The English Department is striving to increase and improve our students’ writing, not only in their English classes, but across the entire curriculum. We are working with every department on campus to read an “Article a Week” of informational text that ties into various subject areas and prompt discussions in multiple classes.
We work together with all departments to make sure we have vertical alignment and that we are preparing our students to be successful in the future. Our goal is to ensure that cadets are building their knowledge base so they are prepared for the next level class.
Much of our teaching is theme-based, and we pride ourselves on guiding students to discovery and enhancing higher level critical thinking skills with “Essential Questions” that tie in personal experiences, current events, and societal issues within literature.
AP English Language & Composition – 11th grade- UC-Approved Honors Course- Full Year
Pre-requisite: An “A” or “B” in English 10 Advanced or an “A” in English 10 with instructor approval.
The objective of AP English 11 is to guide the highest-achieving cadets to become better writers and more critical readers. Through extensive reading and discussion of primarily non-fiction, and a wide variety of writing exercises and formal written assignments, students will gain rhetorical skills necessary for success in any college discipline. Several types of expository writing will be covered, while moving at a college level pace. This course is meant to replace a college writing and rhetoric course, and in preparation for this, students will take several longer papers through a series of drafts to learn to evaluate their own and others’ writing and rhetorical strategies. During the second semester, the class will include extensive preparation for the AP Language and Composition exam in May. Extensive outside reading, discussion, and written assignments will develop thinking and language skills in preparation for AP English 12. Review and mastery of the various modes of discourse required for AP English 12 is a primary course goal. This course differs from English 11 in both breadth and depth, requiring more reading, more writing and more higher-order thinking skills in all work.
AP English Literature and Composition – 12th grade- UC Approved Honors Course- Full Year
Pre-requisite: An “A” or “B” in AP English Language and Composition or an “An” in English 11 with instructor approval.
The Advanced Placement course for Literature and Composition will guide the highest-achieving cadets to become better writers and more critical readers. Through extensive reading and response to a wide range of literary genres, and a wide variety of writing exercises and formal written assignments, students will gain analytical skills necessary for success in any college discipline. Several representative authors are studied in the genres of poetry, drama, fiction (novel and short story,) and expository prose while moving at a college level pace. This course is meant to replace a college introductory literature course, and in preparation for this, students will take several longer papers through a series of drafts to learn to evaluate their own and others’ literary analysis strategies. During the second semester, the class will include extensive preparation for the AP Literature and Composition exam in May.
English 10 and English 10 Advanced* – 10th grade- UC-Approved Course- Full Year
The objective of English 10 is to develop skills in reading comprehension, composition, and oral communication. The course exposes cadets to forms of literature including short stories, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and novels. Cadets learn how to read actively in order to improve comprehension and retention of their readings. Weekly lessons of vocabulary and grammar enable cadets to become better communicators both in speech and in writing. Monthly composition workshops refine writing styles of cadets and monitor their progress through individual portfolios. Throughout the course, SAT verbal preparation will be emphasized.
*For those cadets seeking fuller academic opportinity, advanced courses offer a more challenging learning experience through an increased depth of curricular content at an accelerated pace. Heightened student expectation requires teacher recommendation.
English 11- 11th grade- UC-Approved Course- Full Year
The objective of English 11 is to further the skills developed through English 10 and to provide cadets an overview of American literature from the Colonial period to the present. Cadets will survey the breadth of the American literary canon by reading essays, short stories, poems, plays, and novels from all of the American literary schools of thought. Writing skills will focus on (a) organization, which will be modeled by, but not dictated by, the five-paragraph essay format; (b) the standard usage rules of both grammar and punctuation; and (c) the necessity of specific examples embedded within the content of any well-developed essay. Targeted critical thinking skills encourage cadets to form educated, individual opinions on the assigned subject matter while taking an active part in class discussion.
English 12- 12th grade- UC-Approved Course- Full Year
The objective of English 12 is to further the skills developed in English 11 and to prepare the cadet fully for an entry-level college English class without the necessity for remediation. Cadets will survey the breadth of British literature by reading essays, short stories, poems, plays, and novels from the Anglo-Saxon period of epic poetry up through the Modern Age of literature. For writing skills, cadets will move beyond the imposed boundaries of the five-paragraph essay and will learn the difference between opinion and fact; they will write essays covering the skills of description, comparison and contrast, analysis, argument, and detailed research. For thinking skills, cadets will be further encouraged to form educated, individual opinions on the assigned subject matter while taking an active part in class discussions.
English 7 – 7th grade – Full Year
English 7 will introduce the cadets to the fundamentals of grammar, usage, mechanics, and the writing process. Reflective of the California standard in the instruction of written composition, the process writing paradigm of pre-write, draft, revise, edit and publish is reinforced and fully implemented. Cadets will study the techniques of informative, persuasive and creative writing, and demonstrate proficiency through written responses to literature, compositions, and letters. In addition, cadets will use an English 7 Wordly Wise text which provides comprehensive instruction and practice with vocabulary words commonly found on the SAT I exam. Reading comprehension strategies will emphasize the identification and use of key plot elements, characterization, and story structure to enhance the comprehension process.
English 8 – 8th grade – Full Year
English 8 will encourage cadets to see themselves as writers. The finer points of English grammar are instructed through the use of classroom explanation/discussions related to the revise and edit steps of the process writing paradigm. Through analysis of their own compositions, cadets are introduced to the rhetorical patters and grammatical tools necessary to write clearly. Textbook assignments and supplemental, related homework tasks reinforce facility with standard grammar conventions. As cadets gain confidence in writing across the narrative, expository, descriptive and persuasive genres, they will learn to develop the organizational focus and supportive detailing necessary to quality written composition. Weekly Wordly Wise vocabulary lessons targeting SAT I content, spelling, poetry study, public speaking and other supplemental units are also offered throughout the course of the academic year. Reading strategies are sharpened. While continuing to target plot element, and characterization as keys to comprehension, the focus begins to expand using plot event and character action as instructional vehicles building the bridge to the inferential comprehension of authors’ implied, underlying meaning.
English 9 and English 9 Advanced* – 9th grade – UC Approved Course Full Year
The chief objective of English 9 lies in the development of greater writing skills and higher-level reading comprehension strategies. Writing activities target a variety of narrative and expository compositions while emphasizing the five paragraph format in light of the process writing paradigm. In developing reading comprehension strategies, students work toward identifying main idea, interpreting authors’ inferential meaning, and recognizing literary vocabulary and device. Beyond the vocabulary and grammar inherent in the reading and writing portions of the class, cadets study grammar and SAT preparation vocabulary on a weekly basis.
*For those cadets seeking fuller academic opportunity, advanced courses offer a more challenging learning experience through an increased depth of curricular content at an accelerated pace. Heightened student expectation requires teacher recommendation.