English

The goal of the English department at Portage High School is to prepare our students to be college and career ready when they graduate. We teach students to read critically both fiction and non-fiction material, think critically through analysis of materials and express themselves through oral and written communication. We also have a number of elective classes to enrich students' high school experiences. Dual credit opportunities through Purdue North Central are available through Advanced English 11, Advanced English 12, English 12 AP, and Expository Writing (fees apply).

Biblical Literature, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grade 12, A senior English choice.
Prerequisite:  C or better in English 11
In this course, students study the Bible stories, characters, quotations, and selected excerpts to recognize recurrent themes and Biblical allusions in classical literature, in contemporary literature, and in other contemporary media. Related literature is included as it pertains to Biblical themes. Students will write on various topics in formal essays and in informal journal responses. They will also develop oral reading and oral presentations, both individual and group. 
Additional Fees or Requirements:  Creating and presenting to the class an acceptable final project is a requirement.

Broadcasting, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Journalism (a C or better in both semesters)
After being accepted into the class by applying for a staff position in the spring, students will produce and maintain television, radio, and online programs. Students enrolled in the class will be assigned to a particular staff and apply for specific positions. Leadership positions in the class will include Studio Director (TV), Station Director (radio), and Webmaster (online). Television students will produce a daily morning announcement and sports show, as well as a monthly features show. Radio students will produce a weekly, 30-minute afternoon radio program. Multiple shows may be produced. The online students will produce a functioning website that includes updated briefs, stories from all forms of PHS Media, and current multimedia trends, such as video clips and audio slideshows. Students will be graded using the standards for journalism. Grades will be based on the students’ participation, ability to meet deadlines, and quality of work.
Additional Fees or Requirements:  After-school work will be required. 

Creative Writing I, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: "C" or better in previous English class or teacher recommendation
Students who have a desire to expand and improve their literary and creative talents would benefit from this course, which provides students with ample opportunities to combine literary creativity with the discipline of written discourse. Effective manipulation of language to convey ideas, feelings, moods, and visual images is the basis of this course. Students become more familiar with standard literary elements through reading and study of published models of excellence in prose, drama, and poetry, and they are taught to use those elements in their own writing. Additionally, students practice strategies of evaluation and response to their own writing and the writing of others through peer review. Students hone their skills in providing constructive, substantive feedback while role playing as likely readers for each work. One area of concentration is stressed, and one major work written for publication is mandatory. Submission of writings to various contests is strongly encouraged.
Additional Fees or Requirements: May be taken only once.

Creative Writing II, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Creative Writing I with a "C" or better
Students will commit to a genre in this class (fiction, poetry, drama) and create a body of work in that genre, culminating with a writing portfolio. They will participate in various writing activities to improve their skills in that genre. Students will have extensive time to write, conference with the instructor, and workshop with other students. Emphasis will be placed on creating new works, as well as revising existing writing.
Note: This class may be taken a second time for an additional credit with teacher recommendation if the student agrees to focus on a different writing genre. For example, the student could commit to poetry the first time, short story the second time.

Debate, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
This course focuses on developing skills for students to become persuasive writers, in-depth researchers, and skillful orators through the fundamentals of debate. Students research a variety of literary and technical genres; also, students research a variety of perspectives to anticipate their opponent's argument. This is a rigorous course for students to develop skills in analysis and logic. Students gain an understanding of the theories of argumentation and persuasive cases, and practice public speaking.

