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DePaul Catholic High School

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English

ENGLISH COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

 

ENGLISH 9
Introduction to Genres: In this course, students study short stories, poems, plays and novels to continue the development of their skills in close reading and understanding of literature. Student discussion focuses on the traditions of various cultures and the basic literary elements of the different genres. Essays are primarily narrative with instruction and practice in development methods, selection and arrangement, unity, transition, points of view and use of sensory images. Students continue their vocabulary development and practice grammatical and usage conventions as appropriate to their composition development. They begin to develop four-year writing portfolios that provide opportunities for evaluation and self-assessment.

ENGLISH 9, HONORS
Introduction to Genres: In this course the students develop skills of literacy while encouraging independent and higher-level critical thinking. Through an integrated program of literature, grammar, vocabulary and writing, students gain the skills needed to become more discerning readers and writers. A genre-based study of literature, non-fiction and fiction, includes selections that challenge analytical abilities at a more advanced level. Writing instruction emphasizes writing as a process and guides students to construct clear and well-supported literary analysis while introducing other forms of discourse. A willingness to take academic risks and participation in class discussions is expected. Learning to become discriminating users of the internet for research and collaboration is also taught. Students begin to develop four-year writing portfolios that provide opportunities for evaluation and self-assessment.

ENGLISH 10
American Literature: In this chronological survey course emphasizing knowledge of Western literary heritage, students read major writers of American literature from the Colonial period to the 21st century. In composition instruction, students practice both expository types and narrative skills, including aspects of voice, tone, dialogue, imagery, and characterization. Course objectives also include vocabulary development, grammar review and practice in specific SAT/ACT skills. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand.
 
ENGLISH 10, HONORS
In this chronological survey students read major writers of American literature from the Colonial period to the 21st century. This course reinforces and expands the literary analysis and writing skills taught and practiced in the 9th grade honors level course. Literature, grammar, vocabulary, and writing assignments serve to advance comprehension, while strengthening the students’ ability to formulate and express well-founded ideas. Both the pace of instruction and choice of literature reflect a higher level of expectation in terms of the students’ ability to explicate the writer’s purpose and use of rhetorical strategies. Students are expected to demonstrate a willingness to rely on independent analysis in class discussion and written work. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand.

ENGLISH 11
In this survey students read major British writers. Students engage in literature that encompasses the themes, diversity and complexity that characterize British thought and society. Practice in analytical and persuasive essays encourages clearer thinking and more effective writing. Study continues of both vocabulary and grammar supports students’ preparation for the SAT/ACT and the college application process. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand. The MLA research process is further practiced resulting in the completion of a well-documented research paper.

ENGLISH 11, HONORS
In this survey students read major British writers. Students engage in literature that encompasses the themes, diversity and complexity that characterize British thought and society. Select works in this honors course require a higher level of both critical reading skills and independent analysis from students. Practice in analytical and persuasive essays encourages an increasingly mature quality of writing that evidences original thought. Study continues of both vocabulary and grammar supports students’ preparation for the SAT/ACT and the college application process. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand. The MLA research process is further practiced resulting in the completion of a well-documented research paper.
 
ENGLISH 12
This course returns to the earlier genre approach to studying short fiction, drama, poetry and novel with the continued development of student skills in reading imaginative literature. The reading selections extend from the classics of world literature to multi-cultural contemporary pieces. Students deepen their appreciation of literature and its role in explaining the universal condition and the perspectives of different cultures and societies, past and present. This course also includes vocabulary development, grammar review and practice in specific SAT/ACT skills as needed. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand. The MLA research process is further practiced resulting in the completion of a well-documented research paper.
 
ENGLISH 12, HONORS
This course returns to the earlier genre approach to studying short fiction, drama, poetry and novel with the continued development of students' skills in reading imaginative literature. The reading selections extend from the classics of world literature to multi-cultural contemporary pieces. Students deepen their appreciation of literature and its role in explaining the universal condition and the perspectives of different cultures and societies, past and present. Students in this course should have well-developed communication skills and the ability and confidence to interpret literature independently. Exposure to literary criticism is integrated into textual analysis. Assessment includes reaction/reflection papers, formal and personal essay and multi-media presentations. Students are also expected to be creative and critical thinkers in their oral and written work. This course also includes vocabulary development, grammar review and practice in specific SAT/ACT skills as needed. The writing portfolio continues to develop and expand. The MLA research process is further practiced resulting in the completion of a well-documented research paper.
 
AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
This course prepares students for the higher-level reading and writing skills used in college. The course places an emphasis on rhetoric and composition with particular attention to argumentative, narrative and expository works. This course promotes critical reading and writing with attention to the nuances of language, stylistic distinction, purpose and audience. Students learn to recognize specific devices such as narrative structure, selection of detail, and manipulation of language, tone, diction, allusion, imagery and syntax. This class nurtures students' growth as mature, critical, and creative thinkers. At the conclusion of the course all students will take the Advanced Placement Exam.
 
AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
This course stresses representative classic literary works from different genres, including essay, poetry, drama and novel. Analysis of meaning, idea and style is stressed rather than historical background or factual material. Students develop their understanding of how writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure to their readers. Students learn to analyze and interpret literature through various critical perspectives. Students practice careful observation of textual detail, establishing connections among their observations and drawing inferences from those connections. Writing instruction focuses on the critical analysis of literature, improving students' abilities to explain clearly and cogently their understanding and interpretation of the literary works they have read. The class is conducted in seminar style with emphasis on discussion and evaluation. At the conclusion of the course all students will take the Advanced Placement Exam
 
ENGLISH ELECTIVES (Full-Year)

JOURNALISM
This course explores the contemporary media and the ethical responsibility issues inherent in the press today as well as the historical importance of journalism in America. Students will learn investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic techniques. Students will research topics and events, conduct interviews, write articles, and design their own publications. Students will be the staff of The Emerald, our school newspaper, and will publish four issues in print and online during the school year.
 
AFRICAN-AMERICAN/HISPANIC LITERATURE
This course introduces students to a wide array of literature written by African-American and Latino writers from slavery to the modern period. Students engage in a wide selection of genres – poetry, fiction, drama, autobiographical narratives, essays, and journals, as well as vernacular forms – blues, gospel, folktales, sermons, testimonies, speeches, and film. Through literature students are invited to embrace the rich traditions, unique style, and distinctive voices that are an essential component of literary expression. An emphasis on rhetoric and composition with particular attention to argumentative, narrative, and expository works will be explored. Students will evaluate the connections between historical, political events, and concurrent literature by developing analytical and persuasive essays and multimedia presentations.
 
ENGLISH ELECTIVES (Semester)

PUBLIC SPEAKING
What are effective communication skills? How do effective communication skills convey meaning? How does effective communication impact people’s lives? Public Speaking will provide students with the basic skills needed in a variety of public and daily interactions within society. This course offers students practical skills to articulate their thoughts and organize their arguments of persuasion through the power of rhetoric, fluency, and organization. This class enables students to study the art of discourse through articulation, delivery, and written/verbal communication. This course will also provide opportunities to reduce the fear of public speaking and to gain self-confidence.
 
CREATIVE WRITING 1
Creative Writing provides students with opportunities to develop their literary talents. It emphasizes the development of skills in the creation and study of prose, drama, and poetry in an intensive workshop setting. Students are required to write in a variety of genres and to demonstrate a facility for giving and receiving constructive criticism. Students will demonstrate a better understanding of, and facility with, the revision and rewriting process through mastery of editing skills. Students will contribute their writing to Impressions, our literary magazine, and will gain knowledge about publication.
 
CREATIVE WRITING 2
This semester course is designed for students who are serious about writing as a creative art form. During the semester, students produce original works of creative non-fiction, short story, novel, and drama. Students share their work with classmates and offer constructive criticism to each other in a workshop format. Because good writing starts with careful reading, the course also requires students to complete short reading assignments and analysis of style. We will talk about the writer’s voice and personality, illusions about writing, legend and myths and other areas where a creative writer might find inspiration. Students will learn how to be a creative fictional writer, how to write fictional dramas and adventures, the importance of writing what you know, how to deal with writer’s block and the importance of writing for yourself first. Publication opportunities for student writers and careers in creative writing are also discussed. Students will contribute their writing to Impressions, our literary magazine.