Course Area Language Arts

Advanced English Composition

Advanced English Composition is a year-long course with a primary focus on college-level writing. Study sequence includes three to four major writing assessments each semester. Each unit incorporates multiple drafts and peer editing and emphasis on process. Unit titles include Narrative, Summary, Synthesis, Definition, MLA Research and Documentation, Persuasion, and Artistic Review. Students practice skills in the following areas: idea and content development, research strategies, organizational patterns, sentence fluency, precision of word choice, editing and revision, as well as development of more sophisticated grammatical structures. There there are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires a strong base in English grammar, strong reading annotation, and a willingness to edit and revise.

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature & Composition is a year-long, college-level course with a primary focus on critical, literary analysis. Study sequence includes literature of recognized literary merit from a variety of genres: novels, short stories, poems, dramas, and non-fiction essays primarily from European and American writers of the 1600s through contemporary time including authors like Franz Kafka, Jane Austen, Joseph Conrad, Tennessee Williams, Aldous Huxley, William Shakespeare, and Arthur Miller. These units give students skill practice in close reading and rhetorical analysis, examining how authors’ choices in literary features create meaning. Students also practice organized, analytical writing by composing multiple essays on poems, text passages, and open-ended thematic responses which argue a position based on textual evidence. Finally, students develop vocabulary and grammar structures specific to literary analysis. Students may earn college credit by passing College Board’s AP English Literature and Composition exam in the spring. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires advanced reading and writing skills as well as a significant time commitment. This course is part of the Global Leadership Diploma Program.

American Literature

American Literature is a year-long, chronological survey course of American authors from 1700 through contemporary times. The course examines the historical and philosophical evolution in American literature. Study sequence includes literature from a variety of genres: novels, short stories, poems, dramas, and non-fiction essays. The final semester of the course covers units in Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Regionalism, Realism and Naturalism; second semester is arranged by social units involving The Jazz Age, The Great Depression, The Cold War, and Futuristic/Apocalyptic America. These units give students skill practice in close reading and rhetorical analysis, examining how authors’ choices in literary features create meaning and reflect varying American ideologies. Students also practice analysis of text structure, text organization, and thematic development. A variety of reading strategies and reading reflection activities are practiced throughout the year. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, this course requires careful reading annotation and writing skills.

Creative Writing (one semester)

Creative Writing has a primary focus on expressive writing. The course sequence involves daily skill development through writing prompts that focus on ideas, organization, word choice or vocabulary development, sentence fluency, and personal voice. Students will experiment with a variety of forms and focus including units in poetry, short character vignette, short story, drama, and biography. Each unit incorporates multiple drafts and peer editing with an emphasis on process and author choice. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires a willingness to read, write, and think critically to refine communication skills.

English Composition

English Composition is a year-long course with a primary focus on developing students’ English academic writing skills. The study sequence of the course provides students with the fundamentals of writing and language before moving to complex composition projects. The first semester includes units on English grammar essentials, rhetoric, and narrative writing. The second semester units include paragraph construction, summarizing, a persuasive paper, and a research paper. The skills students will master include idea and content development, research strategies, organizational patterns, sentence fluency, editing and revision, as well as development of essential grammatical structures. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires a basic understanding of English grammar, the ability to annotate a piece of writing, and a willingness to edit and revise.

Introduction to Literature I

Introduction to Literature I is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 1-2 in reading who need vocabulary support. Students are introduced to a variety of readings, and integrated into the study of literature is the study of academic vocabulary to read, write, and speak English at a more advanced level. Units give students practice in reading comprehension, and inference-making. Units provide an exposure to a variety of genres and skills: students read “Break Through” (an autobiography of a first generation American immigrant) first semester. Second semester, students read a graphic novel adaptation of “The Odyssey.” Interwoven into both semesters are short stories, non-fiction articles (to supplement readings) and plays. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Literature II

Introduction to Literature II is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 2-3 in reading who are prepared to read independently, but still need practice with English vocabulary in order to read grade-level text. Students are introduced to a variety of readings, and integrated into the study of literature is the study of academic vocabulary to read, write and speak English at a more advanced level. Units give students practice in reading (comprehensive, inference-making, and literary analysis) as well as communication (discussion of readings in small groups). Units provide an exposure to a variety of genres and skills: students read “Breaking Through” (an autobiography of a first generation American immigrant) first semester and are introduced to basic literary terms and practice of identifying them in literature. Further study of literary terms continues second semester along with the reading of a graphic novel adaptation of “The Odyssey.” Interwoven into both semesters are short stories, non-fiction articles (to supplement readings) and plays. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Writing I

