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Curriculum » Secondary Education » High School Curriculum » English Language Arts

English Language Arts
Administrator:  Anthony Davis
Phone: 453-1500, ext. 4001

Department Chair:  Sara Primerano
Phone: 453-1500

The English Language Arts Department offers a multilevel program consisting of Honors, Academic, Advanced Placement, and SUPA. The English department emphasizes building reading skills through study of both fiction and nonfiction texts. Writing skills are developed through study and production of multiple genres at all grade levels.
English 12 students must select one senior writing workshop and one senior literature course to satisfy their senior English requirement. Syracuse University Project Advance and Advanced Placement English 12 satisfy the senior English writing and literature requirements.

These programs in English are designed for students who are exceptionally skilled in writing and reading. Usually 10 percent of a particular class is enrolled in these programs.

NOTE: A final average of at least 90 in the previous grade and teacher recommendation are advised for enrollment in Honors level classes and college level courses.

ENGLISH 9A            
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 9)
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

English 9A continues to build on the language arts instruction that was begun in the middle schools and introduces new skills necessary for successful performance in high school. Listening and oral skills instruction focus on formal and informal communications. Students will be exposed to various types of world literature including short stories, drama, poetry, and novels.

ENGLISH 9H       
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 9)
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

This course introduces a significant change in instruction and student performance levels. The course focuses on identifying and defining resources of language, analyzing poetry's underlying meaning and studying the literary tradition of classical theater and mythological allusions. Writing instruction will focus on a strong sense of organization, clarity of thought and composition, and the use of adequate detail for development and support.

ENGLISH 10A            
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 10)
Prerequisite: English 9

Tenth grade English focuses on specific elements of the narrative. An understanding of narrative structure helps students identify how meaning is made out of our daily human experiences.  Students will use literature to read and understand their world, they will read as inquirers, ask questions of the text, and generate and test claims about narrative.  As students read closely and carefully they see and understand the structure of a text; they understand that a writer must make decisions about how to use language, how to connect ideas and how to make meaning.

ENGLISH 10H           
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 10)
Prerequisite: English 9 Honors and teacher recommendation

English 10 Honors offers a rigorous approach to reading and writing. Students will engage in a collaborative discourse with peers and the teacher. Students will practice the skills of sustained independent study in order to learn how to synthesize complex ideas using a variety of texts (poetry, novels, film, non-fiction, literary theory, etc.). It is expected that students will spend a significant amount of time in and out of school practicing the craft of analytic writing. Such writing will culminate in analysis papers, research papers/projects, and narrative pieces.

ENGLISH 11A       
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 11)
Prerequisite: English 10

The focus of English 11 is twofold: providing students with a comprehensive analysis of American literature and nonfiction including seminal U.S. historical documents and preparing students to take the New York State Regents Exam in June. The thematic focus of the course is the American experience and the readings explore America’s search for cultural and personal identity, the pursuit of the American Dream, and the relationship writers have to historical time periods. Skills that are reinforced and further developed include synthesizing, listening, reading for information, literary analysis, writing for various audiences, crafting an argument, and research.

ENGLISH 11H       
40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 11)
Prerequisite: English 10 Honors and teacher recommendation

This course continues the development of skills used in 10 Honors and develops the skills necessary for 12H, SUPA English and English 12AP. Students will study American literary traditions, analyze increasingly complex texts, including but not limited to literature and nonfiction such as seminal U.S. documents. The student's writing will demonstrate sophisticated language, the use of complex sentence patterns, an ability to use a variety of writing styles, craft arguments, demonstrate the skill of synthesis and offering deeper insights into literature.

40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 11)
Prerequisite: English 10 Honors and teacher recommendation

English 11 AP Language and Composition is a writing-intensive course in which students critically read and analyze selected nonfiction works of major writers, identifying and explaining the author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques. Interpretive reasoning skills are strengthened through oral and written activities such as analytical, expository and argumentative essays, group discussions and a research paper. Students in this course are expected to take the English AP Language exam in May. The estimated fee for the required AP exam in 2013-2014 is $90.


