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English

We believe students should accumulate reading and writing skills that are reinforced throughout their careers at Pacifica Christian High School, as they encounter increasingly sophisticated forms of writing in their own work and the works they read.  At the heart of this endeavor is the department’s conviction that expression through language is intrinsic to the development of well-rounded young adults.  Our curriculum, therefore, first introduces students to the joys of reading and writing, and then invites them to refine the skills inherent in each activity so as to enhance their abilities to develop their voices and to enrich their appreciation of others’ voices.


English Courses

Graduation requirement: 4 years

Ancient Literature and Composition

Grade 9 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Students will read ancient literature including excerpts from Greek and Roman Mythology, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Greek tragedies. In addition, students will be exposed to various philosophies as well as literary genres.  Myriad modes of writing are explored, including the formal analysis essay, using specific evidence for support.  MLA format is reviewed and required for all written work.  Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized and approximately 120 new words will be learned, cumulatively, each semester.  This course is taken in conjunction with 9th grade Ancient World History.  Effective speaking skills are developed through dramatic interpretations, presentations and models of class discussion.  Students will be expected to become increasingly conscious of the way they create meaning from texts.  Students will complete one research project.  

Honors Ancient Literature and Composition

Grade 9 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: 8th grade English with a B or better and an 8th grade overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Students will read ancient literature including excerpts from Greek and Roman Mythology, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Greek tragedies.  In addition, students will be exposed to various philosophies as well as literary genres.  Myriad modes of writing are explored, including the formal analysis essay, using specific evidence for support.  MLA format is reviewed and required for all written work.  Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized and approximately 120 new words will be learned, cumulatively, each semester.  This course is taken in conjunction with 9th grade Ancient World History.  Effective speaking skills are developed through dramatic interpretations, presentations and models of class discussion.  Students will be expected to become increasingly conscious of the way they create meaning from texts.  Honors students will work at an accelerated pace with the expectation of self-motivation in preparation for advanced placement. Students will complete one research project.  

World Literature and Composition

Grade 10 (Year Course)
UC Approved

This course offers a survey of Western literature written between the High Middle Ages and the middle of the 20th Century.  Students will become knowledgeable about several genres that predominated during those years and learn to understand, enjoy, analyze, and evaluate several representative writings in those genres.  Students will also increase their mastery of vocabulary, grammar, and rhetorical skills, enhancing their confidence and facility in communicating effectively through the written and spoken word.  Students will read, write and speak about many topics of their choice along the way, often making links between them and the themes raised by course readings and in-class conversations. Students will complete one research project.  

Honors World Literature and Composition

Grade 10 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: 9th grade regular English with an A or 9th grade Honors English with a B or better.

This course aims to develop and sharpen students’ writing, speaking, interpretive reading, and critical thinking skills.  The course constitutes a survey of Western literature written between the High Middle Ages and the late 20th century.  Students will learn to understand, enjoy, analyze, and evaluate several representative writings in many genres.  Students will continue to perfect the Close Reading method of literary analysis and to develop their literary essays to include evaluative as well as analytical interpretations.  Students will also explore other modes of writing, including creative ones, as they sharpen their understanding of how language is used both in their own writing and the literature they read.  Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized and approximately 180 new words will be learned, cumulatively, each semester.  In addition, students will increase their mastery of grammar and rhetoric, enhancing their confidence and facility in communicating effectively through the written and spoken word.  This honors level class moves at an accelerated pace, requires more advanced reading than non-Honors sections, and exposes students to more complex concepts.

American Literature and Composition

Grade 11 (Year Course)
UC Approved

This course will challenge students to grow in their knowledge and appreciation of American literature as well as in their writing skills.  It aims to develop further reading interpretation, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills.  Students will continue their education in preparation for college level reading and composition.  Emphasis is placed on American literature from the 17th Century to present day, including speeches, essays, novels, narratives, plays, poetry, and short stories.  Students will be introduced to the close reading method of literary analysis.  Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized and approximately 120 new words will be learned, cumulatively, each semester.  Expository, argumentative, and critical writing will be introduced with a strong emphasis on quote integration and use of specific evidence using MLA format.  Proper thesis statement construction will be developed and the formal five paragraph essay will be a major part of this course.  

Advanced Placement Language and Composition

Grade 11 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: 10th grade regular English with an A or 10th grade Honors English with a B or better and instructor approval.

This is a college level course in effective writing and critical reading. Writing skills are analyzed in a systematic way by studying a variety of prose. Students assess prose writing by examining the author’s use of diction, syntax, tone, structure, purpose, and meaning. Attention will be centered on developing a personal rhetorical style that cultivates strong persuasive writing skills. Students will analyze writings through close readings and the lessons learned will be transferred to their own writing. Emphasis will be focused on knowing how to select and use appropriate modes of writing. This course will use American literature as a base; however, it will require a different selection of reading and focused writing than the American Literature and Composition class. It is also designed to prepare students for advanced composition as well as to prepare students to pass the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition in May. The ultimate goal of this class, however, is to expose students to the various tools of accomplished rhetoric and composition; the exam is secondary. Students will read and write in major literary genres such as drama, the novel, the short story, the essay, and poetry. A great deal of time will be spent writing in-class assignments, journal entries, and multiple drafts of each paper.

Great Books

Grade 12 (Year Course)
UC Approved

This course is intended to enrich seniors’ final year of high school English with a discussion of some of the greatest works of human thought and imagination that have shaped the western world such as Milton’s Paradise Lost.  It will help to prepare our seniors for the independent reading, sophisticated level of thinking, and the seminar format of learning that they will encounter at most four-year institutions.  Emphasis will be placed on active reading, seminar style classes, literary analysis and response in writing, and analysis of recurrent patterns and themes. Students will work on annotating, recognizing motifs and themes, finding meaning, looking at rhetorical devices, developing vocabulary lexicons, and tackling difficult words and sentences.  They will be introduced to critical essays about the novels and authors and will write several essays, papers and work on projects to help deepen literary understanding.  

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

Grade 12 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: 11th grade regular English with an A or 11th grade AP English with a B or better and instructor approval.

This college-level course is designed to prepare students for advanced critical reading, literary analysis, and composition; additionally, this course aims to ready students to pass the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition in May.  However, this class will be taught with the first goal in mind; once achieved, the second goal should naturally follow.  More emphatically, the ultimate goal of this class is to expose students to the infinite depths of human experience through literature; the exam is secondary.  The first semester encompasses an intensive survey of poetry focusing on myriad forms; the second semester focuses on the epic novel.  Throughout the year, composition reigns supreme.  A great deal of time will be spent writing in-class assignments, journal entries, and multiple drafts of each paper.  Students will also read intriguing texts, have lively discussions, and perform in-class activities.  Much of the class will be held in seminar format.

English Department

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The English Department of Pacifica Christian High School inspires students not only to comprehend and analyze sophisticated literature, but to make personal connections with it, changing and growing through taking part in the Great Conversation literature has to offer, so eventually they can mature into well-spoken, deep-thinking individuals of character, and thereby change the world.

Candice Kelsey
English Department Chair

B.A. English, Miami University
M.A. English,
Loyola Marymount University

T: 3310.828.7015 ext. 114

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