The English program aims in its four-year sequence to cultivate interest and competence in, as well as respect for, language and literature. The program is intended to assure steady growth in the student’s ability to write and speak well; to read and listen with understanding and insight, and to think critically.

English 9, 10, and 11
The English Department provides in the first three years a common program for all students in courses that include frequent practice in writing and speaking, attentive study of selected books, wide collateral reading and close attention to the workings of language. This program culminates with the Common Core Regents examination in English, required of all students, which they take at the end of their junior year.

Honors Courses
The work of the Honors section is organized in much the same way as that of the English R courses, but aims at a greater proficiency in skills, wider range in reading and greater depth in understanding. To achieve these goals, students are expected to perform at a faster pace, show greater levels of independence, and demonstrate greater skill in writing.

01221 ENGLISH 9R: THE INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 9
The course includes 1) reading and study of literature centering on certain broad areas of subject matter and theme, exploring the role of the individual in society; 2) collateral reading intended to encourage wide reading and the ability to recognize similarities and differences in books; 3) writing, focusing on narration, exposition, and argument and aiming at precision and accuracy of observation and language; 4) study of grammar and usage directed toward greater effectiveness and precision in writing and speaking; 5) practice in formal and informal speech situations; and 6) practice of skills in the research process.

01250 ENGLISH 9 HONORS

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 9
This course is focused around the curricular areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, but does so at a more advanced level. Students who are considering this course must have strong language skills and a genuine interest in exploring readings to greater depth. Reading assignments are lengthier, require advanced vocabulary and are generally more demanding in depth and scope. Writings are more frequent and require advanced language use. Full participation in daily class discussions as well as formal presentations is expected.

02221 ENGLISH 10R: THE INDIVIDUAL QUEST

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 10
This course extends the work of the previous year. In writing and speaking, and in the study of literature and language, evidence of maturing skills is expected. The course includes 1) reading and study of literature centering on broad areas of subject matter and theme emphasizing the quest for identity and individuality; 2) collateral reading to encourage diversity of reading and the ability to compare and contrast differing literary interpretations of similar subjects; 3) frequent writing in narration, exposition and argument, drawing on literature and the student’s experience as sources for subject and method; 4) emphasis in grammar on sentence structure and word order, particularly complex sentences and phrase and clause modifiers; 5) practice and training in a variety of speaking situations; and 6) practice of advanced skills used in writing research papers.

02250 ENGLISH 10 HONORS

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 10
This course follows a curricular focus similar to that of a Regents class but moves students more quickly toward abstract interpretations in literature. In their own writings, students will work toward critical analysis as well as complexity in language construction. Students should be strong writers and enjoy the challenge of reading lengthier and more difficult texts. Through active participation in class discussion, students are expected to demonstrate their level of insight on a daily basis.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 9R or English 9H

03221 ENGLISH 11R: THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 11
The course is designed primarily as a preparation for college study and focuses on American works as reflections of life and thought in our country from the nineteenth century to the modern period. Composition work in a variety of expository, persuasive and imaginative modes along with frequent practice in formal and informal speaking situations develops clear and effective thought and expression. Language study includes regular vocabulary, grammar and usage work. Students will complete a variety of extended tasks and will take the English Regents examination in June.

03250 AP ENGLISH 11 HONORS

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 11
A course for superior, motivated students, English 11 Honors simulates elements of a college-level course in demand and intensity, preparing students for the AP exam in English Language and Composition. Working with all the genres of diverse lengths, the course engages students in structure, language, and theme integrated with the historical literary periods and criticism. What is American culture and how has its meaning and expression changed over time? Are the values conveyed in literature the same values of its time or our time? To get at these and other questions, students engage in a variety of participatory, discussion-based, collaborative and individual activities all aimed to create greater personal academic responsibility and enriched writing. Honing writing skills, expanding vocabulary, reading insightfully, and writing purposefully are the aims of the course. The English Regents exam serves as the final exam.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10R or English 10H

ENGLISH 12

Except for those students continuing in the Honors programs, the department offers seniors the opportunity to choose from a variety of semester length courses that focus on a particular theme or genre. Each course provides a significant experience in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and works to prepare students for academic reading and writing beyond high school. Students must successfully complete a minimum of two semesters of senior courses to meet graduation requirements, taking one-half credit per semester. Requests to deviate from this pattern must be approved by the director of the English Department. Seniors who show a particular interest in English are encouraged to take more than two courses by enrolling in additional senior courses and may indicate this desire during the enrollment process. Students must complete English 9 and English 10 before enrolling in senior courses for the purposes of early graduation.

