English I, Grade 9, 1 Credit
This course is designed to deepen students' capacities to respond to works of literature and to analyze how authors use literary devices to create meaning. Through reading a variety of genres, students expand their awareness of literary style and structure and respond to works through journaling, group projects, Socratic seminars, and analytical essays.
As a stepping-stone to the IB program, reading and writing skills are taught and developed through the study of literary elements such as theme, figurative language, characterization, setting, plot, point of view, and word choice. Vocabulary and grammar instruction are an embedded part of the curriculum.
Selected works may include Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, A Raisin in the Sun, When the Emperor Was Divine, Night, Catcher in the Rye, Maus I and I, poetry, short stories, and excerpts from How to Read Literature Like a Professor
English II, Grade 10, 1 Credit
English II builds on the skills explored in English 9, and works to ready students for the IB program. This course will develop skills in close reading, analysis, and composition. Through a study of a range of genres and authors, students will begin to move toward a greater awareness of world literature texts while embracing the habits of mind necessary to be a true "IB Learner." Students will gain increasing comprehension of genre and style as they analyze, interpret, and compare and contrast literature from different cultural and historical contexts. They will develop their critical thinking skills, write with growing proficiency, and speak with escalating confidence as they make individual as well as group presentations. In preparation for the International Baccalaureate course work, each student will prepare at least one formal oral presentation as well as several written literary commentaries throughout the year. In addition, solid critical essay writing skills will be exercised throughout the year. Students will also engage in outside reading, vocabulary and grammar study, and the elements of academic formatting. Texts studied may include the Odyssey, selected short stories and poems, A Separate Peace, The Great Gatsby, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Othello, and How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
IB English Standard Level 1, Grade 11, 1 Credit
In the first year of the IB English course, students will analyze authorial techniques and effect to demonstrate knowledge and understanding through oral and written assessments. Students will incorporate a heightened literary register and make personal and insightful connections with literature. Students will read the Part IV (Options) works, which may include Lord of the Flies, The Crucible, and E.B. White's essays, The Things They Carried, A Streetcar Named Desire, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Slaughterhouse-Five, or other texts selected by the teacher. In this section, works are linked by their use of narrative technique and themes. Each student will give a 10-15 minute oral presentation on a topic of his or her choice based on one of the above works. This presentation will be graded internally using an IB rubric, and it will count toward the student's overall IB score.
Students will also read the Part I works (Works in Translation), which may include A Doll's House, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Visit or other texts selected by the teacher. Standard Level students complete a written assessment which will focus on the social and cultural context of one of the above works. The essay is 1200-1500 words and will be externally assessed. This course continues as IB English Standard Level 2 in the senior year.
IB English Higher Level 1, Grade 11, 1 Credit
In this course much emphasis is placed on the student's ability to independently address the literary elements of works, to write and speak fluently, coherently, and knowledgeably, and to make personal and insightful connections with literature. IB assessments as well as non-IB assessments will be used, and students will be expected to respond to literature orally and in writing on a personal and analytical level. Students read Part IV works (Options), which may include Lord of the Flies, The Crucible or other works selected by the teacher. Each student will give a 10-15 minute oral presentation on a topic of his or her choice based on one of the above works. This presentation will be graded internally using an IB rubric, and it will count toward the student's overall IB score. Students will also read three Part I works (Works in Translation), which may include works such as Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Rashomon, A Doll' House, The Visit, or other works selected by the teacher. Students will write a 1,200-1,500 word written assignment that is externally assessed. A key component of this essay is an appreciation of the cultural context of the works, which will be explored verbally in class through the interactive oral. In addition to the core curriculum, students will study literary criticism and approaches to critical reading in preparation for the Paper One, Literary Analysis. Students will be expected to respond to literature more independently and in greater depth and breadth than those in Standard Level. This course continues as IB English Higher Level 2 in the senior year.
Work in this course will continue to emphasize close reading and a studied critical response to literature. Students will read the Part II (Detailed Study) works, which may include Hamlet, poetry, and other works selected by the teacher. Each Standard Level student will complete an Individual Oral Commentary, which is a ten-minute commentary on an extract from one of the works above. The commentaries are graded internally and moderated by IBO.
In the second semester, students will read the Part III (Literary Genres) works. These include thematically linked texts from the same genre. Works may include The Old Man and the Sea, Heart of Darkness, Sula, Jump and Other Short Stories, and Things Fall Apart or other texts selected by the teacher. Students will be externally assessed based on two written IB exams: Paper 1, a guided literary analysis in response to an unseen passage; and Paper 2, a comparative essay on at least two of the works studied in Part III. These two assessments constitute 45% of the student's IB grade.
IB English Higher Level 2, Grade 12, 1 Credit
This course will continue the work begun in Higher Level 1. Work in this course will continue to emphasize independent, careful, close reading and a studied critical response to literature. Students will explore various modes of composition and oral presentation and will hone skills in those areas. Building upon essential skills developed in the first year of the program, students will read the Part II works (Detailed Study), which may include Hamlet, The Tempest, George Orwell essays, and the close study of a major poet (such as Robert Frost, Carol Ann Duffy, or Seamus Heaney). Each Higher Level student will complete an Individual Oral Commentary, which is a ten-minute commentary on a poem selected from those studied and a ten-minute discussion of one of the two other works studied. The commentaries are graded internally and moderated by the IBO. Finally, students will read the Part III works (Literary Genres), which are works loosely linked thematically and all within the same genre. Those works may include novels (such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sula, or The Road) or drama (such as A Streetcar Named Desire or Death of a Salesman). The IB assessments in May are the Paper 1 exam which is a literary commentary (close reading and analysis) on a selection of poetry or prose that the candidate has not studied, and a Paper 2 exam, which is a comparative analysis based on a choice of questions on the works studied in Part III. These two assessments constitute 45% of the student's IB grade. The student is given two hours to complete each exam.