High School, English (Advanced Placement)

AP English Language and Composition

Offered to juniors who will go on to take the senior AP English course, eleventh grade AP English is a preparatory course for the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition. Students study nonfiction texts and analyze the rhetorical strategies and stylistic techniques that authors use in order to create their messages. They also analyze numerous arguments in preparation for creating their own arguments on controversial issues, and study common errors in logic. Finally, students hone their skills in synthesizing an argument, given a number of sources, including charts, graphs, cartoons, and other visual statements. Three literature units are also a feature of the course. Students read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Macbeth, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

AP English Literature

Language creates meaning. Learning how to analyze the connections between language and meaning can be helpful to students in various real life writing situations, ones in which they must use language to convey ideas. Once they understand how others do it, they will become better at doing it themselves. Primarily, this is a skills development course.

Students must read widely and reflect on their reading through extensive discussion, writing, and rewriting. The primary focus is on the close reading and verbal and written critical analysis of imaginative literature in terms of the individual work’s structure, style, theme, and its use of smaller scale elements such as diction, irony, figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students must become extremely familiar with a few chosen works of recognized literary merit, while also developing the skill to analyze pieces they have never before seen.

Students are not evaluated on the basis of their mastery of specific texts they have already studied. Instead, they are required to demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate works that are new to them. In all tasks, provisions are made for the students to practice the four tasks of the English classroom: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Texts include: The Things They Carried, The Red Badge of Courage, Hamlet, The Women of Brewster Place, The Member of the Wedding, The Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, The Penelopiad, and Daisy Miller. An intensive study of poetry from 1600 to the present is also a component of the course.

This 12th grade course is a preparatory course for the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition.