Full year; required for sophomores; 1 credit
Building on the firm foundation laid in English I, English II focuses on an in-depth exploration of the various genres in literature (poetry, short story, drama, novel, and film) as well as the different genres that cross those structural lines (comedy, tragedy, satire, romance). Students broaden their literary base and work towards finding their own interpretive voices. Among the texts to be read include The Bluest Eye, Frankenstein, Ethan Frome, and Othello.
Writing regularly is the best way to improve skills and to explore different forms of expression. Writing activities, including a weekly writer’s notebook, analytical essays, personal narratives, journals, playwriting, poetry, and short fiction, are designed to give students exposure to diverse styles and strategies that will prepare them for upper-level courses. Direct instruction in a variety of writing techniques provides the necessary framework for students to refine their skills and develop their distinctive, authentic voices.
Grammar instruction is linked primarily to essay writing, with individual problems being addressed via the revision process and group problems being addressed in class meetings designed to explain grammar errors and ways to correct them. Vocabulary instruction is primarily contextual and focuses on words commonly found on SAT tests. With every vocabulary list, students write creative stories so they not only learn definitions but understand usage as well.