Arlington Catholic English

English

 

 

The readings, assignments, and methods of instruction on each level are designed to bring students on a journey of intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual discovery that encourages them to be active participants in their own education.   Students practice close reading, analysis, discussion and writing to reveal the power of language in all its forms -- written, visual, verbal, online -- to shape and challenge ideas.  These skills deepen students’ understanding of diverse points of view, help them become good communicators, and provide opportunities for reflection and developing voice.  Like travelers who for centuries have used the compass to point them in the right direction, students navigate the English curriculum to explore and map their own course.  It is our hope that graduates depart Arlington Catholic with the tools necessary to make choices, and to become critical, compassionate thinkers who are curious about themselves and their world.

The English Department takes a thematic approach to the curriculum using compass points to represent the student’s journey through four years of high school English:

Freshman Year………………………Leaving for Points Unknown
Sophomore Year…………………Navigating
Junior Year………………………….......Exploring
Senior Year……………………….....…..Divining

Faculty

John Balliro, English Department Chairperson, jballiro@achs.net
BA- English, Providence College
MEd- Secondary Education, Providence College

Soren Colstrup, scolstrup@achs.net
BA- English, Framingham State University
MEd- Secondary Education, Providence College

Jillian Downey, jdowney@achs.net
BA- English/Secondary Education, Bridgewater State University

Michael Fay, mfay@achs.net
BA- Philosophy, College of the Holy Cross
MA- Liberal Arts, St. John's College

Heidi Gould​, hgould@achs.net
BS- Secondary Education & English, Clarion University of PA
MEd- Middle School Language Arts, University of Louisville

Kevin Koczwara, kkoczwara@achs.net
BA- Journalism, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
MFA- Creative Writing, Bennington College

Mary Listro, mlistro@achs.net
BA- American Studies/English, Tufts University

Jonathan Merola, jmerola@achs.net
PhD- English, University of Conneticut

 

Course Offerings

All students are required to take four years of English.

English 1

ENGLISH 1 – 010

1 Credit

English 1 provides a comprehensive foundation of close reading, writing, and grammar skills that students build upon throughout their high school career. Fiction and nonfiction reading selections from a variety of literary genres center around the theme of Leaving for Points Unknown.  The students and teacher often collaborate regarding the choice of readings and assignments.  In order to begin to think more critically about these works, freshmen consider literal and figurative language.  They identify literary devices, build vocabulary, understand effective sentence structure, and practice close reading. Using the writing process, they craft personal, expository, analytical, and argumentative paragraphs and essays, as well as imaginative pieces.

 

 

 

Grade: 9
Honors English 1

HONORS ENGLISH 1- 011

1 Credit

Honors English 1 covers content similar to that of English 1.  This course provides  a comprehensive foundation of close reading, writing, and grammar skills that students build upon throughout their high school career; however, students are required to read and write on a more analytical level.  In addition, students are often expected to work more independently.  Students read both fiction and nonfiction selections from the major literary genres that center around the theme of Leaving for Points Unknown, and begin to think more critically about these works. They learn to identify literary language, build vocabulary, understand effective sentence structure, and practice close reading. Using the writing process, they craft personal, expository, analytical, and argumentative paragraphs and essays, as well as imaginative pieces. In an honors level course, students are expected to have a serious, consistent work ethic, be actively engaged in class material and discussion, and be self-motivated.

 

Grade: 9
English 2

ENGLISH 2 – 020

1 Credit

English 2 builds upon the skills and concepts introduced in English 1.  Reading selections center around the theme of Navigating.  Texts come from a variety of genres including the novel, the short story, Greek and Shakespearean drama, the graphic novel, and poetry. The students and teacher often collaborate regarding the choice of readings and assignments. The writing process emphasizes gathering, organizing and developing ideas with greater sophistication. Students learn about diction, tone, style, and voice through close reading and imitation. They are introduced to rhetorical appeals and strategies through nonfiction essays and articles.  Grammar, usage, sentence structure, and vocabulary are taught in conjunction with PSAT/SAT preparation.

 
 

Grade: 10
Honors English 2

HONORS ENGLISH 2- 021

1 Credit

Honors English 2 covers content similar to that of English 2.  This course builds upon the skills and concepts introduced in English 1; however, students complete additional readings as well as read and write on a more analytical level.  In addition, a short term paper on a literary topic is required.   Reading selections center around the theme of Navigating.  Texts come from a variety of genres including the novel, the short story, Greek and Shakespearean drama, the graphic novel, and poetry. The students and teacher often collaborate regarding the choice of readings and assignments.  The writing process emphasizes gathering, organizing and developing ideas with greater sophistication. Students learn about diction, tone, style, and voice through close reading and imitation. They are introduced to rhetorical appeals and strategies through nonfiction essays and articles.  Grammar, usage, sentence structure, and vocabulary are taught in conjunction with PSAT/SAT preparation.   In an honors level course, students are expected to have a serious, consistent work ethic, be actively engaged in class material and discussion, and be self-motivated.

 
Grade: 10
English 3

ENGLISH 3 – 030

1 Credit

English 3: American Literature focuses on the works of American writers as well as major literary themes and movements from the colonial period to the present through the lens of Exploration. The students and teacher often collaborate regarding the choice of readings and assignments.    Readings, which include fiction and nonfiction, essays, short stories, poems, novels and plays, act as springboards for discussion as well as writing literary analysis, argument, and synthesis. In addition, an intensive language component stresses close reading skills, grammar, usage and writing for the SAT. In the spring, juniors are guided through the process of writing college application essays. All students are required to write a term paper on a literary topic and complete a number of independent reading assignments.

