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AP English Language & Composition

This course is designed to help students become analytical, rhetorical readers and writers. Students are taught to read critically by focusing their attention on the choices that authors make in relation to social context(s), audience(s), and purpose(s).

Most texts used throughout the year will be nonfiction and will come from a variety of formal and informal sources and genres (e.g., academic journals, advertisements, scientific arguments, letters, political cartoons, critical essays, charts and graphs, etc.). Students will also be required to produce formal and informal writings of the same sort; consequently, the course helps students become skilled, rhetorical writers who compose for a variety of purposes within a variety of contexts. Students learn to write while making their own choices that pay strict attention to social context(s), target audience(s), rhetorical mode(s), and overall purpose(s).

AP English Language and Composition enables students to read complex texts with understanding, while also teaching them to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. The ultimate goal of building the rhetorical skills the class fosters is to help mold the students into individuals who will actively and intelligently engage with the world around them.

Elective: 5 credits

Prerequisite: 90 or above in English 11 or an 80 or above in AP English Literature & Composition

AP English Literature & Composition

Proper literary analysis requires a student to look at the pieces and parts of a given work, figure out how each piece and part functions, and understand the purpose of that function, ultimately connecting that purpose to the functionality and to the work as a whole. When students learn to effectively analyze language through the study of literature, they learn to think critically about the world around them. Writing and thinking are two intrinsically linked processes; one fosters and nurtures the development of the other.

Through learning to write effectively and expressing abstract ideas, students learn to organize their thoughts in a clear communicative manner. Students will learn how to manage unfamiliar texts and the pressure of producing an effective analytical essay, especially under timed conditions.

Along with preparing students to be successful on the AP exam, this class will also focus on making sure each student is prepared for the rigors of the college classroom; therefore, the students must also learn how to produce long term, research-based essays.

Elective: 5 credits

Prerequisite: 90 or above in English 10 or an 85 or above in Honors English 10

British Literature & Composition

Using selected writings from British literature as a springboard for study, this course will prepare students for expository writing experiences they can expect in college. Students will craft writing assignments examining different essay styles and discussing basic themes which helped shape British culture.

Themes examined in literature reflect changes in the way we look at ourselves in relation to God, to others, and to our environment. The themes will be discussed in cultural, political, scientific, and spiritual contexts. Works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Bronte, Milton, Wordsworth, Dickens, C.S. Lewis and others will be considered.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: Senior

Contemporary Literature & Composition

This course will use themes from selected literature written after World War II as a focal point for developing the expository writing skills required of students in college classes.

Students will craft writing assignments examining different essay styles and discussing basic themes which helped shape post WWII culture. The literature chosen will provide students with a natural vehicle for discussing important issues of contemporary society in a Christian setting. Issues raised will include family values, friendships, homosexuality, immigration, mass incarceration, and racism. Literature will be chosen carefully and class discussions will focus on how Christians, in obedience to Scripture, should respond to the difficult issues of contemporary society.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: Senior

Creative Writing

This one-semester course is designed to offer the outlet for creative self-expression that literature lovers crave, but rarely have time to explore in core English classes.

Students will experience a wide range of poetry and prose, emulating masters of language while developing their unique voice in original pieces. The latter half of the course will delve into the art of argumentation, providing participants with the necessary skills to effectively voice their worldview and impact their communities. Formal debates on contemporary topics will incorporate research, passion, style, wit, and rhetoric into authentic discussions on student-selected issues.

This course will emphasize the power of publication, and students will be equipped to submit sophisticated pieces to various community forums.

Elective: 2.5 credits

Prerequisite: None

English 9

This course combines exposure to all basic literary genres with the study of grammar, vocabulary, and composition. Students are equipped with the ability to identify themes, symbols, and literary style.

Understanding this material enables students to communicate effectively as Christians both in writing and in speech. The study of literature, which exposes students to elements outside their own personal experience, broadens their perspective to better understand their roles as Christians in God’s creation.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: None

Honors English 9

In this class, we focus on literary analysis using various classic works including: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton; Lord of the Flies by William Golding; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; and Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare.

Students’ writing assignments focus on writing about thesis statements and evidence as well as learning to write in a clear, concise, complete, and compelling manner. In addition, we study approximately 100 Greek and Latin roots that commonly occur in the English Language.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: 90 or above in prior English class. This class is limited in size. Enrollment is based on the student’s previous year’s English grade and High School Placement Test.

English 10: World Literature and English Grammar

World Literature is a survey course in which students explore works of different genres, continents, and literary periods. Students will study common archetypes across cultures and apply literary critical theories while delving deeply into stories. This course also focuses on the necessary processes for crafting sophisticated pieces of writing. Students will be implored to think critically and will seek to answer a wide range of essential questions, including:

  • Why do humans need to interact with stories?
  • What connections can we find across cultures and historical periods?
  • How does a Christian worldview align with or respond to this author’s work?
  • How do different cultures shape the definitions of good and evil?
  • In the face of adversity, what causes some individuals to prevail while others fail?
  • When is it appropriate to challenge the beliefs or values of society?

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: English 9

Honors English 10: World Literature and English Grammar

This course will rely on major works of world literature in order to introduce, review, and explore literary and rhetorical elements. In conjunction with literary and rhetorical analysis, students will also be exposed to integrated grammar in order to sharpen their understanding of language function; this will primarily focus on syntactical construction. While students are considering the aforementioned in their studies, they will also be exploring how world texts relate to how they understand their own personal stories (and histories) and character, and the character of God. Literature is used to universally illustrate elements of the human experience; in doing so, it provides an ample springboard to explore the character of God.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: 90 or above in English 9 or an 85 or above in Honors English 9

English 11: U.S. Literature and Composition

In this course, students undertake an entire year of American Literature study. We study two major novels in American Literature as well
as other important works. Students are expected to have an understanding of major movements such as Native American Literature, African American Literature, Modernism, Realism, Romanticism, Postmodernism and Existentialism. Students are strongly encouraged to think and respond to themes introduced by the class readings. We also have an intensive, ongoing vocabulary study that helps prepare students for the SAT.

Required: 5 credits

Prerequisite: English 10


Journalism students are introduced to the historical importance of journalism in America. They study the basic principles of print and online journalism as they examine the role of printed news media in our society. They learn investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic writing techniques as they read, respond to, and write their own news and feature articles.

Students conduct interviews, research, write, and design their own publications. Topics include: News Then and Now; Elements of signature journalistic writing pieces; Ethics and the Law; Interviewing and Research Skills; AP Style; Editing; and Proofreading.

Elective: 2.5 credits

Prerequisite: None


This is a course in which students are helped to speak effectively in a formal setting. The process of verbal communication will be analyzed in several speeches and evaluations. Students will practice their skills by building and delivering both informative and persuasive speeches for classroom observation. Speeches begin as 30 second readings and build to a final 15 minute presentation.

Required: 2.5 credits

Prerequisite: Junior – Senior