Julissa Marrero, Assistant Principal
The English Department is committed to developing and enhancing our students’ ability to think critically and express themselves effectively. The critical and aesthetic examination and analysis of classic and contemporary literature serve as a context for students’ development as critical thinkers and writers with their own creative voice. All students must complete four years of English. The English Language Arts (ELA) Regents examination is generally taken after the junior year, but English honors students do so after the sophomore year (i.e. English 4H).
Close textual reading, process writing, and critical thinking skills drive the curriculum. A balanced literacy approach is also utilized.
The ELA curriculum includes the following components each term:
- Studying three or four major works (novels, dramas, and memoirs) in addition to short stories, poetry, and non-fiction essays.
- Producing a variety of writing products, including: reading responses, expository essays, reflective essays, literary essays, research papers, poetry, monologues, and dialogues.
- Writing a minimum of four essays, two specifically written in class to give students practice writing an organized, thoughtful essay in a forty-minute period of time.
- Building vocabulary, with a minimum of 100 new words pulled from the texts studied and/or SAT lists.
- Employing literary terms, with a minimum of 5-10 specific terms assigned each term according to grade level to ensure the scaffolding of skills and knowledge.
- Employing grammar devices, with a minimum of 5-10 specific devices assigned each term according to grade level to ensure the scaffolding of skills and knowledge.
- Mastering specific skills needed for success on the ELA Regents including modeling of essay prompts. Skills covered include: listening, reading and producing reports, reading graph material, comparing/contrasting two pieces of literature, interpreting texts through a critical lens, and firmly taking a position or point of view in writing an essay.
- Utilizing skills needed for success on the SAT 2400; models of the SAT essay prompts are utilized to help students prepare for the writing portion of the exam.
- Major Assessments 50%
- Participation/Classwork 25%
- Homework/Preparation 15%
- Final Exam/Project 10%
English Language and Composition, Advanced Placement – This course engages students in becoming skilled readers of non-fiction essays and texts from a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers for a variety of purposes. Students are prepared for the AP Language and Composition exam. The course also incorporates some of the American literature covered in the Junior year curriculum.
Journalism II – Media Studies – We will continue to produce the school newspaper. Texts include Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, George Crile’s Charlie Wilson’s War, and several supplementary works. Students will maintain their own news blogs and learn more about career opportunities in journalism. We will analyze the news media critically through a variety of lenses. Students will complete a major research paper on representation of a contemporary story in the news media. This credit bearing elective course does not fulfill the NYS graduation requirement. This course is for Seniors only.