Damien High School

English » English Course Descriptions

English Course Descriptions

English Department Chairperson: Dr. Michael Williams

 

English I

This course is required of all freshmen not enrolled in Honors English I.

 

(9) Students study rules of grammar and use these skills in writing short expository paragraphs and essays. Students also study vocabulary and spelling. Units on literature will focus on developing an appreciation of the author’s craft and will help teach the student the literary terminology, which will enable him to speak and write about literature.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

Honors English I

Prerequisite: 75th percentile or higher on both the Verbal and Reading sections of the Placement Examination (HSPT) or a combined score of 150 or above on the Verbal and Reading sections of the HSPT and a passing score on the Paragraph Response section of the placement exam.

 

(9) This course is designed for students who show a high level of proficiency in English. Students will spend less time on grammatical review and more time in reading and studying literature, which will include additional units in drama, poetry and the novel. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of narrative, descriptive and expository writing skills.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

English Language & Literature II

Prerequisite: None – This course is required for all sophomores not enrolled in Honors English II.

 

(10) Students will study grammar and composition, focusing on descriptive, expository, and analytical essays. The course also includes a literature component, which will introduce students to various literary genres (i.e. poetry, the short story and the novel).

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

Honors English Language & Literature II

Prerequisite: “B” or better in Honors English I, “A” in English I, OR permission of the Department Chair.

 

(10) Students will continue to develop their narrative, descriptive and expository writing -skills. A minimum of time will be spent on grammatical review. Special emphasis will be placed on the study of the short story, drama, and poetry. This study will include written analysis of the literature studied. The anthology used will be supplemented by the study of four novels chosen from a Sophomore Honors English reading list.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

American Literature

Prerequisite: None - This course is required for all juniors not enrolled in AP English Language.

 

(11) Students will review grammatical principles and will write longer, more analytical essays and papers. Vocabulary and test taking skills will also be studied. This course provides the student with an overview of the American literary tradition. Periods of American Literature are surveyed in several genres. The course is designed for junior level students, who will be simultaneously enrolled in United States History.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

Advanced Placement English Language & Composition

Prerequisite: “B” or better in Honors English II, “A” in English II, OR “A” in American Literature, OR permission of the Department Chair.

 

(11-12) According to the College Board, this course is designed to prepare students to “write effectively and confidently in their college courses.” To that end, the objectives of this course are to facilitate the development of students as skilled readers of different types of non-fiction prose and as skilled writers themselves. Additionally, students will continue to explore drama, poetry, the short story, the essay, and the novel. The student may receive college credit for his course work if he performs well on the Advanced Placement English Exam administered by the College Board. 11th graders should note that this is the first course of a two-course sequence (AP Language in 11th grade and AP Literature in 12th grade).

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

Composition and Rhetoric

Prerequisite: None – This course is required of all seniors not enrolled in AP Language or AP Literature.

 

(12). The purpose of this course is to prepare students for a successful transition to college level writing. To this end, this course will introduce students to a wide-range of rhetorical strategies used by non-fiction writers to address a variety of topics. The essays read will allow students to develop critical reading skills while simultaneously serving as models for student writing efforts. After exposure to a particular rhetorical strategy, students will engage in a number of composition activities that ask them to incorporate that strategy into their own writing. Apart from their composition and rhetoric studies, students will examine a wide range of works in World Literature as they read one novella, one play, and a handful of poems and short stories each semester.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

Advanced Placement English Literature & Composition

Prerequisite: AP English Language – this is the 2nd course of a two-course sequence (AP Language in 11th grade and AP Literature in 12th grade).

 

(12) Students in this course will be engaged in a close examination of major works of imaginative literature written over the course of the past five centuries. This close examination will require that students read carefully and analyze thoughtfully as they explore a variety of literary genres (drama, fiction, and poetry). As part of this process, students will reflect upon how a given author utilized various literary elements to construct meaning as he or she explored an element of the human experience. Lastly, as part of this process of interpretation, students will hone their writing skills through a series of analytical, argumentative, and expository essays concerning the literature under review.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement)

 

English Electives

 

Creative Writing (semester option available)

Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.

 

(10-12) Students will explore the art of writing plays, poems, short stories, and television scripts. Students will be strongly encouraged to submit work for publication.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)

 

The Hero’s Journey: From Sirens to Skywalker

Prerequisite: None.

 

(10-12) Students will explore the role of the hero’s journey in mythology and how the hero’s journey in contemporary works (including film) of fantasy and science fic­tion have drawn upon and deviated from the hero’s journey found in mythology. Students will also explore the relationship between fantasy and science fiction. Lastly, students will read a number of different texts’ that the nature and meaning of the hero’s journey for different societies.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)

 

Journalism

Prerequisite: Approval of Laconian advisor (Sem / Year option).

 

(10-12) This is a course in practical journalism. The major project of the students in this class will be the production of the Damien High School newspaper, the Laconi­an. The newspaper advisor must approve all students electing to take this course. Students must get an application for the course from the counselor.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)

 

Advanced Journalism

Prerequisite: Approval of Laconian advisor.

 

(11-12) The students in this class will have the responsibility of being section editors of the school newspaper, the Laconian, and will be actively involved in all aspects of the monthly production of the Laconian for the tri-school community. They shall be knowledgeable in various techniques of writing style. They shall be able to effec­tively use photography, graphics and charts, to apply computer skills in operating desk-top publishing and in scanning both photos and text. They shall be able to print, wax, paste-up, and thus provide the news printer with camera ready copy.

 

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)

 

Yearbook

Prerequisite: Permission of Spartiate advisor (1st Sem / Year option)

 

(10-12) The primary purpose of the yearbook class is the production of Damien’s yearbook, the Spartiate. The student will be expected to learn the basics of photogra­phy, lay-out, and copy write up. This course requires some after school work. Students must obtain an application from the counselor.

 

Advanced Yearbook

Prerequisite: Approval of Spartiate advisor.

 

(11-12) The primary purpose of the yearbook class is the production of Damien’s yearbook, the Spartiate. The student will be expected to learn the basics of photogra­phy, lay-out, and copy write up. Students shall be able to print, wax, paste-up, and thus provide the news printer with camera ready copy.