Dramatic Literature, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
This class is more of a technical acting class with focus on elements of dramatic performance. Movement, interpretation, characterization, pantomime, direction, vocal variety and inflection are may of the skills practiced and polished. Instruction in this course enables students to: (1) improvise and write plays or scenes; (2) imaginatively express thoughts, feelings, moods, and characters; and (3) apply techniques involving voice, gesture, facial expressions, and body movement to reproduce the subtleties of language and voice inflection in conveying emotions and meaning. Students are introduced to warm-up activities for body and voice, including mime activities. Students develop skills enabling them to speak clearly and expressively with: (1) appropriate articulation, (2) pronunciation, (3) volume, (4) stress, (5) rate, (6) pitch, (7) inflection, and (8) intonation. Using knowledge gained through the study of technical theatre and scripts, students focus on solving the problems faced by actors, directors, and technicians. They also refine their abilities to collaborate on performances, and they learn to constructively evaluate their own and others efforts. Study also includes activities from a variety of historical and cultural contexts. Students develop critical thinking skills through studying examples of theatre criticism followed by analyzing and evaluating live performances. Career opportunities in the theatre arts are also explored.
This course counts as a fine arts credit towards the honors diploma.

Dramatic Literature II, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Dramatic Literature.
Students will research, create, and perform characterizations through script analysis, observation, improvisation, and rehearsal. This course will expand on the skills developed in Theatre Arts to include Classical Greek and Renaissance plays, as well as Stanislavskian methods to prepare the actor for a variety of styles and genres. Elements of directing, character portrayal, vocal technique and dialect, and physical choices (movement and stage presence) will be explored to refine those basic skills developed in the prerequisite course. In addition, students will create and perform their own dramatic scripts and comedy sketches, and they will critique other students performances.
This course counts as a fine arts credit towards the honors diploma.

English 9, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 9
This course gives students the opportunity to develop essential skills in composition, literature, vocabulary, and oral communication. Students use and practice the writing process and utilize related rubrics as evaluation tools. This writing process includes prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing work using MLA format when appropriate. In the literature component of this course, reading comprehension, literary terms, literary appreciation, essential skills, real-life applications, and vocabulary study are emphasized. Students are given opportunities to read, comprehend, analyze, interpret, and share many literary genres. They study and apply appropriate reading strategies and develop vocabulary through contextual clues and independent reading. Ideas and information are shared through formal and informal oral presentations. These presentations focus on public speaking fundamentals and critical listening skills.

English 9 Pre-AP, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 9
Prerequisite: A or B in previous English class, winter star score must be at 10.0 grade equivalent and teacher recommendation.
Pre-AP English 9 follows the same basic curriculum as English 9, but it is intended for the above-average, well-motivated student. The class includes additional outside writings and readings, and places greater emphasis on standards and assessments in ways appropriate for ninth graders. Students enrolling in this course are anticipating enrollment in AP English 11, Language and Composition and AP English 12, Literature and Composition. The title Pre-AP designates preparatory course for AP work, not a College Board Advanced Placement course.

English 10, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 10
Students will continue to develop essential skills introduced and practiced to proficiency in English 9. Students will be required to successfully engage in curriculum specific to the Common Core Standards enhanced by the reading of a panorama of literature from world sources. A thematic focus will continue to be driven by critical thinking skills necessary for success in and out of the classroom. Students should also expect an assigned novel outside of class as well as the creation of written projects to be presented orally which relates to the novels. Writing will include workplace writing, both in conjunction with and separate from the literature assignments, analytical essays, expository essays, critiques, journals, and creative projects. Students will exercise all parts of the Writing Process from pre-writing to publication. They will also be expected to share their projects and ideas via oral communication and presentations. Students should expect to be exposed to various types of technology designed to enhance their presentations. Various vocabulary, grammar, and word usage units will be studied and applied.

English 10 Pre-AP, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 10
Prerequisite: A or B in previous English class, winter star score must be at 11.0 grade equivalent and teacher recommendation.
This class is designed for those students wishing to take AP classes their junior and senior years. Students will be expected to learn the basic elements of rhetoric: writing with a purpose, addressing and appealing to an audience, creating effective text structures, and developing and implementing an appropriate style. Additionally, students will write in both informal and formal contexts to gain authority and learn to take risks in writing. Imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing, and in-class responses will be used to help students become increasingly aware of themselves as writers and of the techniques employed by the writers they read. Pre-AP students are expected to read widely (poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction) and reflect on their reading through extensive discussion, writing, and rewriting. Pre-AP students must assume considerable responsibility for the amount of reading and writing they will be required to do during the year to prepare them for English 11 AP and English 12 AP.

