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The English Department

about 1 year ago

"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become" -- C.S. Lewis


Courses at the high school:

World Literature I & II (Honors, College Prep, Tech Prep)

British Literature III (Honors, College Prep, Tech Prep)

American Literature IV (Advanced Placement, Honors, College Prep, Tech Prep)




Journalism (I, II & III)

Vocabulary/Comprehension/Reading Rate/Study Skills (VCRS) (10, 11 & 12)

Writing With Style (11 & 12)



about 1 year ago

The Mission Statement of the Bangor Area School District Community in the area of Language Arts is to provide all students with a variety of learning opportunities in order to become proficient lifelong readers and writers who can effectively express themselves through oral and written communication.




For a student to be accepted into the honors program, he/she should meet the following criteria:

  • A final average of 87% in his/her current English course
  • A written recommendation by the current English teacher
  • A demonstration of proficiency or better on a writing sample to be given in May of each school year
  • A completion of summer reading and writing assignments which are generally due in the middle of August

All honors courses in the English curriculum are designed for the superior student who is capable

of analytical reading, reasoning, and writing. The honors English student should expect:

1.     to be challenged at the highest levels of critical thinking;

2.     to be held responsible for mastery of grammatical and stylistic rules;

3.     to build an extensive vocabulary;

4.     to read major literary works of significant length, as well as a number of shorter works each year;

5.     to be involved in a rigorous writing program which emphasizes process along with sound mechanics and fluid style; and

6.     to develop sophisticated research skills which include the extensive use of library resources.


English I Honors (9)

This course is an accelerated integrated language arts program for the superior college-bound student. Through literature, students acquire the skills necessary for successful written and oral communication. Students will analyze the structures of the major literary genres: poetry, A short story, novel, and drama. Vocabulary development, grammar concepts and writing instruction are emphasized within the framework of the study of traditional and contemporary literature. Achievement is demonstrated through group discussions, quizzes, tests, cooperative learning activities, oral presentations, projects, journals, and essays. A research paper is required. (Prerequisite: See above criteria.)


English I College Prep (9)

This course, recommended for the college-bound student, is an integrated language arts program with an emphasis

on the reading and appreciation of traditional and contemporary literature. Students learn basic literature, grammar, writing, and speaking concepts and continue to develop communication skills necessary for college and a career. Achievement is demonstrated through quizzes, tests, oral presentations, projects, cooperative learning activities, journals, and essays. A research paper is required.


English I Tech Prep (9)

This course is an integrated language arts program encouraging the growth of skills needed by students to become independent readers and competent writers. It incorporates literature and grammar activities, writing instruction, and study aids that will guide students into, through, and beyond literature. Students make connections between life and various forms of literature including drama, poetry, the novel, and the short story. Achievement is demonstrated through quizzes, tests, cooperative learning activities, oral presentations, projects, writing exercises, and journals. A research paper/project is required.


English II Honors (10)

This is the second part of an accelerated program designed for the superior student. This course requires extensive reading and identifies major themes in world literature with an emphasis on multi-cultural connections. Students are introduced to the five-paragraph essay and reviews of grammatical and stylistic concepts; the process approach to writing is continued. It presents a challenging vocabulary program. A research paper is a requirement of this course. (Prerequisite: See above criteria.)


English II College Prep (10)

This course, recommended for the college-bound student, is an integrated language arts program with an emphasis on the reading and appreciation of world literature. A process directed approach teaches the student to combine paragraphs into the five-paragraph essay. Students continue the vocabulary program with an emphasis on standardized test performance. A research paper is a requirement of this course.


English II Tech Prep (10)

World literature, the focus of this integrated language arts program, provides students with a basis for their writing experience. One goal is to help students understand the techniques and aims of writers; thereby, reading with appreciation and pleasure. The basic concepts of grammar are implemented through student writing. The "writing process" involves students in realistic situations to help them gain a mastery of fundamental writing skills. Students should be able to overcome basic errors and to write with skill and precision. A research paper/project is a requirement of this course.


English III - Honors (11)

This weighted course is a thematic approach to the study of British literature. Twentieth century writers as well as major British writers such as Chaucer, Swift, Shakespeare, Milton, Conrad, Austin, and Dickens will be studied. Additional readings, projects, and papers which relate to the themes will be required. (Prerequisite: See above criteria.)


English III - C.P. (11)

This course is recommended for college-bound students. In the field of literature, the emphasis is on a survey of British Literature from Beowulf to the present with attention to the writings of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Dickens. Vocabulary study is an integral part of the literature units. Composition work includes a required research paper; book reviews; and several types of themes argumentative, expository, descriptive, interpretive, and comparison and contrast. Sentence structure is the major focus of usage and grammar units. 

English III - Tech Prep (11)

This course is a comprehensive set of instructional materials that combine communication, language arts, and English skills in career clusters. Skills learned will be listening, speaking, reading, writing, and non-verbal communication. The activity-oriented approach includes hands-on experience as well as group work. Grammar and a survey of British literature are integrated in the course. A library research paper is a requirement.


