English » English Course Descriptions

English Course Descriptions

English Department Chairperson: Mrs. Rosemary DiCarlo

 

English Language & Literature 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; NCAA Approved)
 
Honors English Language & Literature I
Prerequisite: 75th percentile or higher on both the Verbal and Reading sections of the HSPT or a combined score of 150 or above on the HSPT with minimum score of 70 on the Verbal and Reading sections of the HSPT and a passing score on the 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; NCAA Approved)
 
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; NCAA Approved)
 
Honors English Language & Literature II
Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in Honors English I or approval from 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. This study will include written analysis of the literature studied. This course will explore the evolution of the Western Literary Tradition through the study of essays, novels, plays, poems, and short stories within that tradition. In addition, a handful of works from the Non-Western Literary Tradition will be examined in order to compare and contrast different literary traditions.

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
American Literature
Prerequisite: None - This course is required for all juniors not enrolled in the two-year AP or two-year IB course sequences.
(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; NCAA Approved)
 
Advanced Placement English Language & Composition
Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in Honors English II or approval from Department Chair.

(11) 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. In addition, students will explore the evolution of the American Literary Tradition through the study of a limited number of literary works (novels, plays, poems, and short stories). 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. 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; NCAA Approved)
 
Composition and Rhetoric
Prerequisite: None – This course is required of all seniors not enrolled in the two-year AP or two-year IB course sequences.
(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, a handful of poems, and a few short stories each semester.

(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
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; NCAA Approved)
 
IB Language and Literature (HL)
Year 1 Prerequisite: “B” or better in English II or “C” or better in Honors English II or approval by the IB Coordinator (preference given to IB Diploma candidates)
Year 2 Prerequisite: “C” or better in IB English HL I

(11-12) The language A: language and literature course aims to develop skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can relate to culturally determined reading practices. The course also encourages students to question the meaning generated by language and texts. An understanding of the ways in which formal elements are used to create meaning in a text is combined with an exploration of how that meaning is affected by reading practices that are culturally defined and by the circumstances of production and reception. The study of literature in translation from other cultures is especially important to IB DP students because it contributes to a global perspective. Texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media.
Note: A facilitated self-study option is available in Chinese Literature for our Mandarin-speaking students. Those taking Area 1 courses in both English and Chinese are not required to take a course in Area 2: Language acquisition.
 
(Meets CSU/UC “b” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
English Electives
 
Art of Reading
Prerequisite: This course is required for all students with a combined Verbal + Reading score of 50 or below
(9) This class will focus on not only improving reading and writing, but also on developing skills in various contexts (organizational, classroom, communication, time management, and studying).
 
The Art of Storytelling: Literature and Film (semester option available)
Prerequisite: None

(10-12) This English elective course requires students to read texts from various genres and view the film version of that same text in order to analyze and understand the implications, elements, and underlying questions of both mediums. It is intended to provide students an opportunity to read and write outside the context of a traditional literature / English class and investigate the relationship between the two mediums and how they present various narrative elements, as well as cultural elements.

(CSU/UC approval pending)
 
Creative Writing (semester option available)
Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 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; NCAA Approved)
 
Advanced Creative Writing
Prerequisite: An “A” in Creative Writing or a “B” in Creative Writing and approval of Creative Writing teacher

(11-12) This course is the 2nd year of Damien’s Creative Writing program. Each student will focus on a creative genre of their choice: play, poetry, short story, or television/movie script.

(CSU/UC and NCAA approval pending)
 
The Hero’s Journey In Literature: From Antiquity to the Present (semester option available)
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; NCAA approved)
 
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.

(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.
 
(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.
 
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. This course requires some after school work.