LALab, 2 semesters 2 elective credits
Grades 9, 10
This course is designed for students who are part of the looping program. Students are automatically signed up for this if they qualify for the looping program.
Additional Fees or Requirements:  Must be enrollment in the looping group.

English 11, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 11
Students will enhance critical thinking and logic to communicate effectively in all four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Increased attention is given to further developmental skills through analysis and synthesis of information from a variety of sources. As persuasion continues to provide the focus of oral and written communication, students will write for different purposes and audiences to produce personal, technical, and literary essays and letters. That is, as students analyze sources with increased attention to persuasive and argumentative techniques, as well as logical fallacies, they will synthesize information through oral and written work. The writing process, often utilizing computer skills and technology, is combined with literary selections, grammar, and usage as they apply to student compositions and career exploration. A structured vocabulary program is integrated throughout each term. In this course students will explore the canon of classic and contemporary American literature through thematic units with an emphasis on both the historical background of the authors and the structure and style of different genre. This course continues to emphasize the integration of class discussions, oral presentations, and group work.

Advanced English 11, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 11
Prerequisites: A or B in previous English class and/or teacher recommendation
Students will enhance critical thinking and logic to communicate effectively in all four areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Increased attention is given to further developmental skills through analysis and synthesis of information from a variety of sources. As persuasion continues to provide the focus of oral and written communication, students will write for different purposes and audiences to produce personal, technical and literary essays and letters. That is, as students analyze sources with increased attention to persuasive and argumentative techniques, as well as logical fallacies, they will synthesize information through oral and written work. The writing process, utilizing computer skills and technology, is combined with literary selections, grammar and usage as they apply to student compositions and career exploration. A structured vocabulary program is integrated throughout each term. In this course, students will explore the canon of classic and contemporary American literature through thematic units with an emphasis on both historical background of the authors and the structure and style of different genre. This course continues to emphasize the integration of class discussions, oral presentations and group work. The dual credit sections of this course will place heavy emphasis on analysis, close readings of various works, and writing on various topics and genres.
Dual Credit: Pending

English 11 AP, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 11
Prerequisite: A or B in previous English class, winter star score must be at 12.0 grade equivalent and teacher recommendation.
English 11 Honors/AP is a college-bound course designed to prepare students for the rigorous analytical writing that they will encounter on the college level as well as to prepare students for the AP English Language test. This class differs from other English courses, even those on the Advanced and Honors level in many facets. For example, the study and analysis of non-fiction takes center stage over the pieces of fictional literature that students will be required to read. Students will be required to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate material using a unique rhetoric and terminology indicative to this type of writing. The AP Language and Composition Advanced Placement examination contains a multiple-choice section accompanied by three 40-minute free response sections. New to this year’s test is a Synthesis Essay in which students will read and incorporate information representing two sides of an argument, one being a visual, such as a chart or cartoon, and synthesize the material into a coherent essay. Former free response questions from previous AP tests, along with multiple choice segments also abstracted from former tests or AP reference books, will also serve as primary resources for this class. Even though American excerpts will serve as the frame for this class, because of diversity of material represented on the AP test, as well as the necessity for students to be well-rounded in literary experiences to better prepare them for college, students will be exposed to American, British, and World Literature and non-fiction essays. These will also aid students in the compilation of allusions from various periods of literature.
Note: Selections of fiction will be assigned in order to have students examine and analyze the effects of the rhetorical choices made by the authors.

