James Dixon
802-295-8610 Ext. *2130

Jonathan Grobe
802-295-8610 Ext. *2128

Kara Garrow
802-295-8610 Ext. *2107

Michael Landau
802-295-8610 Ext. *2126

Erin Stevens
802-295-8610 Ext. *2111

Melissa Wyman (Chair)
802-295-8610 Ext. *2105

Tricia Pfeiffer
Tricia Pfeiffer
802-295-8610 Ext. *2123

English Department

All students need four non-elective credits in English—one of which must be Patterns of Literature & Learning—in order to graduate. Perspectives in Literature, American Literature and Professional Communication & Composition are the subsequent courses that most students will elect to take to fulfill the required four credits. There are “Advanced” equivalents to these courses that students may take for a greater challenge. Those students wishing to progress beyond these offerings will have the opportunity to take English Literature & Composition (Advanced Placement).

Patterns of Literature and Learning

All students must enroll in and pass Patterns of Literature & Learning. All freshmen students, unless otherwise recommended by staff, must enroll in this course. This is a yearlong, heterogeneously grouped survey course that will expose students to the power of story: from ancient mythology to modern day literature, students will explore the art of storytelling through the lens of Focus, Form, Voice, Depth, and Audience. Students will build vocabulary attack skills and acquisition, practice identifying and using parts of speech, and apply these to developing the skills and organization needed to plan and execute a written essay, as well as improve overall reading comprehension. Students will also work concurrently with guidance on personalized learning plans. All teachers will support the development of executive functioning skills such as organization and time management. During the second semester, students may elect to attempt an advanced studies path. Successful completion of this path includes reflecting on growth and using coursework as evidence of proficiency in transferable skill areas.

Perspectives in Literature

Perspectives in Literature will emphasize the reading and analysis of complex texts spanning a range of time periods and geographic locations. This course will utilize excerpts and larger works to explore a range of cultures. As consistent with the departmental philosophy, these literary and informational texts will be explored through the use of Focus, Form, Voice, Depth and Audience.

Perspectives in Literature (Advanced)

This course will extend beyond the standard curriculum for Perspectives in Literature and go into greater depth of key concepts and understanding. Aside from a level of rigor, Advanced Perspectives in Literature will maintain the same curriculum as Perspectives in Literature: reading and analysis of complex texts spanning a range of time periods and geographic locations; exploring historic culture; implementing Focus, Form, Voice, Depth and Audience; and analytical writing.

American Literature

This course explores themes central to American culture and identity through both modern and classic texts. Students will use novels, poetry, film, historical documents, and non-fiction writing to enhance their critical thinking and analysis skills. Themes and concepts such as freedom, the realities of the American Dream, society’s influence on the individual, and others will be explored, The course is designed to be responsive to student need and interest. Through creative and personal writing, analytical responses, presentations, and projects, students will strive towards goals in reading, writing, speaking, and listening through the lenses of Focus, Form, Voice, Depth and Audience.

American Literature (Advanced)

This is an accelerated, rigorous course that involves critically reading and responding to American Literature from America’s conception to modern times. Students will construct a sense of the American Identity through an exploration of modern and classic novels, essays, poetry, film, short fiction, and critical analyses. Themes and concepts such as freedom, the realities of the American Dream, and inequalities of the past and in the present will be explored through close reading, critical analysis, and structured discussion. In this course, there will be a focus on literary techniques and various literary theories in order to assist students in stepping into the role of literary critic, pushing their critical thinking, problem solving, and awareness of perspective to an advanced level. This course will prepare students for Advanced English and Composition.

Professional Communication & Composition

This course focuses on the necessary skills and tools needed to be successful and to adapt to the college and business worlds. Students will develop communication and composition skills and will work collaboratively to develop their ability to analyze and interpret information, write professional documents, and speak effectively. Students will pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice and produce a paper that reflects a deep understanding of a topic. This course is meant for those students who want to work on the skills that college professors look for in their classrooms and business leaders seek in their employees, and is intended to bridge the gap between high school and college or career entry.

English Literature & Composition (Advanced)

Advanced English & Composition emphasizes the power of clear and articulate language. Here students will implement their knowledge of literary conventions and how they serve to create communicative art forms. There is a heavy emphasis in writing conventions (grammar, usage and mechanics) and their application toward the critical writing of both texts and film: poetic, dramatic, fictional, informational and persuasive. Students will also be required to deliver several oral presentations both of academic and personal content. The instructor assumes that all students enrolled will exhibit the motivation and interest of those who are seeking post-secondary education.

*There is a pre-reading and writing component to this course that MUST be completed before the course begins--NO EXCEPTIONS.

English Literature & Composition (Advanced Placement)

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is for students who wish to take the AP Literature Exam through The College Board. Poetry, drama and fictional works are the core topics of study and serve as the tools for literary criticism through precise analyses of literature. In order to best prepare students for the AP exam, they will read extensively, become familiar with literary terminology and classifications, and write numerous critical essays. This course is for students who exhibit college level motivation and interest in literature. Please see course syllabus for more detailed information and requirements.

*Exam expectation: A student enrolling in this course will take the AP exam in May. The exam fee is approximately $89--funding this exam should not be a deterrent for enrollment. See the English Department Coordinator for financial assistance.

Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP exam in the spring as part of the course requirements. Failure to take the exam will change the identification of the course on the transcript to read "Advanced" rather than "AP" and the grade value will be reduced from weighted to unweighted.


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