English Language Arts

The English Language Arts Program includes the study of American English; literature, composition, drama and mass media. The program is designed to develop in each student, within his capacity, knowledge, understanding, the ability to think for himself and the ability to express his ideas collectively. They are also designed to encourage open and clear communication, and foster reading for comprehension, information, and enjoyment. Each course requires homework and student participation in class discussions. In addition, the program is constructed to give students the opportunity to succeed in a wide variety of learning experiences including writing poetry, delivering speeches, reading, literature, viewing films, and listening to guest writers. The correct use of the English language is taught in all English Language Arts classes. Grammar study is conducted with student writing as a primary resource for instruction. Specific exercises are also used to highlight a particular problem or mistake in usage. Whenever possible, teachers use art, music and film to broaden students’ understanding of the theme or setting of a literary work.

Students are assigned to core English Language Arts classes on the basis proficiency, achievement, and teacher recommendation. They follow a sequential study of English; literature and composition. Students should elect courses that simulate their interest, develop their talents, and best prepare them for the future - jobs, careers, and higher education.

In selecting English Language Arts electives, students are encouraged to discuss course content and objectives with English Language Arts teachers who teach the course so they will make the best selections.

(201) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS I-Hon

Grade: 9
Level: Honors
Prerequisite: Honors Program Acceptance
Length: Full Year

The goal of the Honors Program at Grade 9 is to begin developing self- directed learners. Students are given an orientation to the overall honors program in the English Language Arts department and begin to develop skills that are applicable to the ultimate goal of an in-depth study of topic. Students are made aware of the taxonomy of thinking skills and are taught how to question, analyze, synthesize and evaluate literature. They are also made aware that writing is a learning tool for heightened and refined thinking through daily, weekly, and long-term writing assignments. Content focus is world literature with an emphasis on genre.

(202) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS I-Col
Grade: 9
Prerequisite: None
Level: College
Length: Full Year

In Freshman English Language Arts I students will encounter all the elements making up a traditional English Language Arts curriculum. Reading now becomes literature and although there is continued development of comprehension skills, the main emphasis is on literature as an art form. Students are led to discover the distinguishing features of the various literary forms. Critical senses begin to develop so that they can distinguish effective from ineffective writing and appreciate literature that students do not necessarily "like." Students are encouraged to recognize elements that combine for total artistic unity.

Literature and writing are the primary focus of the ninth grade program. However, the students will move outward from this to other facets of the English Language Arts curriculum, speaking, listening, mastering study skills, learning organizational skills, and mastering mechanical skills of spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and correct usage of Standard English.

(205) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS II-Hon
Grade: 10
Level: Honors
Prerequisite: English I, Honors Program Acceptance
Length: Full Year

The goal of English Language Arts II Honors is reinforced and the approach continued. The content differs and the learning skills required of autonomous learners are further developed. Research, reading, and writing skills become more demanding. Content focus is world literature with an overview of genre.

(206) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS II-Col
Grade: 10
Level: College
Prerequisite: English I
Length: Full Year

This English Language Arts program of study is designed to emphasize the development of correct speech, fluency in the communication of ideas through oral expression and written composition. At the same time it is designed to provide experience, particularly in literature, that will aid the student in becoming a discriminating reader and promote lifelong learning. The literature has been selected for its excellence of content and style to promote growth in imagination and aesthetic appreciation to encourage reading in future years.

(209) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS III-Hon
Grade: 11
Level: Honors
Prerequisite: English II, Honors Program Acceptance
Length: Full Year

Since the honors program is a building experience, the skills learned in English Language Arts Honors I and II are reinforced and further developed. The student should have moved from the role of "student" to the role of the "learner". The content focus is American Literature approached chronologically. Students will focus on varying their syntax and diction and revising their writing.

(210) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS III-Col
Grade: 11
Level: College
Prerequisite: English II
Length: Full Year

English language Arts at this level has as its focus on chronological study of American Literature. The curriculum contains classical, traditional, and modern selections complemented by selected aids that develop skills necessary for understanding and appreciating literature. Background articles, time lines, discussion questions, author biographies, vocabulary studies, extension readings and oral reports offer enrichment to the texts.

(226) ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: 11
Level: AP
Prerequisite: English III Honors, Teacher Recommendation
Length: Full Year

In accordance with the AP English Language and Composition Course Description, the goal and purpose of this course is to “engage students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes.” To do this, students will be reading works from a variety of authors and writing in response to these works. Most reading texts will be nonfiction works representing all modes of discourse. Students will engage these texts and practice imitating the various styles as they work to develop their own voice.

(233) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS IV-Hon
Grade: 12
Level: Honors
Prerequisite: English III, Teacher Recommendation
Length: Full Year

This course is designed for students to think and write analytically with a focus on the use of literary techniques and how they create meaning within a text. Text is defined to include stories, excerpts from literature from the middle ages through the 21st century, poetry, film, artwork, and graphic novels. Students will learn that intertextuality is the primary engine that drives composing. Intertextuality posits that every text is related to and evokes other texts and that often one text is enmeshed in others. To compose a story, poem, essay, memoir, and/or informational text is not to invent something out of nothing but to produce a new text out of complex and interwoven fabric of other texts written into a writer’s life. Though the process of writing, ideas will be solidified and articulated using text as a springboard. The rigorous texts used in class challenge students to continually develop habits of learning and practice Bloom’s taxonomy of higher level thinking skills. Students will be writing and rewriting continuously both in the expository as well as the critical/creative domains. Discussion is a vital part of the class and students will share ideas and listen to diversity of opinions. Students will also have activities involving blended learning. At the end of the course students will be required to complete an interdisciplinary exit portfolio which focuses on themselves at this point in time as a student of academics and “life”.