English 12-1, 12-2, 1 semester (each), 1 credit
Grade 12, A senior English choice.
The focus of this class is providing students a wide variety of opportunities to hone their well-developed skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking so as to be successful in any social, educational, business, or technical environment. Reading instructions emphasizes verifying and clarifying facts presented in various types of expository texts, such as consumer, workplace, public, historical, and literary documents. Written and oral components of the class include defending and clarifying authors’ positions through use of logic, solid organizations, and persuasive appeals. In addition, students study and practice how to complete complex forms, describe procedures, give directions, write proposals, and use graphic forms for clarity and persuasiveness. Students follow the writing process and use technology for research and to produce polished documents. Leisure reading is encouraged, and sometimes required. Literature focuses on outstanding British authors and their most famous works from the Anglo-Saxon to Modern periods as students refine skills for judging and analyzing satirical, symbolic, and allegorical elements.


Advanced English 12 , 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 12
Prerequisite: A or B in previous English class and/or teacher recommendation.
This dual credit course will blend facets of Humanities and Expository Writing as students are exposed to an in-depth study of the development and advancement of human kinds efforts in the following areas: history, science and technology, philosophy, religion, law, literature and language, painting, sculpture, architecture, drama, music and dance, and photography and film. Focus of the class is on criticism and appreciation of the arts and on their reflection of the cultural ethos as expressed through various writing assignments as well as oral presentations. Students will study models of writing samples and analyze the style, content and purpose of various examples. The student will write informative and analytical essays which lead into the techniques of research and the procedure of writing and producing a fully documented research paper.
Dual Credit: Pending

English 12 AP, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 12, A senior English choice.
Prerequisite: A or B in previous English class, winter star score must be at 12.9 grade equivalent and teacher recommendation.
The English 12 Honors/Advanced Placement course is equivalent to a freshman-level college course. This one-year course requires considerable abilities in literary studies, concerted effort, and the dedication necessary to flourish in a demanding academic environment. Students are involved in both the study and practice of writing, and the study of world literature. The demanding composition regimen in the English 12 Honors/Advanced Placement course will allow students to experience college-level assignments and to refine their composition skills. Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of literature and include essays in exposition and argument. Although much of the writing in this course will be about literature, speaking and writing about different kinds of subjects should further develop the students sense of the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, and reading, but chiefly through the experience of their own writing, students become more aware of there sources of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, symbolism, syntax, audience, and tone. Students will refine their writing skills in a variety of modes, develop their voice as writers, improve their reading and analytical skills, and complete projects that demonstrate the honest and effective use of language and the organization of ideas in a clear, coherent, and persuasive manner. Writing is taught through the fundamentals of rhetorical theory and follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description. Through the close reading of selected texts, students in the English 12 Honors/Advanced Placement course will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. Students will explore the ways literature is both reflective and prophetic about the way people see and understand the world in which they live. While the syllabus may vary slightly from year to year, students will intensively study several representative works from various genres and periods of the world literature canon, beginning with classics and culminating in modernist or post-modernist works. Students will concentrate on works of recognized literary merit worthy of scrutiny because their richness of thought and language challenges the reader to gain insights into such universal themes as identity, alienation, power, and community. The course stresses a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Literature and Composition in May. They may receive college credit for this class with Purdue University North Central (PNC). Students who earn a score of 3 or higher may be awarded credit at many other colleges and universities.
Dual Credit: 6 credits available through Purdue North Central (PNC). Fees apply.


Expository Writing, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grade 12, A senior English choice.
Prerequisite: English 11 with "C" or better in a standard English class excluding summer school or credit recovery.
This is a course in writing informative and analytical essays, which leads into the techniques of research and the procedure of writing and producing a fully documented research paper. Concentration is on analysis and synthesis of source material as students critique and evaluate authenticity of data, produce a well-structured thesis and research paper that supports its thesis, and partake in valid note taking and proper documentation. Using technology, students are able to produce properly formatted final documents. Proficiency is expected in all phases of the writing process from prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Creative writings are also included. Students progress to more formal, professional oral communication, as a multi-media presentation over a research topic utilizing PowerPoint is required. Prior knowledge of PowerPoint is not expected.Students must, however, possess above average writing skills.  
Additional Fees or Requirements: Students must complete and submit a well-documented, validated research paper and a portfolio before the end of the term.

