Grade 9 Year-long course
English I is a survey of British literature from early Anglo-Saxon epics to contemporary British drama, poetry, and fiction. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and also broaden their vocabularies through the study of words found in the literature they read. Grammar review of parts of speech, phrases, clauses, and sentence constructions leads to practice in careful editing but is aimed at understanding and practicing writing, reading, speaking, and listening with clarity. Writing strong expository paragraphs with focused topic sentences leads to practice in longer academic essays. The process of writing is emphasized through consistent opportunities to practice prewriting and revision skills. MLA formatting and citation guidelines are introduced.
Honors English I
Grade 9 Year-long course
Honors English I is an accelerated survey of British literature from early Anglo-Saxon epics to contemporary British drama, poetry, and fiction. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and also broaden their vocabularies through the study of words found in the literature they read. Grammar review of parts of speech, phrases, clauses, and sentence constructions leads to practice in careful editing but is aimed at understanding and practicing writing, reading, speaking, and listening with clarity. Writing strong expository paragraphs with focused topic sentences leads to practice in longer academic essays. The process of writing is emphasized through consistent opportunities to practice prewriting and revision skills. MLA formatting and citation guidelines are introduced. Placement in this course is determined by middle school English/Language Arts grades, writing sample, and scores on the reading comprehension and verbal sections of the SSAT.
GRADE 10 YEAR-LONG COURSE
English II consists of a broad survey of World Literature, focusing both on breadth across region and era. It explores 20th century African literature, the legacy of colonization, and the post-colonial novel. It examines poetry and drama of the Greek and Roman classical past, and students read the poetry and short stories of the modern Middle East and India. Students also read and discuss Latin American literature and the poetic traditions of Japan and China. The course concludes with a survey of non-Anglophone European literature from the Middle Ages to the present. As part of this survey, students engage primary and secondary source argument as they build their research skills. They try out an expanding range of critical language and evaluate and critique scholarly and cultural documents that they identify. Quarters typically begin with a short in-class essay and proceed to longer revised essays and creative group projects.
Honors English II
GRADE 10 YEAR-LONG COURSE
Honors English II consists of an accelerated investigation of dynamic and diverse literature from Africa, Europe, ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Students examine and debate a range of genres including novels, plays, poetry, epic, short stories, essays, memoirs, and secondary scholarly argument. Class discussion is often student-driven, and students are encouraged to incorporate key critical terms into their collective examination of literature and culture. Student research and writing focuses on gaining familiarity with the ability to evaluate and critique sources and build research into student writing. Students begin the quarter with an in-class essay and progress towards longer revised essays and creative group presentations. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, writing sample, and PSAT scores.
GRADE 11 YEAR-LONG COURSE
This course consists of a broad survey of American literature, beginning with works published in the seventeenth century and culminating with writing published within the last twenty years. Students read a variety of literary genres, spanning fiction and nonfiction works, and they closely analyze and discuss these works, both individually and in comparison to each other, to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Analysis of the literature focuses especially on how authors use craft techniques, such as figurative language and irony, in order to express themes. The social, historical, and biographical contexts of the works are also studied.
Additionally, English III prepares students for the SAT and ACT. The essays for each test are studied and practiced, and students continue to refine key skills needed for the tests, such as understanding vocabulary through context. Writing is also a central component of the class. Students write for a variety of purposes and audiences, and they learn about and practice each stage of the writing process, from initial brainstorming to final revision. The most significant writing focus concerns the spring semester research paper. Students learn MLA guidelines, develop a topic, gather and evaluate resources, create an outline, and then write and revise first and final drafts.
AP English Language and Composition
GRADE 11 YEAR-LONG COURSE
AP English Language is a year-long college level course developed around the study of rhetoric and persuasive writing skills. The course focuses on argumentation and the analysis of argument. Students learn to effectively examine the nature and history of the English essay, to read broadly among a variety of authors, rhetorical purposes, and eras, and to employ the fundamentals of sound argumentation. Students develop these skills through a study of expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative works from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students study essays, letters, speeches, and visual media, including photographs, films, advertisements, and comic strips, with an eye for rhetorical and logical strategies. Through both reading and writing, students increase their awareness of the ways that the interaction between a writer’s purpose, audience, and subject contribute to effective writing. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, writing sample, and PSAT scores.
GRADE 12 YEAR-LONG COURSE
English IV consists of two semester-long courses that explore a specific theme, topic, era, or genre, such as Literary Mysteries, Modernism, and Renaissance Literature. Students take one course during the fall semester and one course in the spring semester to complete the year-long requirement of English IV. In the courses, students will continue to improve their critical reading, writing, and verbal communication skills via a variety of assessments. Students in every fall semester English IV course complete a formal research paper, which serves as the foundation of their Chapel Talk at the start of spring semester. Both the research paper and Chapel Talk are graduation requirements.
Honors English IV/Salem CollegE
ENGLISH 221 GRADE 12 YEAR-LONG COURSE
The advanced level of senior English is offered in two single semester classes, and both classes are required. In addition to a unique literary focus each semester, students write a research paper in the fall semester and prepare a Chapel Talk script that they present to the student body in the spring semester. Literary scholarship and critical theory are also introduced and studied to further develop reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, a writing sample, and PSAT scores.
Honors English IV: Twentieth Century Women’s Literature
Honors English IV focuses on prominent modern and contemporary women writers from around the world. Students read a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction, including Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. The historical, cultural, and biographical contexts of the works are studied, in conjunction with how the authors use craft techniques to express theme. Additionally, literary scholarship is introduced as another tool for analysis, allowing students to further refine their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. In preparation for spring semester, discussions become more student driven, culminating in a final project in which students teach their peers about a specific author and one of her literary works.
Salem College English 221: Man, Morality, and Madness
This course is taught at Salem Academy as a college-level literature course. Upon completion, students will receive credit from Salem Academy as well as three credit hours from Salem College. As a special topics course, English 221 focuses exclusively on the theme of Man, Morality, and Madness. Students consider individual morality of characters and how this relates to the morals and laws of a larger community as well as the use of madness as a technique by authors to critique the societies in which they live. Students also use a variety of tools to develop their interpretations of the literature, including literary craft techniques; social, historical, and biographical contexts; literary scholarship; and critical theory, such as Postcolonial Theory, Gender Studies, and New Historicism and Criticism. Course texts include Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. The semester exam is required of all students.
College Essay Writing
Grade 12 One semester course
College Essay Writing is a semester-long course that meets one period each week in the fall semester. This course is designed to provide students with hands-on, step-by-step guidance for writing a well-crafted college admissions essay. Students will learn strategies for creating a dynamic personal profile that smoothly translates into a specific, engaging essay that allows admissions committees to read and “hear” Salem students’ authentic, unique voices. Students will maintain a Digital Writing Portfolio capturing their writing process from beginning to final draft, and each student will receive a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory upon completion of the course.
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 Year-long course
Yearbook is a year-long course designed to provide students with journalism expertise and the ability to apply those skills to the actual production of Salem Academy’s yearbook, Quill Pen. The curriculum will consist of interactive lessons covering all aspects of creating a yearbook. Units of study will include staff management through team building, design principles, the art of interviewing, storytelling, copywriting, photojournalism, strategic marketing, editing, AP Style Rules, and Yearbooks and the Law. This course will meet for two periods each week. Students will earn a letter grade in this .25 credit course.