Cathedral High School's English department strives to challenge her students by combining a traditional curriculum with state-of-the-art technology in order to nurture an appreciation of reading, writing, and speaking within each student. The department's goal is to teach students to read critically, to write insightfully, to speak correctly, and to think analytically and creatively. Through careful study and preparation, our students should feel well-prepared for the rigors of the college classroom.
Cathedral High School's English department is vertically and sequentially aligned to serve the diverse academic needs of Cathedral High School students. The English department challenges students to work at their appropriate academic levels. To that end, we offer three levels of instruction: honors, academic, and college preparatory. Some students participate in the Language Support Program for their academic level instruction.
The English curriculum contributes extensively to every student's preparedness by focusing thoroughly on vocabulary, grammar/usage, critical analysis of literature, and the foundations of writing: sentence structure, paragraph development, and the five-paragraph essay. Students practice writing for a variety of purposes: narration, persuasion, responses to literature, and exposition. The process of constructing a research paper is taught with precision. By taking classes in speech/debate and composition/advanced composition in addition to their required English classes, students earn 10 English credits in a four-year span and enhance their speaking and writing skills.
The study of literature begins during the students' freshman year with a survey of genres of literature. During sophomore year, students study American literature; during the junior year, they study British literature. Seniors round out their studies with a world literature course. AP Literature and Composition and AP Language and Composition are options for seniors. The department also offers IB classes for juniors and seniors who are interested in pursing an IB diploma or certificate.
In addition to the required English courses, we provide a variety of electives designed to enhance each academic level. Courses such as journalism, etymology, creative writing, advanced debate, drama in literature, Shakespeare, and sports in literature expand our students' understanding of the world. Through our summer reading program and our Book Club, we promote the love of reading. Students are required to read two novels during the summer. These novels are carefully chosen by the English faculty to fit the diverse reading abilities of the students and to complement the students' upcoming course curricula.
The twenty-one members of the English department represent some of our most experienced teachers as well as some of our most recent additions to the faculty. While the English department strives to prepare our students for college, we also feel an obligation to encourage them to be lifelong readers and writers. We accomplish this goal by conveying our love of literature, words, speech, and writing to our students on a daily basis.
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