The English Department aims to meet the needs of students from diverse academic backgrounds- from those schooled in Archdiocesan institutions to those taught in the surrounding public school systems. During their academic careers at Mercy, students work with teachers to develop a sound foundation for reading, thinking, and writing in a collegiate environment. Our department encourages students to value intellectualism, to think for themselves, and to view language and literature as a glass to reflect human nature.
We, as believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are assured through our faith that everything is possible. God gave us His word as a key to all knowledge; and it is through the study and use of language that teachers and students of literature can express their ideas and spirituality. We seek to foster a love of truth, beauty and earnestness in our learning community. We believe that language and story are the tools that God bestowed upon us to hew order from uncertainty and give structure to the tenuous existence that we refer to as the human experience. Literature and language provide not only a glass to reflect our individual souls, but also extend that mirror to provide a more universal view of our connection to a global community. Not consequently, literature is essential for self-discovery and shaping our views of the world in which we live. We believe that literature permits us to seek knowledge of self through the experiences of others, thus instilling a spirit of understanding for all cultures. We believe that language and our efforts to communicate our ideas to others are issues of morality. Because of this, it requires an exercise in choices, both of intelligence and of discrimination, which require us to think in a disciplined manner. This careful scrutiny of self and empathy for our fellow man are the key spiritual elements that separate us from the secular world.
For the student who has good language arts skills, this course enriches vocabulary, develops reading ability, and introduces basic literary terms describing elements of the short story, novel, poetry and drama. Writing instruction emphasizes sentence maturity, paragraph development, and essay introduction. Grammar study includes basic concepts of analysis of clauses and verbals.
Required of 9th grade students with Department approval
This course is designed for the student who demonstrates a high degree of language arts skills. Literature vocabulary study emphasizes wide reading, critical thinking, and the beginnings of analysis; writing instruction emphasizes organization, variety and style; grammar study is individualized and independent.
This course is an introduction to World Literature. Outside novels and plays are read and students practice forms of writing that include narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive paragraphs and essays. Grammar and vocabulary are studied. A short research paper is required.
Required of 10th grade students with Department approval
This course provides wide reading in world literature, organized around literary genres and the patterns of romance, tragedy, comedy and satire. Writing includes narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive essays; creative, critical and research skills are developed. Grammar and vocabulary are studied. Outside novels, plays, and poetry are read throughout the year. A research paper is required.
This course is a chronological survey of the themes of many writers of American Literature drawn from varied traditions. Students write expository papers on literary and general topics, and creative writing is included. There is a review of grammar and a study of vocabulary.
Required of 11th grade students with Department approval
This course is a chronological survey of the development of American Literature drawn from various traditions. Themes and major writers are analyzed in depth with extensive expository writing on literary and general topics. Creative writing is also included, as are vocabulary study and a review of grammar and usage as necessary.
Required for 11th grade students with Department approval
Students in this college-level course will have previously demonstrated strong writing and analytical skills. Students explore the standard American literature curriculum with an emphasis on how language works and the rhetorical choices writers make. Major American authors, outside novels, plays, and non-fiction prose are analyzed in depth with extensive expository and persuasive writing on literary topics. Creative writing is also included, as are vocabulary study and a review of grammar and usage as necessary. All students must take the Advanced Placement test in May.
This course combines major works of English Literature with a development of more mature writing skills. Writing includes techniques of exposition, argumentation and literary criticism with attention to mechanics and usage. The goal is to develop clear expression and logical organization and to read and analyze challenging works of literature from the British Tradition. Outside novels and vocabulary are part of the curriculum.
Required of 12th grade students with Department approval
This course has been designed for the student who has acquired skill in analyzing literature and writing well and who wishes to attempt to receive college credit through the AP exam. The course includes a study of major British writers, outside novels and plays, critical writing, research and creative writing. All students must take the Advanced Placement test in May.
Offered to 10th-12th grade students with permission of instructor
The journalism course teaches hands-on production in the design and publishing of the school yearbook, Jubilium. Through the practical experience of producing the yearbook, students learn and develop the basic journalism skills of reporting, writing, editing, layout design, photography and the business skills of organization, planning, marketing, finance and distribution. Students are expected to spend some time outside of class to complete their assignments.
English-35.06600 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Preparation (Elective Rotation) (S)
Offered to Second Semester Juniors only
SAT Prep is a course designed to help prepare students for the SAT test. In addition to reviewing the basic verbal and mathematical skills assessed on the SAT test, students have access to test- taking strategies to the exam, real student work samples with explanations, grading rubrics for peer and self-assessment, practice tests with complete multiple-choice assessments, essays prompts, and study resources. Instruction, followed by collaborative, guided, and independent practice, provides the foundation for the course. Upon successful completion, students will possess the tools necessary to complete the SAT to the best of their ability.
English-35.0610759 Student Support (Y)
Offered 9th – 12th grade students based on Counselor Recommendation
This course is designed to help students improve their effectiveness, attitudes, and motivation focusing on the specific needs of each student. Particular attention is given to skills like time management, concentration, note taking, textbook study methods, test taking strategies, and critical thinking.
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