 

Grade: 11
Honors English 3

HONORS ENGLISH 3- 031

1 Credit

Honors English 3: American Literature focuses on the works of American writers as well as major literary themes and movements from the colonial period to the present through the lens of Exploration. The students and teacher often collaborate regarding the choice of readings and assignments.  The Honors course requires additional readings, projects, and writing assignments.  Readings, which include fiction and nonfiction, essays, short stories, poems, novels and plays, act as springboards for discussion as well as writing literary analysis, argument, and synthesis. In addition, an intensive language component stresses close reading skills, grammar, usage and writing for the SAT. In the spring, juniors are guided through the process of writing college application essays. All students are required to write a term paper on a literary topic and complete a number of independent reading assignments. In an honors level course, students are expected to have a serious, consistent work ethic, be actively engaged in class material and discussion, and be self-motivated.

 
Grade: 11
English 4

English 4/Honors English 4 prepares students for reading and writing at the college level. The year is divided into two semesters, in which students select electives in content areas of interest focusing on critical literary analysis and real-world application. 

 

First semester courses will challenge students to read novels, short stories, memoirs, and other works concerning their chosen topics and craft critical and analytical responses to these readings. In addition, in the first semester students will finish crafting their college application essays and culminate in a semester exam. 

Course options available: Adolescent Psychology in Literature; Dystopian Literature; The Diverse American Experience

 

Second semester courses will build upon the foundation of writing skills and literary analysis of the first semester courses. In these second semester courses, students will use both technology and traditional methods to conduct research, design oral presentations, practice collaboration, and write and study independently. The semester will culminate with an independent research project centered around a research question of the students’ choice.

Course options available: Author Study; Contemporary Issues; Women in Literature

Honors English 4

English 4/Honors English 4 prepares students for reading and writing at the college level. The year is divided into two semesters, in which students select electives in content areas of interest focusing on critical literary analysis and real-world application. 

 

First semester courses will challenge students to read novels, short stories, memoirs, and other works concerning their chosen topics and craft critical and analytical responses to these readings. In addition, in the first semester students will finish crafting their college application essays and culminate in a semester exam. 

Course options available: Adolescent Psychology in Literature; Dystopian Literature; The Diverse American Experience

 

Second semester courses will build upon the foundation of writing skills and literary analysis of the first semester courses. In these second semester courses, students will use both technology and traditional methods to conduct research, design oral presentations, practice collaboration, and write and study independently. The semester will culminate with an independent research project centered around a research question of the students’ choice.

Course options available: Author Study; Contemporary Issues; Women in Literature

AP English - Language & Composition

ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH (LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION) – 049

1 Credit

Advanced Placement English: Language and Composition is a college-level course that helps students become skilled readers and writers. Readings from a range of nonfiction and fiction genres provide a way to explore the interactions among subject matter, writer’s purpose, and audience response, as well as the linguistic resources that contribute to effectiveness in writing. Students read and explore written and visual texts as a basis for writing rhetorical analysis, argument, and synthesis essays. In addition, they keep journals and craft critical and creative writing of their own in a variety of genres and styles for a variety of purposes. Students often submit to the school’s literary magazine, as well as seek other opportunities for publication.  After the AP Exam in the spring, juniors are guided through the process of writing college application essays.  Summer reading and writing are required.

 

Students interested in this course are strongly urged to have taken Honors English 2 or Honors English 3 and to have maintained a B average.  An honors attitude, seriousness of purpose, active engagement in class material and discussion, participation, self-motivation, and strong work ethic, is expected.  Applicants from English 2 must have teacher approval. Students may be asked to submit a writing sample.

 

This course prepares students to earn college credit by passing the Advanced Placement Examination in Language and Composition. Students are required to take the AP Exam.

 
Grades: 11, 12
AP English - Literature & Composition

ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH (LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION)– 050

 

Advanced Placement English: Literature and Composition is a college-level course which combines the reading and critical analysis of literature with extensive and detailed student composition. Students write essays interpreting works from a wide range of literary genres.

Summer reading is required

 

Students interested in this course are strongly urged to have taken AP Language and Composition  and to have maintained a B average.  An honors attitude, seriousness of purpose, active engagement in class material and discussion, participation, self-motivation, and strong work ethic, is expected.  Applicants from Honors English 3 and English 3 must have teacher approval.  Students may be asked to submit a writing sample.

 

The course prepares students to earn college credit by passing the Advanced Placement Examination in Literature and Composition. Students are required to take the AP Examination.

 

Grade: 12

Creative Writing

CREATIVE WRITING- 051        

1 Credit

Get creative!  This elective course offers students a forum for self-expression through writings other than the standard five-paragraph essay.  Students will model a variety of genres including poetry, memoir, short fiction, drama, and news journalism, as well as work with mixed media forms, blending photography, visual art, video and music with words. They will free-write, read and imitate, keep a “real” notebook and build a digital portfolio.  Students will be encouraged to enter contests and look for publishing opportunities such as Teen Ink and the school literary magazine, Imaginary Gardens.


Grade: 11, 12
Journalism

This course is designed to teach the skills necessary to produce the school newspaper (The Cougar Growl). The year begins by planning the coverage for the school year and by designing unifying themes for each print edition.  In addition to reading and discussing professional news articles, students will study journalism, including layout and design techniques, writing and editing copy, headlines and picture captions.  This course provides the study of and practice in gathering and analyzing information, interviewing, note taking, and article writing.  Students will learn strategies of planning, producing, and distributing the newspaper.  Students will learn proofing strategies and work independently with journalists and photographers from The Boston Globe and Headliners in Education.  At times, deadlines require that staff members work after school.  Students will learn good work habits and are responsible for all phases of the school newspaper publication. This course may be repeated with permission of the instructor. This course will fulfill the Fine Arts/Humanities requirement.

 

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12