(229) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS IV-Col
Grade: 12
Level: College
Prerequisite: English III
Length: Full Year

English Language Arts IV College is a course designed to develop students’ ability to think and write with clarity, precision, and fluency. Each writing unit will begin with text which include short stories, essays, plays, informational pieces from science, math, and history, and poetry. Non-print material will be used such as movies, pictures, songs, conversations, and interviews. Students will practice interacting with literature by keeping reader reflection/response notes. Discussion will be the follow-up to interactive reading and will take place in small and large groups. Students will develop habits of learning and habits of the mind for thinking and writing. Since all good writing will demonstrate acceptable use of the conventions of standard English, mechanics and usage will be reviewed and taught when the need arises. Students will be required to complete an inquiry based research project either individually or with a partner. Students will also be required to complete a portfolio which counts as 20% of the final grade.

(227) ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: 12
Level: AP
Prerequisite: English III, Teacher Recommendation
Length: Full Year

The Advanced Placement course in English Literature and Composition involves students in both the study and practice of writing and the study of literature. Students will learn to use the characteristic mode of discourse and to recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, and reading, but chiefly through the experience of their own writing, students develop a heightened awareness of the resources of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, syntax, and tone.

In Advanced Placement, students are engaged in the careful reading of literary works. Students study an individual work, its language, characters, action, and themes. They consider its structure, meaning, and times in which it was written.

The Development Committee for English prepares a three-hour examination that gives the students the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the competencies aforementioned. The exam consists of one hour of multiple-choice questions followed by two and one-half hours of essay questions. The essay part of the exam is scored using standardized procedures by college and Advanced Placement English teachers in Princeton, New Jersey. Students who pass this exam will receive the equivalent of 6-8 semester hours of credit and advanced placement in participating colleges.

(255) CREATIVE WRITING-Col
Grade: 10-12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: Full Year
Elective

In this course students learn the basic elements of fiction writing, including narrative, scene, character, and dialogue. Also, process writing will be reinforced. Students will read a variety of selections, both fiction and nonfiction, so that a common language about the form can be established. Shorter writing exercises will help students develop skills in order to create longer written pieces. Peer editing and critique will be utilized in the course, and students may be encouraged to publish their work in a digital form.

(228) DRAMA/THEATRE ARTS-Col
Grades: 10-12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: Full Year
Elective

Drama/Theater Arts is designed to familiarize students with drama as a literary form as well as a performing arts form. Students will read and perform plays, scenes from plays from Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, nineteenth and twentieth time periods. There is no text. The instructor(s) and the students will determine play selections. A final portfolio is required and participation in the production of a play to be performed for the public is also required.

(230) LITERATURE OF FILM-Col
Grade: 10-12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: Full Year
Elective

This course is an introduction to the “reading” and “comprehension” of film as a language and to cinema as an institution. Often the student’s awareness of film only involves “seeing many movies” and does not involve a conceptual understanding of cinema. The course will provide an opportunity to experience a broad range of film in connection with texts and an occasion to learn and practice a more analytical – precise and elaborated – language for talking and writing about film. Since film is so familiar to students it is often labeled merely as entertainment. Yes, it is entertaining but it is also complex because it involves the channels of sound and image. It is culturally ambiguous as it blurs distinctions between art, entertainment, and mass communication. Students will work from a glossary of film techniques and terms in order to speak and write about film.

(249) PUBLIC SPEAKING-Col
Grades: 11 - 12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: ½ year
Elective

The Public Speaking course is a college level program open to eleventh and twelfth graders. This class reinforces familiar techniques in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, with a focus on public speaking. Students will study great speakers, and writers throughout history in order to prepare and deliver a variety of oral presentations. The course is designed to familiarize students with several modes of discourse including speech, debate, and oral interpretation. All of these formats involve written preparation. Students will be expected to compose original copy throughout this course as part of the process of creating and delivering speeches, engaging in debate, and interpreting and presenting selected pieces of literature orally. While learning effective organization and delivery methods, students will also practice verbal and nonverbal techniques of speech delivery.

(293) Critical Reading and Writing-Col
Grade: 10-12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: Full Year
Elective

The Critical Reading and Writing course is designed to give students practice for the sections of the SAT test as well as introduce them to the significance of the scores themselves.The course will be built around a pre-test that determines which skills the students need to develop the most. Students will study the grammatical conventions that are tested in the Writing section and the types of questions given in the Reading section. The course will present testing strategies to utilize in a timed environment while exposing students to the types of questions given in the reading section and the conventions tested in the writing test. Further students will be exposed to the optional essay.

(242) COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY-Col
Grades: 10 - 12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: ½ year
Elective

While Greek mythology will be included, students in this course will go beyond that and investigate myths from many cultures. Students will be asked to interpret; compare and contrast plot structures, themes and archetypes within and across cultures. A focus of the course will be to prepare students to recognize use and purpose of myth as symbol and allusion in many of the written pieces they encounter in and out of school.

(296) and (297) PHOTOJOURNALISM I AND II-Col
Grades: 11 - 12
Level: College
Prerequisite: None
Length: ½ year
Elective

Students enrolled in Photojournalism I and II communicate in many forms for a variety of purposes. Students are expected to plan, draft, and complete written and/or visual compositions on a regular basis, carefully editing their copy for tone, engaging language, and the correctness of the conventions and mechanics of the English language. Writing, visual and electronic media are the tools for learning as the students create, edit, critique, write, and produce effective communication.

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