Introduction to Writing I is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 1-2 in writing. Students acquire and develop basic writing skills. By the end of this course, students should be able to write a descriptive, well-organized, grammatically correct five-paragraph essay. Units of study are skill-based with the goal to produce writing that reflects fluency, variety of word choice, coherency, and organization. Skills taught throughout the course include, but are not limited to: irregular past tense verbs; past, tense, future, progressive verb tense usage; descriptive words; pronoun agreement; basic preposition use; transition words. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Writing II

Introduction to Writing II is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 2-3 in writing. Students acquire and develop writing skills needed for academic study at the high school level. In this course, students write paragraphs and essays around a clear main idea for a variety of purposes. Units include Introduction to Paragraphing, Supporting the Main Idea, The Writing Process, Comparisons/Contrast, Cause/Effect, Expressing Opinion, Summary, Descriptive/Narrative Writing, and Transition to the Essay. Students strengthen their grammar skills and review their own writing in order to achieve greater accuracy and fluency as well as construct sentences of varying length and complexity. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Lit Survey

Lit Survey is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 3-4 in reading. Students are introduced to a variety of readings, and integrated into the study of literature is the study of academic vocabulary to read, write, and speak English at a more advanced level. Units give students practice in reading (comprehensive, inference-making, and literary analysis) as well as communication (discussion of readings in small groups). Units provide an exposure to a variety of genres and skills: students read “Before We Were Free” first semester and are introduced to literary terms and practice identifying them in literature. Second semester, students read the dystopian novel, “The Giver,” the historical novel, “So Far from the Bamboo Grove” and in addition to learning more literary terms (and applying them to the study of reading), students study poetry. Interwoven into both semesters is the study of short stories, non-fiction articles (to supplement readings) and plays. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Professional Communication

According to the 2015 NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Job Outlook Survey, the three most important qualities/skills employers want are the ability to work in a team, make decisions and solve problems, and communicate well. Whether you would like to have your own business, be an expert in finance, or do research in a science lab, communication and knowing how to work with others will be important to your success. In this year-long course, students will learn about the major ideas and methods of communication in the workplace; writing a business letter, responding to customer emails, creating a resume, and giving a formal presentation. Unit titles include Fonts, Style, and Presentation; Cover Letters and Resumes; Email Communications; Business Reports and Presentations; Branding and Public Image; Networking Skills. The course will require students to practice communicating appropriately in real-world situations as well as collaborating with peers. There are no prerequisites for this course. This course is part of the International Business Diploma Program.

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening is a year-long course intended for students with a W-APT score of 1-2 in Speaking. The course focuses on speaking and listening skills both academic and non-academic contexts. Students will work on core elements of the spoken language that increase their intelligibility such as sound distinctions, rhythm, stress, and intonation. In addition, students listen to spoken passages and conversations around a particular theme in order to infer main ideas through context, think critically about an issue, and summarize what they hear in their own words. Students will also learn how to participate in academic conversations on various topics while increasing their vocabulary. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Speech (one semester)

Speech has a primary focus on formal, public speaking; however, script development, rehearsal and evaluation activities allow students to practice small-group and interpersonal communication as well. The course sequence involves speeches of introduction, panel presentations, motivational, informative, and persuasive speeches. Students will develop skills in writing, unified scripts, creating clear organizational patterns, practicing purposeful vocal and physical delivery, as well as evaluating audience variation, multi-media support and other speaker choices. Each speech unit emphasizes process and speaker choice based on speaking purposes. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires foundational English articulation skills as there will not be specific work on pronunciation, vocabulary development or intelligibility.

World Literature

World Literature is a year-long course of notable contemporary and classic works of literature. The primary focus of the course is developing students’ English analytical reading abilities. The study sequence includes a variety of genres: novels, short stories, poems, dramas, and non-fiction essays. Units center on four major texts (two per semester) and the themes presented in those texts. Examples include obedience and disobedience (“Antigone”), power (“Animal Farm”), and indentify (Persepolis). The skills students will master include close reading and recognition of authorial choices. Students also practice analysis of text structure, text organization, and thematic development. A variety of reading strategies and reading reflection activities are practiced throughout the year. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, success in this course requires careful reading and writing skills.

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