The English Skills course will introduce you to literary terms and practices, enabling you to succeed in your future study of English Literature. The class builds a foundation for approaching academic writing and the close reading of texts. Texts may include The Giver and Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as fables, folktales, various short stories and poetry from authors such as Neil Gaiman, Richard Connell, Annie Proulx, Ethel Rohan, Raymond Carver, and Shel Silverstein.
The course provides freshman students with a comprehensive introduction to academic writing and literary analysis, beginning with a full review of syntax and grammar rules. The literary component of the class examines texts and identifies themes, which address the role of individual responsibility; and how to use literature as a lens through which you may better understand society and your role within the global community. Possible texts may include The Giver, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
You will examine universal truths about human nature, found in literature from around the world. The course begins with essential vocabulary and a review of grammatical rules, then progresses to comprehension and textual analysis. Public speaking assignments give you the opportunity to practice your English speaking skills and develop confidence in your ability to engage a crowd of your peers. Texts for this course include Romeo and Juliet, the Odyssey, Things Fall Apart, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Siddhartha, and various short stories and poems. Offered at both College Prep and Honors level.
Through the study of American literature from the colonial era to the present, you will examine what it means to be successful in America and how that definition has evolved over time. You will gain a broad understanding of the nation’s literary history and closely examine several influential American authors and literary movements. Reading focuses on the development of critical thinking and analytical skills. Texts studied in this course may include The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, and a variety of shorter works by authors such as Dickinson, Hemingway, and Faulkner. Offered at both College Prep and Honors level.
Through the study of literary texts from the 14th century to the present, you will examine the evolution of literature in English, focusing on the continuities between the past and the present. After successfully completing this course, you will better understand the defining characteristics and principles of major British literary movements. You will identify and analyze the reasons for an author’s choices, the effectiveness of various means of persuasion and understand how critical lenses are employed to interpret texts. Texts studied in this course may include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and shorter works by authors such as Keats, Shelley, Blake and Orwell.
On the Creative Writing course you will read notable poems and stories from the 20th and 21st centuries; in order to learn from great writers’ examples and so we can enter a conversation with the world around us. You learn how to craft poems by learning elements of form, image, voice, line, music, and mystery. Through learning elements of fiction, such as character development, plot arc, conflict and symbolism, you will shape stories that move us, surprise us, and transform our view. Prerequisites: Grade 10 or above; ESL Level 4 or higher. The course is taken over one or two semesters.