English IV Honors (12)

This is an advanced course for seniors. It is similar in form and content to English IV, but differs in that discussion and writing are expected to take place at a higher level at an accelerated rate. Honors American Literature emphasizes a survey of American literature, expository and persuasive writing, oral expression, vocabulary development, and research and analysis. Most writing assignments and projects involve an exploration and analysis of literary, cultural, and historical topics germane to American literature from the Puritan to the Post-Modern Era. A research paper is mandated. (Prerequisite: 87% average or better in Honors English III or College Prep English III OR teacher recommendation) Students are required to do summer readings and submit the specific literary analysis paper in August.


English IV - Advanced Placement (12)

This is a challenging course offered to college-bound seniors who anticipate taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Test in the spring. Students are expected to evaluate close readings of works by means of literary analysis and to draw conclusions based on knowledge of genre. The course reading is based on significant works written in the English language. (Prerequisite: 87% or better in English III Honors or College Prep English III and teacher recommendation.) Students are required to complete a summer reading list and submit the specified literary analysis by August 15.


English IV - C.P. (12)

This course, recommended for the college-bound student, is an in-depth study of American literature from the beginning until the present. The works of Hawthorne, Chopin, Faulkner and other renowned American authors are read and discussed to develop the skills of literary interpretation and the background of the American culture. With significant ideas from literary works as stimulus, students complete written assignments in critical analysis. A research paper is required. Grammar and vocabulary are implemented with student writing. Vocabulary study will be at a college level.


English IV - Tech Prep (12)

American literature, the focus of this integrated language arts program, provides students with a basis for their writing experience. One goal is to help students to understand the techniques and aims of writers; thereby reading with appreciation and pleasure. The basic concepts of grammar and writing are implemented through student writing. The activity-oriented approach includes hands on experience as well as cooperative learning. A research paper is required.




Communications in Multimedia (11, 12)

This open-ended study of television, radio, newspaper, and magazines is designed to awaken students to the impact of today's media and to emphasize the nature and the techniques of propaganda as related to mass communications. Students experience the opportunity of delivering oral presentations of various types. It will provide an understanding of the mass media and its influence on special behavioral patterns and a study of the development and primary function of media.


Journalism I (Newspaper) (9, 10, 11)

The students will experience the responsibility of preparing a newspaper for publication. Pupils will learn the basics of journalism history and practices, including means of researching and interviewing as well as ethics. They will also learn to write in newspaper style, including headlines, leads, features, editorials, sports, etc., and copy reading. Basics of photography and graphics will also be explored.

Journalism II (Newspaper) (10, 11, 12)

Skills developed in Journalism I will be utilized to produce the school newspaper, The Slater. Responsibilities for production will increase as students mature in ability.


Journalism III (Newspaper) (10, 11, 12 

As two-year staff members, students will assume positions of leadership as they instruct younger reporters and work independently on layouts. In addition to developing in-depth stories, senior reporters will be responsible for making most editorial decisions and overseeing the production of The Slater.


Yearbook (10, 11, 12)

The purpose of this course is to produce a high quality yearbook. The course covers the fundamentals of responsible journalism, layout design, creative writing, and photography. Students will use Adobe PageMaker, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe InDesign, and the special program of the company producing the book for the production of the pages. Students need to be competent writers, as well as dependable and well organized individuals. Much work is done outside the class period in order to meet the deadlines for the book. Seniors who have not been in Yearbook before must have a working knowledge of the programs listed and receive the approval of the advisor. As a second or third year staff member, juniors and seniors assume roles of responsibility as they prepare layouts, ladder designs, and edit material written by other staff members. They are the ones responsible for meeting the deadlines and keeping the new members on task. Experience with the programs listed, as well as typing and word processing skills, are beneficial. (Prerequisite: B average or better in English-Level I or II)


Vocabulary/Comprehension/Reading Rate/Study Skills (10, 11, 12)

Available for students with a variety of post high school plans, VCRS is designed for improvement of individualized skills and enrichment of language. The main objective is to help all students to become efficient independent learners. One day per week is set aside for group instruction to cover a variety of topics applicable to the whole group while the other four days are designed for the individual to rotate on an independent basis through the four skill areas: vocabulary, comprehension, rate, and study skills.


Word Wizardry (10, 11, 12)

This course is recommended for college preparatory students who wish to improve three important skills: reading, writing, and test-taking. As the reading required for college is challenging and student writing is expected to grow in sophistication, a strong vocabulary is necessary. In addition, college preparatory students find that a limited vocabulary is their greatest liability in taking tests such as the SAT and ACT. The materials will include a text, a computer program, word games, and puzzles.


Foundations of Writing/Advanced Composition (11,12)

The first part of this course will review the grammatical concepts needed for clear prose writing on a high school level. The second part of the course utilizes the "writing process." Students will examine the various modes of writing in detail and will practice writing according to guidelines explained in class. This course will be helpful especially to those students who intend to go to college.