The Department of English seeks to develop the writing, reading, and speaking abilities of each student. Students are exposed to classical works and their authors.The English Department faculty endeavors to stress Christian values in literature and to note the contributions of Catholic writers. Through the cumulative experience of reading, writing, and speaking, students develop critical thinking skills that enable them to be better prepared for college by learning the skills to analyze literature, develop perspectives on personal experiences, and make connections to local and global events. At each grade level, students will enrich their knowledge of the English language through the study of SAT/ACT vocabulary. Students will be held accountable for academic integrity and will be expected to follow all guidelines regarding the avoidance of plagiarism and dishonesty.
Language Arts 7 concentrates on laying a strong foundation with understanding of grammar and sentence construction. The writing components of the course focus on paragraph development, incorporating strong topic sentences and details. Short story and poetry units teach the basic building blocks of these genres and lead to a reading of mythology which complements the study of Greek and Roman History.
Language Arts 8 continues to lay a strong foundation with an intensive study of grammar. The writing components will further develop the paragraph and begin with essay writing. The approach to literature in the eighth grade will begin to focus on close reading of passages.
English I will focus on introducing students to a variety of literature and teaching the fundamentals of literary analysis. The literary works covered will include dramatic tragedy and novels suitable for the grade level. Writing activities will include journals, researching and writing basic reports, and basic literary analysis such as compare/contrast essays. Mastery of grammar and mechanics will be stressed. Vocabulary and independent reading skills will also be taught.
Pre Advanced Placement English I will include all aspects addressed in the Standard English I course except that each unit will be covered at a more rapid pace. Students will also read more advanced literature and have more focus on literary analysis, including the introduction of advanced literary terms. Students will be introduced to writing essays in a timed situation.
Prerequisites: Approval by the Department and Academic Dean
English II focuses on reading, comprehension, and analysis of different literary works including short stories, poetry, drama, and novels suitable for the grade level. Writing activities include learning and executing the development and support necessary to produce narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository essays. A study of comma rules will reinforce grammar terms and good sentence structures learned in previous years. Grammar review will focus on preparing students for ACT and SAT testing. Vocabulary and independent reading skills will be advanced.
Prerequisites: English I
Pre Advanced Placement English II will include all aspects addressed in the Standard English II course except that the units will be covered more rapidly and thoroughly. Students will also read and analyze epic poetry, learn the advanced literary terms necessary for Advanced Placement literary analysis, and focus on the skills necessary to produce well-written essays in a timed situation. A study of comma rules will reinforce grammar terms and good sentence structures learned in previous years. Grammar review will focus on preparing students for ACT and SAT testing. Vocabulary and independent reading skills will be advanced.
Prerequisites: English I and Approval by the English Department and Academic Dean
American Literature Survey is the Standard English course taken in the junior year. It focuses on the traditions of American Literature and is an analysis of the different voices that make up the canon of American literature. Students will write several essays including a contrast essay of two similar writings, a poetry analysis paper, a study of short story, and a final research paper. The research project will emphasize note taking and use of sources within a text to avoid plagiarism. A study of comma rules will reinforce grammar terms and good sentence structures learned in previous years. A recitation from a speech will also be required.
Prerequisites: English I and II
British Literature Survey is the Standard English offering for seniors. The course is an introduction to the literary history of the British Isles through the study of the following literary periods: Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, English Renaissance, Age of Reason (Enlightenment), Romantic, Victorian, and the Twentieth Century. Studies will connect literary texts to the history and social structure of each period. The course is designed to develop reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, promote the use of technology, enrich writing skills, and refine research.
Prerequisites: English I, II, and American Literature (or other junior level English course)
Advanced Placement English Language and Composition is a course for students who wish to pursue college level studies while in high school. It is open to juniors who meet the prerequisite requirements. It is a course in reading non-fiction and in the effective analysis and utilization of both oral and written language. The course allows students to write in a variety of forms—narrative, exploratory, expository, argumentation—and on a variety of subjects from personal experience to public policies, from imaginative literature to popular culture. The course will emphasize the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication as well as the personal and reflective writing that fosters the development of facility in any context; its purpose is to enable students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature audiences (AP English Language and Composition Course Guide). The course alternates with AP English Literature and Composition.
Prerequisites: Approval of the Department and Academic Dean
Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is a course for students who wish to pursue college level studies while in high school. It is open to seniors who meet the prerequisite requirements. It is a course in the in-depth reading of and writing about texts drawn from multiple genres, periods, and cultures. Students will learn to read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. Students will consider the social and historical values a text reflects and embodies. Students will develop close reading skills that involve the three key elements of experience, interpretation, and evaluation of a literary text. Writing assignments will focus on the critical analysis of literature and will include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. The goal of writing assignments is to increase students’ abilities to explain clearly, cogently, and elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. Writing about literature involves making judgments about its artistry and exploring its underlying social and cultural values through analysis, interpretation, and argument (AP English Literature and Composition Course Content Guide). The course alternates with AP English Language and Composition.
Prerequisites: Approval of the Department and Academic Dean
Journalism is an English department elective open to students in grades 10-12. The course includes instruction in and practice on various writing skills such as news, features, editorials, columns, review, and sports writing. Students will practice and examine advertising, photography, computer layout, editing and business management of school publications. The student newspaper, the
Periscope, and the yearbook, the
Pax, serve as laboratories for practice of the skills taught.
Prerequisite: PAP English I or equivalent
Oral Communications is a one-semester graduation requirement for all high school students. It is recommended to be taken in the sophomore year. Students will learn and put into practice the principles that make human communication effective with an emphasis on public speaking. The first quarter of the course is devoted to the introduction of the principles of communication; the second quarter puts these into practice through the preparation and presentation of speeches.
English for International Students is a course for English Language Learners who need to develop aural comprehension, speaking ability, reading, and writing skills.
It is based on the belief that broad proficiency in English is essential to students’ success in both their social and academic lives, and to the ability to take their place in society as responsible and productive citizens. Through a variety of informal and formal opportunities, the students respond to questions and converse in English using more complex sentences. The student becomes an increasingly effective speaker of English, able to communicate in ever widening contexts. As communication skills develop, the course includes academic vocabulary and grammar instruction for reading and writing. At the end of the program, students should use English to achieve academically and use critical-thinking skills to interpret the world around them.