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English/Language Arts

English/Language Arts Overview

Four credits of English/Language Arts are required for students to graduate from CMASAS. Students have a choice in how they meet these requirements. One option is to take the integrated English I, II, III, and IV sequence. However, another option is to take individual semester courses, piecing together a language arts program that still covers all the recommended competencies in a comprehensive language arts program. Most colleges are looking for evidence that you have read a variety of literature. It is best to include American Literature and two other areas of literature with at least one being from outside the U.S. such as World Literature, British Literature, and Shakespeare. Review your intended college entrance requirements.

Writing Literature Speaking & Listening
  • Elements of Grammar
  • Expository Composition
  • Art of Argument
  • Journalism
  • World Literature
  • American Literature
  • British Literature
  • Cinema as Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Survey of Poetry
  • Explorations in Myths & Legends
  • Responding to Literature
  • Cinema as Literature
  • Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction
  • Introduction to Speech
  • Public Speaking

Courses

American Literature

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of American literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They conduct in-depth analyses of recurrent patterns and themes, structural features, and narrative literary elements and devices. Students produce writing and projects in response to literature, including biographical/ autobiographical, creative, persuasive, literary analysis, technical, and research.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I or Responding to Literature

Art of Argument

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students learn the art of persuasive writing, backed by careful research, and presented in an effective manner that is free of logical fallacies. They distinguish persuasive writing from other types of compositionsand learn how to apply persuasive writing and common textual features. They apply understanding of the effects of audience and purpose on persuasive writing. Students also evaluate persuasive writing and speaking for reputability, logic, and presentation.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I or Expository Composition

British Literature

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of British literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and socialscience. They conduct in-depth analyses of recurrent patterns and themes, structural features, and narrative literary elements and devices. Students produce writing and projects in response to literature, including biographical/ autobiographical, creative, persuasive, literary analysis, technical, and research.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I or Responding to Literature

Cinema as Literature

Honors, Silver

Examine the elements of this visual language and how filmmakers use  them  to  translate  traditional  literary  devices, and explore  different  film  genres  and  how each approaches story and character development.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I or Responding to Literature

Creative Writing

Honors, NCAA, Silver

In this class students apply the writing process to creative fiction writing. Prepare to investigate, evaluate and demonstrate your understanding of key elements of fiction including plot, theme, character development, dialogue, setting, tone, sensory language, and author's purpose. Introduction to Fiction culminates with the development of a story outline that can later be transformed into a full-length story or novel.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

Elements of Grammar

Honors, Silver

Grammar is the system and structure of a language, the governing force. It provides the users of that language with collective rules, patterns, and guidelines through which they communicate with each other. Elements of Grammar will survey the important aspects of English language grammar. The course will begin by examining the smallest units of meaning and build to developing varied and complex sentences.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

English I

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Join us in English I for a series of journeys. In each unit of the course, we embark on a new journey. Through the study of literature, nonfiction, and life, we will explore the unknown, search for identity and equality, and seek achievement, opportunity, and understanding. You will read to analyze the way language is used to express human motivation and will research to examine the results of actions in the real world.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: None

English II

Honors, NCAA, Silver

English II uses the hero’s journey to explore world literature from ancient to modern times.  Students will practice literary analysis and composition and learn about essential grammar and literary elements concepts. Finally, students will learn narrative & research writing concepts.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: English I or Responding to Literature/Expository Literature/Elements of Grammar

English III

Honors, NCAA, Silver

“Extra, extra, read all about it!” It’s all right here in black and white, in the pages of The Virtual Times newspaper. Published at key periods in American history, The Virtual Times takes us right into the action. The writing is clear and concise. The stories and opinions give us perspective. The sports and entertainment sections give us the color and flavor of the times.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: English II or World Literature

English IV

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Come explore the world of big ideas in English IV, where you are able to choose which path you will travel first as you explore highly engaging, thematic units. Each path will guide you through a series of literary pieces that allow you to analyze the political, social, economic, and cultural messages of its time as well as its relevance to the world you live in today. Each path revolves around a central theme.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: English III or combination of American & World Literature

Exploring Myths & Legends

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students review the common mythologies of the world, as well as review more recent versions of these same stories. Exploring myths and legends throughout the world, students learn about the similarities that span time and culture in storytelling. At the end of the course, the students pull together their knowledge of the three areas mentioned above and use that to create their own myth or mythology.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

