  In addition to reading comprehension strategies, the mechanics of grammar and standard usage are reviewed.  Course requirements include the ability to read, write, and discuss with insight as well as an above-average command of language skills.  Through group projects, preliminary research skills are introduced.  Department approval is required.

English II

021 – English II, College Prep Level I – Two Semester Course
Sophomore English continues the study and development of writing, speaking, vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension skills in conjunction with the study of literature.  The steps of the writing process are reinforced and designed to improve students’ ability to produce multi-paragraph essays in subjects taken from the readings and from students’ experience.  Public speaking skills are taught in conjunction with literature.  Grammar is continually reinforced through creative and critical writing.  Literary selections explore recurring themes, ideas and forms in the works of classical and contemporary authors.

022 – English II, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
Sophomore English continues to emphasize the traditional grammatical rules of written English.  The course reinforces the usage of conventional skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Exercises in vocabulary essential to the accumulation of word knowledge are an integral part of the curriculum.  Ancillary preparation in essay writing focuses on responding to themes appearing in classical and contemporary texts.  Department approval is required.

026 – English II, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This course meets the requirements of Sophomore English but with a more intense analysis of literature. A continuation of challenging close readings as well as thesis-based compositions will reinforce higher level critical-thinking skills.  Vocabulary, speaking and research abilities remain a primary objective of the curriculum. Department approval is required.

English III

031 – English III, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
Junior English is based upon the study and analysis of major works in American fiction and drama that reflect the values and concerns of American literary and historical thought.  Continued emphasis is placed on the writing process with special attention to the development of a logical argument in creating persuasive essays in preparation for the SAT.   Additional attention is given to researching and creating multi-paragraph literary analysis.  Students participate in various collaborative writing activities, including peer consultation and evaluation.  The writing program culminates in the production of a six-to-eight page MLA research paper on an approved topic.

032 – English III, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
Junior English focuses on specific instruction in the planning and writing of essays using techniques of the writing process to formulate and support a thesis.  Initially, students will create experience-based paragraphs to practice fundamental concepts in the mechanics of grammar, the structuring of sentences, and standard written usage.  Students will then learn the fundamentals of developing a logical argument through creating persuasive essays in preparation for the SAT.  Gradually, writing will progress to literature based multi-paragraph essays, culminating in the preparation and writing of a four-to-six page MLA research paper based on American Literature. In addition, students will read and analyze selections representative of the spirit and values of American literary thought.  Study skills already acquired are continually reinforced.  Department approval is required.

036 – English III, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
The chronological approach to American Literature invites the student to discover the major literary and
Artistic movements which best reveal the intellectual and emotional life of America.   Through an in-depth reading of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama, the student can evaluate the historical relevance of various literary styles.  Major assignments focus on written analytical skills, and fluency with themes.  Composition work based on themes of the literature, reading comprehension skills as well as the production of a seven-to-ten page analytical paper are required in the course.  An appreciation for fine art is fostered through exercises in free writing and fluency.  Department approval is required.

SAT Grade Eleven Language Arts

039 – SAT Grade Eleven Language Arts – One Semester Course
Designed to prepare the students for the May SAT exam, this course will concentrate on a review of college-level vocabulary, identifying sentence errors, and improving paragraph writing. Additionally, an in-depth analysis of short, long and paired passages will familiarize students with the challenging readings present in the SAT exam.  During the first half of the course, writing and vocabulary exercises through practice SAT tests will work toward mastering the verbal section.  In the second half of the course, the class will engage in reading passages to address critical thinking skills and to improve reading comprehension.  Understanding figurative language, recognizing the author’s style and tone, and differentiating between generalizations and inferences are required skills in mastering the difficult critical readings.  Again, questions to test a higher level of thinking will accompany the reading passages.  Preparation for the ACT will also occur for the June exam.  In addition, adjustments will be made to accommodate the new SAT Exam.

English IV

041 – English IV, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
Senior English traces the development of British literature and language from the fifth century to the twentieth century by focusing on major writers and themes.   In conjunction with the study and analysis of literature, emphasis is placed on developing and sharpening the skills needed to write logically developed essays and a six-to-eight page MLA research paper.

046 – English IV College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
A chronological approach to the study of British literature challenges students to explore the cultural realities, literary movements and writers’ techniques that shape the literature of England.  An introduction to literature from other countries, both Western and non-Western, supplements this course.  Speaking and writing assignments emphasize interpretation, analysis and synthesis of ideas.  Students produce creative assignments and will write frequent short papers honing their skills in literary analysis. In addition, they will write an eight-to-ten page literature-based research paper. This class is designed for students who enjoy reading and research, who desire to improve their writing style and who are comfortable working independently on a variety of projects in addition to their daily class work.  Department approval is required.

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

047 – Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
Designed to offer the highly advanced student the challenge of college-level English, Advanced Placement English affords the students the opportunity to complete extensive reading selected from major genres and time periods.  This reading includes Classical, Shakespeare and Modern drama, poetry, satirical essays, and modern Western and non-Western fiction.  Frequent essays are assigned, including poetry explications and student-designed literary analysis.  AP English students are also expected to complete an analytical, humanities-based research paper.  In addition, students work collaboratively in the actual teaching of a novel or play. Students are invited as well to create original illustrations, journals, poems or skits.  Excellent critical thinking skills in reading, writing and speaking are expected in this seminar-format class.  At the completion of the course, students are required to take the College Board Advanced Placement Exam in English Literature and Composition, which may award college credits for performance.  Department approval is required.

English Electives

043 – Writing Workshop – Two Semester Course
The aim of Writing Workshop is to provide opportunities for students who desire to learn the fundamentals of print journalism.  Newswriting, reporting, editing and techniques for producing the school newspaper, The Matignon Mirror, are covered.  At times throughout the year, students will produce creative and expository writing projects and also work on the school’s yearbook.  A recommendation by a teacher familiar with the writing and creative skills of the student is necessary.  Department approval is required.