To receive senior English credit, the student must take one semester of a Writing Workshop (Group A) and one semester of English 12 Literature (Group B) or AP English 12 or SU Project Advance (Group C). It is recommended that a student take the writing workshop course and the literature course in different semesters.


20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: Senior standing and teacher recommendation

Designed for the student who needs to improve writing skills, this course focuses on organization, development, and diction. Instruction emphasizes the development of interpretive and analytical writing skills necessary for college and beyond. Students will write in a workshop setting, utilizing the writing process to develop a minimum of six finished pieces. Evaluation will be based on class work and required writing assignments, since there is no final exam in this course.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: Senior standing and teacher recommendation

Designed for the advanced writer who has mastered basic composition skills and wishes to concentrate on style, this course emphasizes interpretation and analysis of complex issues and focuses not only on content but on presentation as well. Students write in a workshop setting and utilize the writing process to develop eight polished pieces. Evaluation is based on preparation, class work, major papers and a final portfolio.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: Senior standing and teacher recommendation

Writing workshop 4 is designed to meet the writing needs of students whose abilities and career goals lie in the fields of math, science, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and business. Students will learn to write clear, concise prose, to tailor communication skills to specified audiences, and to use effectively the forms of communication prevalent in the technical writing world (e.g., abstracts, letters, reports). Evaluation is based on a series of technical papers, a corporation simulation project, and a final portfolio.


20 weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: English 11H

English 12H is a seminar-based literature course, which focuses on philosophical issues related to literature and life. During the semester, students will examine and analyze literature, texts, film, music, essays, etc., and discuss essential questions that produce sophisticated and confident readers, writers, listeners, thinkers and speakers. Students participate in a seminar setting where much of the inquiry will center on the relationships among literature, culture, and politics as viewed through the lenses of modernism's totalizing theory and postmodernism's chaos theory.

20 weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: English 11
The twelfth grade literature course is a seminar-based curriculum focused on textual studies. It introduces students to literary criticism by engaging them in important questions through the examination of texts. Concepts concerning feminist, political, and psychoanalytical criticism are among the perspectives examined and studied. Students become independent readers and thinkers by engaging in important questions through the analysis and synthesis of literature, film, music, and essays.


40 Weeks - 1 LHS Credit (Grade 12)

Prerequisite: English 11AP or English 11H, senior standing and teacher recommendation
SUPA consists of two Syracuse University courses, WRT105 and ETS142. Each is a semester course and a student may earn a total of six college credits when the course is successfully completed. The estimated tuition for the 2013-2014 school year is $660.
  • WRT105, a reading intensive writing course, is a means of discovering and evaluating ideas for various academic audiences. This course is for students who wish to study both literary and non-literary texts and to examine language, its embedded power structures and its cultural significance.

  • ETS142 is a writing-intense reading and interpretative workshop that stresses not what but how we read. This course is designed for students who wish to concentrate on writing beyond literary context and develop their collegiate writing and thinking methods.

40 Weeks - 1 Credit (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: English 11AP or English 11H and teacher recommendation

Advanced Placement English is designed for the highly motivated and skilled English student. The primary focus of the course is a close analysis of literature and skillful, concise expression in writing. Through an emphasis on a wide range of literature (European, American, and British), students will develop a proficiency at analyzing the novel, poetry, and dramatic literature. The course includes a focus on preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination in literature and composition, which, with an acceptable score, is widely accepted by colleges and universities across the country in lieu of freshman composition and literature. The estimated fee for the required AP exam in 2013-2014 is $90.


20 Weeks - 1/2 credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

A dynamic and active exploration of the art of film is the focus of this course. It will teach an understanding of language and techniques, as well as explore the history of film. To achieve the purpose of the course, films containing mature content may be used.  Multiple perspectives will be examined: the viewer, the actor, the director and the critic. The student’s critical thinking, reading and viewing skills will be developed.

