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English

People everywhere want to explore human motivations, to find connections within and between cultures, to imagine what has been and could be, to create beauty, horror, and introspection. We also want to explain their ideas, to evoke feelings, to convince others, and to be heard and understood. For these reasons, we read and write. At Darlington, the study of English aims to develop students’ skills in these areas, progressing from comprehension and clarity to greater analysis, depth, and complexity.

All students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the AP Exam.

 

English 1

To succeed in high school and college, you must be able to think and read critically and write clearly. This course will push you to develop ideas, explain them fully, and defend them convincingly. You’ll lay the groundwork not only for high school English but also for the many of your other academic endeavors.

Skills Developed

  • Think critically about a topic, text, or issue
  • Write for various purposes, including academic writing of many types
  • Use grammar, mechanics and style strategically
  • Understand plot structure and character development in literature
  • Explain themes in texts using examples

Knowledge Developed

  • Characteristics and purposes of various modes of essay writing
  • Characteristics of effective writing
  • Elements of a successful writing process
  • Research methods and strategies
  • Plots, characters, and themes of texts read, including parallels between texts
  • Vocabulary

 

English 1 Honors

To succeed in high school and college, you must be able to think and read critically and write clearly. This course will push you to develop ideas, explain them fully, and defend them convincingly. You’ll lay the groundwork not only for high school English but also for the many of your other academic endeavors. As an honors class, English 1H has a more extensive reading list than English 1 and expects greater independence and depth in student work.

Skills Developed

  • Understand plot structure and character development in literature
  • Explain themes in texts using examples
  • Construct essays using various modes of writing
  • Distinguish between topic and thesis

Knowledge Developed

  • Plot, characters, and themes of texts read
  • Parallels and connections between characters, themes, and plots
  • Characteristics of various modes of essay writing
  • Effect of point of view
  • Research methods and strategies
  • Vocabulary

Required Prerequisites

90 in eighth-grade English

Recommendation of previous English teacher

 

English 2

To succeed in high school and college, you must be able to think and read critically and write clearly. This course will push you to develop ideas using facts and inferences and use them to make effective arguments. The course uses thinking skills as the core of both writing and literature instruction.

Skills Developed

  • Formulate an original thesis
  • Write essays, primarily literary analyses
  • Use claims, evidence, and interpretation
  • Identify the significance of important passages and speeches
  • Recognize cultural characteristics represented in literature

Knowledge Developed

  • Plot, characters, and themes of texts read
  • Literary/historical context of texts read
  • Literary techniques, characterization, and plot structure
  • Research methods and strategies
  • Writing mechanics
  • Vocabulary

Required Pre-requisites

English 1

 
 
English 2 Honors

To succeed in high school and college, you must be able to think and read critically and write clearly. This course will push you to develop ideas using facts and inferences and use them to make effective arguments. The course using thinking skills as the core of both writing and literature instruction. As an honors class, English 2H has a more extensive reading list than English 2 and expects greater independence and depth in student work.

Skills Developed

  • Write essays, primarily literary analyses
  • Develop an original thesis and support it using claims, evidence, and interpretation
  • Use writing strategies, style, and conventions effectively
  • Explain a text’s main ideas using relevant details and supporting evidence
  • Identify the significance of important passages and speeches
  • Determine thematic connections between works
  • Recognize cultural characteristics represented in literature

Knowledge Developed

  • Plot, characters, and themes of texts read
  • Literary/historical context of texts read
  • Literary techniques and their effects
  • Research methods and strategies
  • Rhetorical strategies
  • Elements of an argument
  • Vocabulary

Required Prerequisites

85 in English 1H or 90 in English 1

Recommendation of the English 1 teacher



English 3

English 3 goes hand-in-hand with what juniors learn in American history, investigating topics that define the American spirit. With themes and reading lists drawn from American literature and culture, English 3 studies the relationship between the tangible world and American ideals, the evolution of the American dream, and America’s land and frontier.

