2000-01-08 / Columnists

From the Shores of

Beach Channel High School

Courses in the Department of English are designed to increase and refine communication skills. All students are expected to be able to read widely various types of texts for various purposes. Reading newspapers, electronic text, popular magazines, maps, memoranda, and journals are habits that students have the opportunity to acquire in high school. Skills of evaluating the credibility and motive behind what we see and hear and read are critical in an Information Age.

The ability to communicate to others is just as important. The skills of formulating questions, research, compiling information using various technologies, and of representing information in a variety of ways are skills that students of today will soon be called upon to exhibit as their future roles demand business, personal, literary, and persuasive texts for various audiences and purposes.

All students must pass at least eight credits in English 1-8 to graduate. All students must pass the Comprehensive English Regents as a requirement for graduation.

Core Courses:

Year one--Freshman courses emphasize basic grammar conventions, a sense of the sentence, a sense of the paragraph, description and narration, world literature (short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry), literary forms and terms associated with selections being read.

Year two--Emphasis is on reinforcement of language conventions, outlining and writing the expository essay, research essay, further reading of various genres.

Regents Writing--This required course emphasizes skills and strategies required to pass the new English Regents Examination. Students may be programmed for this course during one of their first four terms at Beach Channel. Emphasis is on essays.

Year three--Emphasis on planning, drafting, and completing error-free writing compositions on a regular basis. Expository and persuasive writing are emphasized. Expository writing and critical reading of American classics in multiple genres are the focal points.

Year four--Emphasis is on refining all of the composition skills in a variety of forms, including business, personal, and literacy. Extensive reading from British literature, including selections from the old English period, Medieval period, the English Renaissance, 17 and 18 Century, Romantic period, Victorian period, and Modern period.

Honors and AP Program--The English Department offers an extensive Honors program. Freshman students are programmed for English Honors based on test scores and the recommendation of their junior high school teachers. Articulation from one Honors level to the next is dependent upon grades and/or teacher recommendations. In general, an 85 average must be maintained to move from one Honors level to another.

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