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English Courses

In an attempt to serve the college-bound student, the English Department has designed four regular courses, two accelerated Honors English courses, and an AP class. The development of a graduating senior with a deep respect for intellectual values - an educated young woman who can demonstrate competence in the areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and critical thinking - forms the focus of all English course activities.

SUMMER READING 

Each student should complete all required "summer readings" prior to the first day of class.   

 All-school summer reading:  Refugee by Alan Gratz

English summer reading: 
  • Grade 9 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  • Grade 10 – The Iliad Rouse translations 
  • Grade 11 - Catcher in The Rye by J. D. Salinger 
  • Grade 11 Honors – Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger & Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
  • Grade 12 – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
  • Grade 12 Honors – A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 
  • Grade 12 A.P. English – A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 

(Grade 9) World Literature serves as the introduction to the English courses at Duchesne; it is intended to prepare ninth graders for the demands of reading, writing, and thinking encountered in subsequent courses. Students read and respond to a variety of texts written by authors from around the world. The primary source of the literature study is Prentice Hall’s Literature (Platinum Edition).  With this text, students study short fiction, non-fiction, Greek tragedy, and poetry.  Additionally, students read long-form literature, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Pearl, Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.  Throughout the year, students respond to literature through class discussions, assessments, and compositions. Formal compositions are assigned quarterly and geared to develop students’ academic writing through structure, style, and development of ideas in clear and organized patterns. Finally, students begin a four-year sequential vocabulary program, Wordly Wise. The desired outcome for a student in World Literature is a student who thinks critically and writes clearly about literature.   

(Grade 10) The two-semester sophomore course covers the traditional triad of language, literature, and composition. Language will include grammar, usage, style, and vocabulary. Grammar and usage lessons will respond to issues that arise on essays. Vocabulary lessons will involve five vocabulary assignments per quarter in Wordly Wise Book 10, and additional vocabulary that students encounter in literary selections.  The “Style Guidelines” upload to Dashboard will help students avoid stylistic pitfalls and develop writing that has clarity and grace.  Literature consists of Homer’s Iliad, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, three classic novels, a Greek drama unit, two Shakespearean plays, and additional prose and verse selections. All told, the literary works provide a general survey of a large portion of the western canon from classical through medieval and modern times. Composition study includes an intensive approach to the writing process by precept and practice, using a booklet entitled Principles of English Composition and Rules for Writers. Students will build on their ninth grade experience with the multi-paragraph essay, learning to go beyond the three-pronged thesis to alternative argumentative and analytical models. Literary analysis is an important dimension of advanced composition, and the in-class essay written on a literary topic from one of several prepared outlines is a significant developmental skill for E.T.S. experiences and for college preparation. A primary goal is that students be able to write an impromptu essay during a forty-minute block from a supplied promptly. 

American Literature (English III) is designed to develop student’s critical reading and thinking, as well as their ability to communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and listening. Students will practice close reading on a variety of American texts, from Anne Bradstreet to J.D. Salinger, and produce numerous pieces of writing. These texts will provide a survey of American literature throughout the history of our country and delve into major literary eras, including Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. In addition to studying authors and literary pieces from each era, students will be able to explain how these texts relate to literary era characteristics and historical context while deepening their understanding of literary structure, style, themes, and devices. Wordly Wise 11 will continue our sequential vocabulary program. 

English IV is designed to develop critical thinking, writing, speaking, and listening skills while examining a wide array of important texts in world literature. The course ranges from classical texts, such as Hamlet and A Doll’s House, to such contemporary work as Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Toni Morrison’s Sula. These diverse texts will bring a depth and breadth to the students’ literary experience by exploring contemporary and universal themes through multiple major genres. The student will write numerous essays and continue to build on critical thinking, reading, and writing skills in relation to the works covered. They will continue to expand their understanding of literary structure, style, themes, and devices. Wordly Wise 12 will continue our sequential vocabulary program and compositions will follow MLA style guidelines. 

These courses are designed for those students who have demonstrated competency in the levels of knowledge, comprehension and oral expression. These courses have been developed to promote application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation between the reader and the text. 

Honors American Literature Requirements: 

  1. The student will receive a grade of 92% or better for the first three-quarters of 10th grade English.
  2. The student will have an 87% or better G.P.A.
  3. Class size will be limited to 15. Students will be accepted in order of their rank in their present English class. Depending on the talents of a particular class, the administration may schedule two sections of Honors American Literature.

 

Senior English Honors Requirements 

  1. The student will receive a grade of 90% or better for the first three-quarters of the 11th grade English
  2. The student will have an 87% or better GPA
  3. The class size will be limited. Students will be accepted in order of their present English class. Depending on the talents of a particular class, the administration may schedule two sections of Senior English Honors.

 

AP Literature Requirements: 

  1. The student will receive a grade of 93% or better for the first three-quarters of 11th grade English.
  2. The student will have an 87% or better GPA
  3. The student will score no less than a 27 on the verbal or reading section of the ACT.
  4. Class size will be limited. Students will be accepted in order of their rank in their present English class as well as their performance on the ACT. Depending on the talents of a particular class, the administration may schedule two sections of AP English.

American Literature Honors is designed to develop student’s critical reading and thinking, as well as their ability to communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and listening. Students will practice close reading on a variety of American texts, from Anne Bradstreet to J.D. Salinger and produce numerous pieces of writing. American Literature Honors requires additional reading, writing, and further analysis of literary works covered in American Literature (English III), including additional material by John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, and Zora Neale Hurston. A number of poetry genres will be covered and students will read and discuss American plays written by Eugene O’Neill, Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller. Work with the vocabulary series continues with Wordly Wise Book 11

(Grade 12) World Classics Honors is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of works from World Literature. Through close reading of texts ranging from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, students will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide meaning and pleasure for their audience. As they read and write their own critiques, students should consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Wordly Wise 12 completes our four-year sequential vocabulary program. 

(Grade 12) AP English has three main objectives: (1) to improve the student's analytical writing, (2) to improve the student's analysis of various literary genres, and (3) to acquaint the student with various types of criticism. All AP English students must take the National Advanced Placement in English exam administered in early May. The cost of this exam is around $80.00.  

AP English is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Reading in this course is both wide and deep. The students will read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. In addition to understanding a work’s literary artistry, students will consider the social and historical values it reflects. Writing is essential. Essays will focus on the critical analysis of a work and will include expository, analytical, and argumentative pieces. The goal is to increase the students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even eloquently what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. Wordly Wise 12 completes our four-year sequential vocabulary series.