Students are required to complete four years of English culminating in a comprehensive Regents examination. The goal of the English program is to promote critical literary thought and analysis; an appreciation of fine literature in various genre (short story, novel, poetry, essay, drama); proper written usage (spelling, usage and vocabulary); and effective oral and written expression. All courses integrate literature and language skills and reinforce library skills.

English – 9th Grade

Students develop skills in process writing that have application to all subject areas. Students are trained to write and facilitate clear, correct and creative writing. Library skills applicable to all disciplines are developed. The study of literature emphasizes American authors and includes the study of works by Steinbach, Hemingway, Thurber, and O.S. Card.

English – 10th Grade

Students in this course read books by prominent authors from Britain and Europe. Included are works by Chaucer, Dickens, Shakespeare and Swift. Special attention is paid to short stories and poetry. The writing program includes literary reviews, letters to the editor, human interest stories and critical writing. Students are also prepared for the PSATs and SATs through lessons on vocabulary, analogies and other comprehension exercises.

English – 11th Grade

Students study great works in American literature as a complement to their history course. Major authors include Hawthorne, Melville, Crane, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. English language skills needed for the SAT are integrated into the course.

English – 12th Grade

Twelfth grade English concentrates on the methods and techniques of critical reading. In either AP English or Honors English, students are required to thoroughly understand metaphor, symbol, allusion, personification, connotation and denotation. Literary works studied are mainly 20th century writings and include Williams, Miller, Kafka, Oates, O’ Connor and Shaw. The theme of modern man’s alienation and disillusionment is explored. In addition, two Shakespearean tragedies and poetry are studied.

In the area of technical English, the work of the previous terms is continued with an emphasis on the development of the ideas and writing themes on literature.

AP English

College writing programs recognize that skill in writing follows from students’ awareness of their own composing processes: the way they explore ideas, reconsider strategies and revise their work. This process is emphasized in the AP English course. If you do well on the AP exam you will earn college credits.

Students have the opportunity to express their talents through the school’s literary magazine, newspaper, yearbook and debating team.