High School English
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Freshman English is a foundation course for high school English classes. Grammar basics including the parts of speech, the parts of a sentence, phrases, clauses, diagramming, usage, and mechanics are reviewed in conjunction with writing and editing skills. Vocabulary is taught through workbooks that emphasize skills to improve reading proficiency and to enhance success on standardized tests. Guidelines for formal writing are introduced along with structured paragraph writing and the five-paragraph essay. The research unit emphasizes finding credible sources, documenting in MLA style, and summarizing information. An exploration of each literary genre includes literary terminology and thematic writing. Prominent works include To Kill a Mockingbird, the Odyssey, and Romeo and Juliet. Outside reading is an additional requirement for each nine weeks.
Located between a ninth-grade anthology of literature from various countries and a junior study of British literature is the sophomore year, rich with the American traditions of Twain, Dickinson, Steinbeck, and Frost. In a literature brimming with this country's talents, students focus on background material of the time periods, biographical sketches of the authors, and two classic novels in The Scarlet Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Threading throughout these studies are literature-based vocabulary and grammar that focuses on noun functions, pronoun usage, verbals, conjunctions, clauses and diagramming. The writing of paragraphs and major papers helps to connect all aspects of the English II curriculum: literature, vocabulary, and grammar.
Junior English introduces students to English literature, from Beowulf and Chaucer to Shakespeare and the writers of the Romantic and Victorian periods. Students have major outside reading projects each nine weeks. Grammar study builds on a review of the basics and emphasizes verbal phrases and clauses. Throughout the school year students write short papers on literary topics. Students learn the process of writing a major research paper, including library techniques, note cards and rough drafts, outlines, citation form, and formal writing style.
English IV, the culmination of high school language skills, first of all prepares the student for college composition courses. Writing, both formal and informal, is the foundation of the year's study. A survey of grammar strengthens each writer's skills in proofreading and revision. Secondly, the course introduces seniors to selections from world literature, with an emphasis on drama. Works such as Hamlet and Death of a Salesman illustrate the universality of man's condition, needs, and vision. Because of its emphasis on literature and writing, the course provides seniors with a broad base for university work. English IV Honors may be taken as a dual-credit class with Lipscomb University.
AP English Literature and Composition
The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.
The honors program in English strives to provide challenging classes by teaching students on a grade level above their own. Lipscomb offers honors in each grade. Prospective students for this program must have a solid knowledge of grammar, a demonstrated writing ability, a desire to pursue scholarship, and the recommendation of their English teacher. The courses at each level focus on writing and literature, grammar and research. At the end of each year, the teacher determines whether or not these students continue in the program for the following year and if new students will be allowed to enter the program.
Students throughout their lives will communicate within the family, within the workplace, and within society. In order to become a more effective communicator, students will need to develop the skills to generate ideas, research topics, organize information, listen critically to others, and to prepare and give oral presentations. The student will give seven major speeches in the semester: informative, demonstrative, convincing, persuasive, entertaining, inspirational, as well as the final speech. The class will also utilize presentation technologies, libraries, databases, and computer networks. This class is open to all students, and no prerequisite is needed.