CINEMA & SCREEN STUDIES 2 (*Pending approval)       
20 Weeks - 1/2 credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  Cinema & Screen Studies 1

Cinema & Screen Studies 2 (CSS 2) will involve the practical application of the film theory and film language concepts gained in CSS 1. Specifically, students will further explore how meaning is created through story and style across an array of films. This exploration will culminate in the creation of short films of about eight to ten minutes.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

The Creative Writing elective is designed for students who wish to develop their craft within traditional genres (poetry, short-stories) and expand their skill set by experimenting with unfamiliar genres  (screenplays, entertainment reviews, drama, graphic novels, etc.). Through daily writing exercises and critical examinations of professional writers' and their peers' work, students will develop unique and powerful voices. Evaluation will be based on major projects in multiple genres, in-class work, and a final project of the writer's choosing.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite: Creative Writing

WRT114: Writing Culture: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction.  In this class, we’ll read and reflect upon a variety of creative nonfiction texts (memoirs, biography, travel writing, science writing, and literary journalism to name a few), as well as compose essays that explore a wide range of topics and experiment broadly with voice, style, form, and the use of research to enrich our writing.  This class can be considered as “Creative Writing 2,” because we will also borrow from standard techniques of fiction writing and poetry learned in the Creative Writing elective, or in the general English classroom. Since this is an intensive writing class, we’ll often engage in writing activities in class, including brainstorming and free writing activities, and structured peer critiques. Three College Credits. Estimated cost: $330. 

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

This course will serve as an introduction to the study of gender. We will examine gender as a subject that permeates our senses of self, culture, relationships, economics and power in society. The course will introduce students to basic concepts such as gender, sex, sexuality, gender differences, and gender socialization. The course will then go on to examine how ideas about gender shape and are shaped by popular culture and advertising, relationships, modes of production in the economy, and state policies.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

This course is designed for students who wish to learn the skills of producing a newspaper and is divided into two parts: instruction time and production time. The class will produce a minimum of three Liverpool High School newspapers, although the goal is to print a monthly paper.  With the permission of the instructor, students may enroll in Advanced Journalism.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  Journalism & Publications

This course is a continuation of the Journalism & Publications course. Students will learn more advanced journalism skills and take on more responsibility for the production of the newspaper.  The class meets with the Journalism 1 class; many of the Advanced Journalism students act as mentors for the less experienced students. Instruction is more self-directed in this course. Students may take this course up to three times and may receive 1/2 credit each time the course is taken.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

This course will analyze the relationship between the media and our society. In our world, change is fast, but the media is faster. We will study the ways that media sources exploit and feed pop culture by examining trends in music, TV, the web, fashion, movies, advertising, texting and Facebook. Find out just how much the media changes your life.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

In this course the students will read, analyze, and discuss various works of mystery and suspense in both literature and film. The course covers the evolution of mystery and suspense, using two novels, several films and a variety of short stories. To achieve the purpose of the course, material containing mature content may be used. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class work, creative writing assignments and reading response papers, two novels and a major presentation.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite: None

Mythology is a course designed to familiarize students with the timeless tales of the past, most especially, Greek, Norse and Celtic, and with literature, art, and music utilizing these tales. This course will culminate in a project related to the course content and the student’s special interest.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

The intent of this course is to move the student from an interest in sports to an analysis of the significance of sports to the individual and to society.  Readings will focus on different genres of writing, including journalistic features, essays and biographies. The content of the readings will include media coverage, business considerations, ethics, and gender issues. Guest speakers from the sports world are part of the course.

20 Weeks - 1/2 Credit (Grades 10–12)
Prerequisite:  None

This course in public speaking emphasizes effective communication in both performance and conversation. Included are units on oral interpretation of literature, informative and persuasive speaking, and debate. Evaluation is based on speaking performance, written speech preparation, written peer evaluation, and a final speech.

Liverpool Central School District | 195 Blackberry Road | Liverpool, NY 13090 | Main Phone: 315-622-7900