04150 AP ENGLISH 12 HONORS

1 year, 1 credit, Grade 12
English 12 Honors is a college-level course for superior students. It involves critical study of selected major works of poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction, tracing recurrent concerns of mankind as expressed in a variety of texts. The course is reading and writing intensive and asks students to study and apply critical theory and work with literary criticism. A high level of verbal competence and skill in writing is required, as well as the power of sustained independent inquiry. Students completing English 12H are prepared to take the AP examination in Literature and Composition. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11R or English 11H

04200 SUPA ENGLISH 12 HONORS

(University in the High School Program)
1 year, 1 credit, Grade 12
This college course, which is affiliated with Syracuse University, allows students to earn six academic credits through an official college transcript. If paying $672 tuition, students are enrolled in Writing 105— Practices of Academic Writing and ETS 192 — Gender and Literary Texts. With official Syracuse University student status, these students will work periodically with SU professors and have access to campus libraries, etc. It also involves critical study of canonical and current works of poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction, but has an emphasis on analytical writing process strategies in the first semester and theoretical perspectives in the second semester. The courses are reading and writing intensive and ask students to study and apply critical theory and work with literary criticism. A high level of verbal competence and skill in writing is required, as well as the power of sustained independent inquiry. Students complete a project at the end of the course which counts as the final exam.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11R or English 11H

04300 THE ART AND LITERATURE OF THE CINEMA

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
This course is designed to prepare students for the complex reading and analysis tasks related to the growing influence of film. By focusing on the cinematic techniques that directors use to shape a story, the course will teach students to explore the art of the film and the relationship between movies and culture. Students view films that span several decades and a variety of themes. The textbook, Get the Picture, provides students with a foundation in cinematic structures and story development strategies. Critical to the course is the daily film journal; additional analytical writings and presentations are regularly assigned. As per school policy, a consent form indicating parental permission for viewing the proposed films is required. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04400 SHAKESPEARE

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
This course focuses on Shakespeare’s work and emphasizes a performance-based understanding of various plays. Much of the reading is assigned as homework so that class time can be spent on dramatization, creative projects, discussions and presentations. Students will write analysis, speeches and scripts. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04340 PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WRITING

(College in the High School Program)
1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
In this course students will learn the writing techniques important in the business and technical environment. Students will evaluate professional situations, determine the best textual format for purpose and audience, and create documents using collaborative electronic tools. Students will work in a simulated business environment and learn how to communicate a professional image, write promotional documents as well as produce instructional manuals, product descriptions and executive summary statements. Students will work collaboratively to manage projects and give oral presentations for professional audiences using a variety of electronic forms. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course. Upon successful completion of this course, students may be eligible for college credit through Schenectady County Community College.
Pre-requisite for college credit: Successful completion of Forms of Writing and enrollment in SCCC Eng 123.

04550 CREATIVE WRITING

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
The course is intended for students who have mastered the skills of expository writing and who now wish the opportunity to create original poetry, non-fiction and fiction. Regular journal writing and research are required. In addition, there is assigned reading of models in poetry and selections from writers of fiction and non-fiction. Students are expected to maintain a writing portfolio, and its development throughout is critical to the course. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04600 FANTASY

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
This half-year senior elective offers students the opportunity to study the contemporary fantasy genre by reading representative novels like The Hobbit and Harry Potter. The course examines the theme of good vs. evil, the heroic archetype and the particular setting and characters expected in fantasy. Through excerpts and short stories, the course will look at the origins of the genre in Greek myth, Anglo-Saxon epic, English literature and American pulp fiction. Recent and exciting developments in the filming of fantasy will be compared to earlier, less-dignified attempts in animation and live action. As part of this course, students will be expected to read additional fantasy on their own, write papers and create projects. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04650 FORMS OF WRITING