Humanities, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grade 12, A senior English choice.
Prerequisite: Must have an A or B in English 11 and teacher recommendation.
This course provides students with an in depth study of the development and advancement of human kinds efforts in the following areas: history, science and technology, philosophy, religion, law, literature and language, painting, sculpture, architecture, drama, music and dance, and photography and film. Focus of the class is on criticism and appreciation of the arts and on their reflection of the cultural ethos. Class activities include informal essays, journal responses, individual and group oral presentations, class discussions, research reports, and a major project of individual cultural interest.

Journalism, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Journalism is the study of the art of reporting and the profession of journalists. This course includes the process involved in (1) news gathering, (2) reporting and writing news stories, (3) the legal and social responsibilities involved in newspaper publications, and (4) the ethics of fair and accurate reporting. This course places emphasis on extensive reading of models, which demonstrate use of excellent journalistic techniques and on evaluation and analysis of journalistic writing through discussions and critiques.

Speech, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Essential skills in public speaking will be taught. Students read a variety of literary genre related to course content and speaking assignments and are actively engaged in writing their speeches. Speeches include the following modes: impromptu, demonstration, informative, persuasive, oral interpretation, radio broadcast, and memorial. In addition to presenting speeches, students participate in small group communication, class discussion, interviewing, and peer and professional evaluations. The course emphasizes thorough, documented research, including use of electronic sources and thoughtful organization appropriate to the audience. Elective for Class of 2011 and beyond.

Advanced Speech and Communication, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
Advanced Speech and Communication continues with the skills learned in Speech. Major emphasis is given to the producing of formal speeches. The course focuses on leadership development, listening skills, oral interpretation, parliamentary procedure, research methods, and oral debate. Students are given opportunities to express subject matter knowledge and content through various writing experiences as well as through reading a variety of literary genre related to course content and speaking experiences. Special attention is given to the creating of a complete outline with support, using two or more sources, as well as polishing individual presentation skills. Through the use of impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized delivery, students concentrate on producing speeches that: (1) inform; (2) motivate; (3) entertain; and (4) persuade. Students develop skills in: (1) listening; (2) oral interpretation; (3) parliamentary procedures; (4) research methods; and (5) oral debate. Students in this class are strongly encouraged to attend two speech team tournaments to gain a hands-on experience and an understanding of the nature of competitive speaking.
Additional Fees or Requirements:  It is strongly recommended that students successfully complete another speech class prior to taking this course.

Student Publications - Legend Yearbook, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Journalism (a C or better in both semesters) or permission of instructor. It is suggested that students who wish to be photographers have two semesters of photography.
After being accepted in the class by applying for a staff position in the spring, students produce the school yearbook. Instruction and practice in effective journalistic writing forms and techniques, as well in effective layout, design, and typography is the focus of the class. Representative examples of quality amateur and professional journalism are studied along with the concept of responsible journalism. Students plan, design, write, take photographs, edit, solicit advertisers, polish, publish, market, and distribute the school yearbook.
Additional Fees or Requirements: There is work after school.

Student Publications - Pow Wow Student Newspaper, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: Journalism(a C or better in both semesters) or permission of the instructor. Students who wish to be photographers are required to have two semesters of photography.
After being accepted in the class by applying for a staff position in the spring, students produce the bi-weekly newspaper. Jobs include writing stories, writing editorials and reviews, taking photos, planning issues, and designing layouts. Quality examples of amateur and professional journalism are studied and discussed. The concept of responsible journalism is reviewed and discussed frequently. Students edit, polish, and distribute the newspaper.
Additional Fees or Requirements: There is work after school.

Student Publications - Saga, 1 semester, 1 credit
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite:Creative Writing, instructor permission
This class represents the next logical step after taking Creative Writing I or Creative Writing II. As a working group, these students will produce the school literary magazine, Saga. Tasks will include interpreting poems, analyzing narratives, and sketching or obtaining related art works. Students read and discuss each submission, make selections, type and edit, create layout, proofread, create and distribute advertisements, and complete and distribute the finished product.

bx-next