In English classes students will read a wide variety of literature from the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to more contemporary authors from various genres including essays, plays, novels, and poetry. They will write for different audiences and purposes with a concentration on expository essays. Students will also study vocabulary, grammar, and literary techniques. Students will work individually and in groups as they develop their analytical abilities. Classes will focus on the necessary skills so that students are more able to think and read critically and can then effectively communicate. Our goal is to help our students develop the skills necessary to become better thinkers, readers, and writers which will ensure their success in the 21st Century.
EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENT LEARNING
STUDENTS WHO STUDY ENGLISH AT LONGMEADOW HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Comprehend and interpret texts.
- Identify and analyze themes in literary works.
- Make connections as they read and write.
- Identify and analyze the characteristics of different genres.
- Identify and analyze the style of a work of literature.
- Support their ideas with evidence from the text.
- Write effectively.
- Write for different audiences and purposes.
- Demonstrate an understanding of grammar, mechanics and usage.
- Acquire and employ a rich and effective vocabulary.
- Question, listen, and contribute during discussions in order to acquire new knowledge and to practice thoughtful and accurate oral expression.
- Create and deliver oral presentations, which consider audience and purpose.
- Gather information from a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the quality of the information, and use it to support a topic or thesis statement.
ENGLISH COURSE LEVELS
English, grades 9-12, is required and organized according to ability groupings. Students are placed on the basis of writing competence, reading comprehension, language ability, and work habits. The goal is to realistically challenge all students so that they can perform optimally.
LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
Freshman year: An introduction to fiction and nonfiction genres
Sophomore year: American Literature.
Junior year: British Literature.
Senior year: World Literature.
In addition, grammar, vocabulary, and composition are taught in grades 9 - 12 as part of an integrated program in language arts.
Freshmen - Honors 111 and 112 - 113
Sophomores - Honors 121 and 122-123
Juniors - AP Language & Composition 130 and 132-133
Seniors - AP Literature & Composition 141 and 142-143
HONORS AND AP COURSES ARE THE MOST ACCELERATED.
They require a demonstrated mastery of critical thinking and writing skills. Honors courses prepare students for Advanced Placement English, which in turn prepares them for the Advanced Placement Examination. The Advanced Placement class operates at a level equivalent to a college course. A critical writing average of B+ or better in the previous Honors course is required for enrollment. Students are expected on average to spend one and one-half hours on regularly scheduled homework assignments. Extra summer reading is required.
LEVEL 2 ENGLISH COURSES ARE COLLEGE PREPARATORY.
They require demonstrated proficiency in critical thinking, reading and writing skills. Students do not have deficiencies in reading, vocabulary, and critical writing that would hinder success. A critical writing average of B or better in the previous Level 2 course is required for enrollment. Students are expected to spend on average one hour each night on regularly scheduled homework assignments.
LEVEL 3 ENGLISH COURSES ARE COLLEGE PREPARATORY.
For students whose demonstrated academic profiles and achievements do not make the Level 2 courses a reasonable choice. Level 3 courses provide a solid foundation for academic work in post-secondary schools and colleges. Emphasis is on improving critical thinking and writing skills, as well as reading and vocabulary. Teachers of Level 3 courses often make provisions for students to do individual work during class time. Homework will generally require three-quarters of an hour to one hour to complete.