Upper school > course description english
The most important and demanding tasks of this department are improving the reading, writing, and thinking skills of the students. To that end, the curriculum in grades 9-12 is designed to strengthen verbal achievement, enhance literary experience, and encourage analysis and written expression of the English language. A summer reading program, often in correlation with the history or science departments, aims at broadening student exposure to literature using an interdisciplinary approach. All English courses are college preparatory classes.
Grade Levels 9-12— Honors English–Honors English classes are extensions of the English curriculum at each grade level. These courses prepare students for English (AP) in the eleventh or twelfth grade. Students work at a more challenging level with higher expectations for reading, writing, analyzing, listening, and independent study. Students enter the honors curriculum by teacher recommendation based on superior grades and performance. The pace of instruction, expectations of breadth and depth in writings, and variations in summer reading and school-year parallel readings distinguish CP from Honors level.
Grade Level 9 — English 9 is the study of the genres and involves extensive grammar practice. The main objective is correct language in self-expression with emphasis on composition. The writing of various papers (paragraphs, essays, or character sketches) is stressed. Vocabulary study is taken from the reading materials and aims at building a meaningful vocabulary for both written and oral use.
Grade Level 10 — English 10 is a survey of world literature, excluding American literature, as students examine cultural aspects of both classical and contemporary selections to understand and appreciate diversity in world concerns and the commonality of cross-cultural themes. The literary analysis essay and the inter-disciplinary research paper are introduced. Grammar is applied as a tool for effective oral and written communication, and vocabulary study continues to increase precision in oral and written communications and in reading comprehension.
Grade Level 11 — English 11 is a survey of American literature. The course is designed to broaden the student’s interest in language and literature through emphasis on vocabulary, Socratic discussion, and forceful, clear writing. Sentence building teaches the student to write more mature and varied sentences. Composition continues with essays and a major research paper using critical literary sources and writing techniques.
Grade Level 12 — English 12 is a survey of British literature; however, for comparative purposes, students will examine relevant works from world or American literature. Emphasis is placed on developing a critical understanding of theme, and students are introduced formally to various modes of literary criticism. Grammar is reviewed as necessary; emphasis is placed on essay writing. A research paper of literary analysis is required for graduation.
Grade Level 11 - 12 — English (11) AP Language and Composition and English (12) AP Literature and Composition are extensions of the English 11 and 12 curricula. Greater emphasis is placed on understanding various rhetorical forms, the historical development of literature and language, and analysis of content. Longer papers are assigned which involve mature and critical thinking. Additional supplemental reading is required, and the student is expected to sit for the advanced placement examination. Major research papers are required in each course.
Click HERE for the English Sequence with Prerequisites