The English Language Arts department at HSCL introduces students to a variety of classical and contemporary literature from around the globe. In their literature classes, students read, discuss and analyze texts through student-driven questioning. The courses focus on concepts of identity, inequality, and the struggle of the individual against society and cultural expectations. In addition to the literature classes, students participate in writing classes that focus on developing technical writing skills, research skills, and publishing skills through the discussion and study of contemporary social issues and events.
English 9 – American Literature
Freshman English introduces students to literary analysis through the identification of important literary elements, such as theme, characterization, setting and point of view. The emphasis of the course is on learning how to think critically to determine the deeper meanings of literature and the importance of citing textual evidence to support one’s analysis. Students analyze turning points in American history by reading contemporary and classic American texts, such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
English 9 – Writing Composition
In this rigorous and comprehensive writing course, students will analyze the concept of identity and how it relates to American history, as well as their own lives and experiences. As students study essays by prominent American writers, such as Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, Amy Tan, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, they will work to develop their own writing skills through producing and revising essays on important topics such as gender, race, and culture. The goal of the course is for students to confront the challenges and benefits of reading and writing non-fiction, and gain insight into the power of the written word.
English 10 – Global Literature
Sophomore English builds up on the foundations set during freshman year, especially with regards to the practice of citing textual evidence to support one’s analysis while discussing and writing about literature. During this class, students continue to hone their ability to determine themes, and begin to incorporate literary theory and criticism into their analysis of the literature they read. Students study the historical creation of literature by reading classical literature from Ancient Greece through the Renaissance, including Medea by Euripedes, Antigone by Sophocles, The Odyssey by Homer, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer, and Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
English 10 – Journalism
Journalism provides students with a hands-on experience in the field of news publishing. The students learn interview skills and the unique styles of journalistic writing. In this class, students will work collaboratively to publish a print and online newspaper, which covers school and world events. Students will serve as reporters, section editors, and photojournalists, while improving their non-fiction writing abilities. All students will receive training in writing news, features, sports, and editorial pieces, and training in WordPress website software. Students will also study contemporary issues through industry cornerstones, such as the New York Times, The Week Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
English 11 – World Literature
Junior English continues to build a student’s ability to analyze the deeper meanings within a text. The focus of the course is on the study of genres and determining the significance behind an author’s choices within a text. Genres under study include nonfiction essay, poetry, short fiction, and the novel. Students analyze the author’s use of literary devices to enhance their meanings and the ideas of struggle against societal and cultural expectations within a text. Students study modern and contemporary international texts, such as the short stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Franz Kafka, A Book of Luminous Things edited by Czeslaw Milosz, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
English 11 – World Literature (Honors)
Honors English 11 is an intensive class that combines much of the reading done in World Literature with a college-level research project. Students in this section collaborate with a professor from the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John’s University to produce a major research piece. Students in this section meet both at HSCL and at St. John’s University, where they attend a university-level writing class as well as coaching sessions. This is a unique high school–university collaboration intended to authentically prepare secondary students for the rigors of college writing and research.
English 12 – AP Language
The Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition course engages students in developing essential skills and understandings about rhetorical discourse, close reading, and highly crafted writing. The goal for this course is to create highly literate young adults, so it is vital for them to engage with prose written in a variety of authentic contexts, through diverse voices and points of view. Therefore, the texts in this course include a broad range of classical and contemporary pieces by authors such as Julia Alvarez, Gloria Anzaldua, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Zora Neale Hurston, Samuel Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., Jonathan Rauch, and William Shakespeare
English 12 – AP Literature
The Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition course leads students to analyze and evaluate the ways writers use language both expressively and aesthetically. This goal is accomplished by studying complex classic and contemporary nonfiction essays, poetry, drama, short fiction, and novels. These texts are rich literary works that reward thoughtful, careful, and reflective readers with experiences that can stir the mind and heart with each encounter. Students will develop essential skills and understandings about closely reading and effectively writing about literature to experience it, interpret it, and evaluate it. The class will study the works of a vast array of international authors including Isabel Allende, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Ellison, Henrik Ibsen, Alice Munro, Plato, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Eudora Welty, and August Wilson.