Expository Composition

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Provides essential skills for future English courses as well as for writing across the curriculum and in the workplace. Patterns of development include division/classification, compare/contrast, and persuasive, along with a selection of other types such as cause & effect, definition, and exemplification. Students learn the basics of expository composition, with a strong emphasis on using the writing process to create well-structured essays.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

Gothic Literature

Honors

From vampires to ghosts, these frightening stories have influenced fiction writers since the 18th century. This course will focus on the major themes found in Gothic literature and demonstrate how the core writing drivers produce, for the reader, a thrilling psychological environment. Terror versus horror, the influence of the supernatural, and descriptions of the difference between good and evil are just a few of the themes presented.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I & English II or Expository Composition/Responding to Literature/World Literature

Intensive Reading

Honors, Silver

Using easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction, this course shows students how to approach and navigate complex texts. If you’re looking for extra opportunities to sharpen your reading skills and prepare for the state reading assessment, look no further! 

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Journalism

Honors, NCAA

Journalism I provides students with the fundamental basics of journalism. Students begin by exploring the history of American journalism, examining different media such as print, radio, television, and internet journalism. Students learn how to write a news story, a feature story, and an editorial, with a focus on research, analyzing the reliability of sources, conducting interviews, writing leads, revising, and self-editing.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Speech

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students are introduced to public speaking, build confidence, and utilize modern technology to create and present a variety of presentations for different purposes and audiences; these can include informative presentations, persuasive presentations, special occasion speeches, and others. Students view, analyze, and evaluate several examples of public speaking for technique and effectiveness, including nonverbal communication (body language) and the sound and flow of speaking.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

Lord of the Rings

Honors

Hobbits, Orcs, wizards, dashing knights, and powerful elves are all part of the magic created in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famously epic tale, The Lord of the Rings. For years, the vivid characters within this beloved story could exist only in the readers’ minds—until it was adapted into a movie that allowed fans to finally see, through the eyes of Hollywood magic and brilliant technology, the manifestation of these characters onscreen.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I & English II or Expository Composition/Responding to Literature/World Literature

Public Speaking I

Honors

Learn techniques from famous speakers throughout history while learning what it takes to make a great speech. Develop skills that will serve you well throughout your career and personal life. Bring your speeches to life by learning about body language, vocal, and other techniques. Learn about logic and reason while gaining the confidence to help create and deliver great presentations and speeches.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Prerequisites: English I or Expository Composition

Responding to Literature

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students learn key literary terms and concepts, and how to compose essays and articles in response to pieces of literature. They learn about certain character archetypes found in mythology that permeate modern stories of today, characterization, and types of characters (flat, round, static, dynamic). Students identify and evaluate writing for imagery, figurative language, metaphors, similes, and personification.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

Shakespeare: The Comedies

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students investigate Shakespeare's history as a man, actor, poet and playwright. Then, they identify, analyze and discuss common elements of his comedies, including iambic pentameter, five act structure, supernatural occurrences, stock characters, and harmonious union. Additionally, students identify, analyze, and discuss common themes, such as the importance of love, the power of language, the difference between appearance and reality, and the power of dreams and illusions.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English III or British Literature

Shakespeare: The Tragedies

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students review Shakespeare's history as a man, actor, poet and playwright. They identify, analyze and discuss the tragic hero archetype as addressed in Shakespeare's plays. Students compare and contrast the structural elements and themes present in the comedies and the tragedies and interact with Shakespeare's tragic texts by reading and discussing excerpts and summaries.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English III or British Literature

Survey of Poetry

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students learn about types of poems, ranging from haiku to ballad, and the key concepts and devices of poetry, such as meter and rhyme scheme. They are exposed to a variety of poems and learn about several poets – both classic and contemporary. Students read and evaluate poems for the various concepts specific to poetry as well as more global literary elements (i.e. theme, imagery, irony). They also have the opportunity to create original works of poetry. 

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: None

World Literature

Honors, NCAA, Silver

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of British literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They conduct in-depth analyses of recurrent patterns and themes, structural features, and narrative literary elements and devices. Students produce writing and projects in response to literature, including expository, biographical/ autobiographical, creative, persuasive, and literary analysis.

Duration: 1 Semester
Prerequisites: English I or Responding to Literature/Expository Composition. Students who have taken English II should not take World Literature.