(College in the High School Program)
1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
This course is designed to prepare the already proficient writer for the rigors of college writing. Emphasis is on clarity and accuracy of language use, precision in the development of ideas, effectiveness of organization and logical argumentation. Units of study focus on narrative, expository and argumentative writing. Readings from literature and the social sciences are used as professional models and students will also practice elements of speech writing. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.  Upon successful completion of this course, students may be eligible for college credit through Schenectady County Community College​.
Pre-requisite for college credit: Successful completion of English 11R and the English Regents exam

04351 CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
The publishing industry evolves as consumer habits change and issues arise in American culture. In this course, students will read fiction and non fiction selected from best seller lists and scholarly lists (i.e. Library Journal, National Book Critics Circle Award, NY Times Best Seller). Literary analysis, reader response, and research strategies are all components of this class. Recent books evaluated include Kite Runner, Persepolis, Three Cups of Tea. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04801 JOURNALISM

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
Students research and investigate topics while learning to gather accurate information, conduct interviews and write interesting articles for the student newspaper, television and other authentic sources in this college prep course. Students will read the textbook, Journalism Today as they study the structures for news, feature, arts, opinion and sports writing. The course also examines the often controversial role the media plays in delivering information to the public. Requirements include regular reading and viewing of news, willingness to interview people outside of class, and active curiosity. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04860 SPORTS LITERATURE

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
Sports Literature offers an intense study of reading and writing. The reading opportunities include an exploration of fiction, nonfiction and public discourse (media) materials that represent the athletic community. Writing assignments will include literary analysis, personal reflection, critical research and sports reporting. Students will be expected to conduct critical analysis concerning the personal and professional influence of sports. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

04881 EXPLORING NON-FICTION THROUGH DOCUMENTARY AND MASS MEDIA

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
Tom Hanks explains cinema as “a collection of color and sound…and an emotional wallop you might not be able to understand.” In this course, we work to understand how images, sound, and language interact with each other, and how creators of documentary film and mass media use this magic to affect an audience. While the course will focus on documentary film, the goal is to make students better readers of all nonfiction. In a world saturated with media that tells us what to think and how to feel, it is essential that students become empowered critical consumers of mass media. Students will analyze the arguments of others and craft arguments of their own through a variety of projects and assignments that include scene analysis papers, daily entries in a writer’s notebook, and a final exam.

04890 THE POWER OF MYTH AND STAR WARS

1 Semester, 1/2 credit, Grade 12
This literary analysis class bases its premise on aspects of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and Machiavelli’s The Prince. Students will read excerpts from both texts and watch portions of the PBS documentary series, The Power of Myth, to develop an understanding of the monomyth and Machiavellian rulers. Students will then apply those seminal works to George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. Class discussions are frequent, and written application and analysis of concepts is required throughout the course. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

SUPPLEMENTARY COURSES IN ENGLISH

The following courses are intended to supplement the English program and may be elected in addition to grade-level courses but may not be elected in lieu of such courses. We alternate the choices each year. These courses do not satisfy the English requirement.

05100 DRAMA

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12
This course is designed for students interested in studying dramatic literature and participating in dramatic activities, improvisation, and theater exercises. Students read and analyze plays, write original monologues and scenes, and perform short scenes from the texts studied. The course is designed to build an awareness of the considerations involved in translating the written text of a dramatic work into a living production, to deepen students’ understanding of the art of the theatre, and to develop their acting talents. Students are asked to interpret scripts they have read and demonstrate this understanding through their own performances. Students take a final exam component at the end of the course.

05200 UNDERCLASSMEN CREATIVE WRITING (9-11)

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-11
This course offers students who are interested in creating original poetry, fiction and nonfiction an opportunity to experiment with various genres, techniques and strategies while developing a Writer’s Notebook. Students will study primarily short texts so they can be exposed to a large variety of writing styles and literary techniques while observing differences depending upon intended audience and publication. In the Writer’s Notebook, students will experiment with the techniques they are offered in class, practice them and study the impact each technique has on a given writing piece.