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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: Piecing Me Together by Renèe Watson

English summer reading: 
  • Grade 9 - Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  • Grade 10 – Silas Marner by George Eliot 
  • 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 – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Grade 12 A.P. Literature – A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving  &  All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

(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, beginning with foundational texts in the canon of western literature and progressing to more contemporary examples. 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 in World Literature is a student who thinks critically and writes clearly about what she reads.

 (Grade 10) The two-semester sophomore course follows the traditional triad of language, literature, and composition. Language lessons include five-exercise vocabulary assignments in Wordly Wise, additional vocabulary from selected literary works, and grammar and usage lessons from relevant packets. Literature units address the epic of Beowulf, three novels, two Shakespearean plays, and additional prose and verse from several electronic texts. All told, the literary works provide a generic sketch of the canon from Classical through modern times. Composition study includes an approach to writing by precept and practice. Students enhance their experience with multi-paragraph essays, learning to go beyond the three-pronged thesis to alternative forms. Literary analysis and research are important dimensions of advanced composition, and students will be exercising these skills with the progression of each literary work throughout the year.  

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.  

AP Literature Requirements: 

  1. 92% average for semester one of junior year English course
  2. 92% average for quarter three of junior year English course
  3. Class size will be limited. Students will be accepted in order of their rank in their present English class

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) AP Literature 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. This course 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, and even eloquently what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. While it is not mandatory that students take the AP Literature and Composition exam, the course will be taught to prepare students for it; the level of work and the expectations of student are firmly at the AP level. Wordly Wise 12 completes our four-year sequential vocabulary series.