Welcome to English 11 

Bookmark this website. It is a tool to help you in all aspects of the course: literature, vocabulary, grammar, and writing. Notice there is a page for homework, a calendar with a printable agenda, and pages for each of the literary units. On those pages, you will find information discussed in class, videos presented in class, and handouts to download. 

That means this site is the first place to check after you are absent or arrive for class. Come here when you are reviewing for tests or are finishing projects. I want you to enjoy class and to succeed. Let me know if there are additional resources I should add.

If you have a smartphone, consider downloading the Remind app and subscribing to my remind.com feed. 

You may also want to download the Quizlet app so you can study the vocabulary flashcards each week.  If you are aware of other learning apps that will help us, let me know.

What motivates you?
English 11 is a course that is required to earn a diploma at Milford High School. That should be an incentive for you to do your best in the class. However, juniors are often weary of school and are drawn in many directions by the demands of jobs, sports, and their social and family lives. I would like to offer  way of looking at this class as more than a requirement to check off on your way to a diploma, so that you look forward to coming each day. Consider this class dedicated time for mastery of tools to make you successful: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Those four skills are indispensable tools to help you achieve your goals and fulfill your purpose in life. Writing grammatically with the precise words help you express yourself clearly and literature starts our conversations about life's important issues. Mastery for a purpose are powerful motivators. If you don't believe, believe the research illustrated in the video below.

YouTube Video

The primary materials that you need to supply for class are a notebook dedicated to English class and pens or pencils.  MHS supplies all the reading materials, grammar and vocabulary texts, and vocabulary and grammar sheets, as the school has always done for you. 

You will use your notebook as a writing journal,
as a place to record background notes on literature, as a place to answer practice exercises in class. I will not collect it or grade it.

I enco
urage you to get a notebook that you like and may want to keep because I think your in-class writing will contain an important record of your thoughts and reactions at this time of your life when you are taking more and more control each day of your life.

It is a time to sort out what you believe and what your goals are;
someday you may enjoy looking back on these ideas. As we will move chronologically through American literature, you will read about how the concepts of what "American" is developed, how others struggled to clarify justice and opportunity; by writing about these issues yourself, you may discover your own guiding philosophies to take our country through the 21st century.

American culture: What is it?
An oft used metaphor to describe American culture is the "melting pot," but I wonder if we have really thought about what that means. Is it short cut to explain that people who hold American passports came to North America from somewhere else and have pledged to get along with one another? Does it mean that those same people blend their home cultures with those who arrived before them? Does it mean that people come to the United States but must surrender their home cultures to a new culture? Is it all of these? 

No matter what the answers are to those questions, the journey of discovering the answers is recorded in poetry and short stories and novels and films. In this course, we will consider what "American" is, read what others wrote about this idea and decide how we define it for ourselves. Pico Iyer has given the idea of "home" a great deal of thought. How do his comments add to our discussion of what it means to be American?

YouTube Video