Skills Developed

  • Navigate complex plot and character development
  • Determine main themes within a text
  • Identify the significance of important passages
  • Determine thematic connections between works
  • Formulate an original thesis
  • Recognize the role of historical context in literature
  • Use research methods to further support an argument

Knowledge Developed

  • Plot, characters, and themes of texts read
  • Literary/historical context of texts read
  • Literary techniques
  • Research methods and strategies
  • Writing mechanics
  • Vocabulary

Required Prerequisites

English 2

 

AP English Language and Composition

The equivalent of the composition course most colleges require of freshmen, this course aims to teach students to write and read effectively in all disciplines, no matter what major they go on to pursue in college. We read non-fiction ranging from political speeches to scientific articles, and we analyze how authors go about convincing their audiences to vote for a political candidate, protest unfair practices, or sign up for a particular English class. Students will practice very close analysis of how authors use language to achieve their purposes, and they will also craft their own arguments on a variety of topics. This course focuses primarily on American authors.

Skills Developed

  • Analyze use of rhetorical techniques to achieve intended purpose
  • Write effective essays in various modes, including long and short essays written in class and outside of class
  • Develop a realistic and effective writing process
  • Clarify writing and reduce wordiness
  • Identify/repair common errors
  • Comprehend non-fiction texts from many time periods
  • Conduct and use research thoroughly and responsibly

Knowledge Developed

  • Rhetorical strategies
  • Modes of development
  • Aspects and methods of effective arguments
  • Sources for research
  • Details of texts read
  • Vocabulary

Required Prerequisites

A passing score on an entrance essay (see department chair to schedule) and completion of AP Application

Recommendation from English 2 teacher

85 in English 2H or 90 in English 2

 

AP Literature and Composition
(must be taken both semesters)

AP Literature and Composition is a college-level course which stresses the development of individual style in critical and personal writing and the use of criticism in developing a comprehensive knowledge of the history of literature. Students prepare for the AP exam through a close study of poems, plays, and novels of significant literary merit from 1600 to the present, as well as reviewing the major works of literature which students have already read.

Skills Developed (from The College Board AP course guide):

  • Observe textual details, establish connections among observations, and draw inferences about the text
  • 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
  • Assess a work’s complexity, absorb richness of meaning, and analyze how meaning is embodied in literary form
  • Consider the social and historical values a work reflects and embodies
  • Write focusing on critical analysis of literature, including expository, analytical, and argumentative essays as well as creative writing
  • Through speaking, listening, reading, and chiefly writing, become aware of the resources of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, syntax, and tone

Knowledge Developed

  • Plot, characters, and themes of texts read
  • Vocabulary
  • Genre expectations
  • Literary/historical knowledge of a text
  • Study of words, literary allusions, characterization, language modes, and overall structure

Required Prerequisites:

A passing score on an entrance essay (see department chair to schedule) and completion of AP Application

Recommendation from English 3 teacher

85 in AP English Language and Composition or 90 in English 3

 

English 4

Semester-long electives are offered for senior-level English. There will be approximately four different offerings from which to choose each semester.

 

English 4:  Mythology and Folklore

Course description: Mythology is the study of the stories from ancient cultures: the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Sumerians, and other Mid-Eastern civilizations; the Greeks and Romans; the Vikings/Norsemen, Britons, Anglo-Saxons, and other Europeans; the peoples of the Americas; the Japanese, Chinese, and other Asiatic civilizations; and the Aborigines of Australia. The course will include the study of the gods and goddesses, the heroes, and the adventures recounted in these cultures’ myths. Additionally, students will be introduced to the geographic locations and basic history of the cultures to which the myths belong. Mythological references in classic and current literature will be explored. 

English 4: Shakespeare: The Voice of a Whole Epoch

In this course we will read and study three of Shakespeare's works (Henry IV: Part 1Hamlet; and The Merchant of Venice) in order to find out what it is, if anything, that makes Shakespeare as great as people say he is (and as I believe he is). The sequence of plays will be governed by both theme and chronology, allowing us to see the range and diversity of his work. Midterm, final exam, course paper, and various section-specific assignments (journals, discussion questions, short papers, or oral presentations, etc.). Be prepared to speak and write often.

English 4: Introduction to Speculative Fiction

In this course students will think about important issues presented to them through works of speculative fiction: definitions of good and evil, self and alien, science and nature, human and machine, human and monster, exploitation and collaboration. We will consider the ways that works of science fiction and fantasy help us define human experience and potential. The works we will study include short stories, novels, and movies, drawn from a variety of time periods and sub-genres.


    

    

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