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English, Curriculum Overview

Because language is the most momentous and at the same time the most mysterious product of the human mind, the teacher of English carries a two-fold responsibility. First, teachers work to help students develop a mastery of the multi-faceted aspects of the subject matter, and second, teachers nurture in the students a reverence for the spiritual which lies dormant until quickened into either oral or written expression.

Through contact with the thoughtful, the noble, the beautiful, the student develops a depth of intellect and a responsiveness of feelings which lead to a fuller humanity. Fostering this dawning of and understanding of what it means to be a human being is perhaps the greatest service which the teacher of English can render to the student.
It is the inspiration the student takes from the study of his native tongue and the writing of gifted authors which background the English courses. The three central areas - language, literature, and composition - are therefore treated with the viewpoint of a need for the individual to meet the large and small crises of every life. Thus, despite the reality of the drive for favorable test results, the reputable College Board scores, the salable skills which some students will need, emphasis is always placed upon the central processes of critical thinking, on the skills involved in learning new tasks and on the abilities required to meet present and future needs.

Students have the opportunity to celebrate the creative aspects of the human experience that the English Department provides through theatrical productions, multi-media projects, print and video presentations, literary re-enactments, public relations projects, literary magazine publications, yearbook contributions, local newspaper correspondent programs and speech and essay contests.