The most important and demanding tasks of this department are improving the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills of our students. To that end, the Middle School curriculum is designed to strengthen verbal understanding, enhance literary experience, and encourage broad appreciation and mastery of the English language. A parallel reading program during the year and summer aims at broadening student exposure to classic and modern literature. Students participate regularly in literary competitions.
English 6 is the study of literature, grammar, composition, and vocabulary. Comprehension skills are reinforced with the study of novels, short stories, drama, nonfiction selections, and poems. Emphasis is placed on parts of speech, parts of a sentence, standard usage, and writing mechanics. Particular attention is paid to analyzing words via context clues. Students write to express themselves creatively, to inform, and to persuade.
English 7 (College Preparatory and Honors) is the study of grammar, composition, literature, and vocabulary. Particular attention is paid to parts of speech, parts of a sentence, using phrases and clauses, standard usage, and mechanics. Writing well-developed paragraphs is emphasized, and students complete an interdisciplinary research report in conjunction with the history and computer departments. Critical thinking skills are strengthened through the study of nonfiction, short stories, poetry, drama, and novels. Vocabulary development improves reading comprehension and enhances the oral and written use of language.
English 8 (College Preparatory and Honors) furthers the study and use of grammar as it applies to oral and written expression, along with vocabulary in context, literature, and elements of composition. Emphasis is placed on planning, sentence combining, and varying sentence openers. Analytical skills are strengthened through the study of various literary genres