English IV ‐ AP English Language and Composition Students in AP English Language and Composition engage in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students become aware, in both their writing and their reading, of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.
Students in AP English Language and Composition, a college‐level course, read complex texts with understanding and write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. Students move beyond such programmatic responses as the five‐paragraph essay; although such formulaic approaches may provide minimal organization, they often encourage unnecessary repetition and fail to engage the reader. Students place their emphasis on content, purpose, and audience and allow this focus to guide the organization of their writing.
To reflect the increasing importance of graphics and visual images in texts published in print and electronic media, students analyze how such images both relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of text themselves. In addition, the informed use of research materials and the ability to synthesize varied sources (to evaluate, use, and cite sources) are integral parts of the AP English Language and Composition course. Students move past assignments that allow for the uncritical citation of sources and, instead, take up projects that call on them to evaluate the legitimacy and purpose of sources used.
All students take the AP Test for possible college credit; the cost of the test per student/family is $87. Fee reductions apply for
students who qualify for the federal free/reduced lunch program. Prerequisites: English III
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ English III or IV ‐ African American Literature This course meets the graduation requirement for English III OR English IV (but not both). Applying thematic historical contexts, students in the African American Literature course deconstruct texts and other forms of media from the 1800s to modern times to evaluate how African Americans have been portrayed in the media, community, politics and other governing bodies in the United States. Students will apply educational theory and literary criticism in various forms: essays, research papers, and oral presentations, to understand multiple vantage points of the African American experience. Students will demonstrate the synthesis of rhetorical effect using literary devices. Students will be immersed in the use of the Socratic Method in facilitating an environment of excavation and dialogue. Students will write an extensive, cross‐curricular research paper, demonstrating mastery of research skills and effective written language.
Prerequisites: English II
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ English III or IV ‐ Latin American Literature This core English course meets the graduation requirement for English III OR English IV (but not both). Students in this course examine texts by writers of Latin American ancestry. By examining various genres through literary, historical, social, political, and artistic perspectives, students will develop their skills as highly proficient readers and writers. Students in this course complete rigorous creative and academic writing assignments, including an interdisciplinary research project. Students are challenged to develop their own understanding of the course's themes in a global context and expand their appreciation of writing. Students use the course work to improve their skills in rhetoric, writing, and text analysis based on the ACT English College Readiness Standards,
which naturally align with the Illinois state standards.
Students also develop their critical‐thinking ability: the well‐reasoned
problem‐solving process where one examines evidence and decides what to believe, communicate, or do.
Prerequisites: English II
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Academic Decathlon I, II, III, IV Students train to compete in the Academic Decathlon competitions. Students demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and understanding in the core subjects and areas of mathematics, economics, art history, interview, speech, music, and social science. A novel is read each year, setting the theme which is the umbrella topic for the year’s competition. Advanced students demonstrate leadership roles in competition and in building their team’s academic competitive skills, driving cooperative instruction and assisting in preparation of first and second‐year Decathletes for the competitions. Following competition season, students will read and respond to a variety of works on a theme selected by the previous year’s team. This class meets during zero
period. This course does NOT meet English graduation requirements.