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English

Susan Sylvia the English Department Head

Susan Sylvia
Department Head
Extension: 302
Room: B210b
E-mail: susan.sylvia@gnbvt.ed

Janet Stanton
Academic Secretary
Extension: 202
Room: B210
E-mail: janet.stanton@gnbvt.edu

English

The purpose of the English curriculum at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School is to develop students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening and language skills to the highest level possible. Graduates will use these skills to succeed in college, their career choice and to make sound political, social, and personal judgments. To achieve this purpose, the English curriculum offers four years of writing, literature, and reading courses. This curriculum has been modified following the “New Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework”. The curriculum includes Survey of Literature, World, American and European Literature, and it covers a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures.

Curriculum

Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech graduates enter their post-secondary years with contemporary communications skills that will command respect throughout their personal and professional lives. The English Department implements curriculum aligned with the Massachusetts English Curriculum Frameworks and facilitates:

  • College and career readiness
  • Proficiency in:
    • Reading: text complexity and the growth of comprehension
    • Writing: text types, responding to reading and research
    • Speaking and listening: flexible communication and collaboration
    • Language: conventions, effective use and vocabulary
  • Researching capabilities in accordance with the latest MLA and electronic documentation criteria
  • Literary exposure through classic and contemporary genres and informational texts
  • MCAS and SAT preparation
  • Components for professional career and/or college portfolios

The purpose of the English curriculum at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School is to develop students’ language skills to the highest level possible. Graduates will use these skills to succeed in their trades and professions, to make sound political, social, and personal judgments, and to enjoy the most satisfying entertainment. To achieve this purpose the English curriculum offers four years of writing, literature, and reading courses. This curriculum has been modified following the “Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework”. The freshmen and sophomore English curriculum includes reading and writing in a variety of courses that are designed to improve students. Language skills and enhance their performance on the MCAS test.

The purpose of the writing program for juniors and seniors is to give students the power of effective expression through language, necessary for good writing and, therefore, essential to this course is the ability to think clearly, to organize concepts coherently, to use appropriate format and style in presenting ideas, to include relevant information, and to express thoughts with standard English conventions.

The literature curriculum for juniors and seniors includes works of the “Western Canon” and other literature representing a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures. Its purpose is to improve students’ language skills and give them access to the great well of common cultural reference that literature is. This course also fosters intellectual confidence and gives students a sense of themselves and others as a part of society.

English Courses

Freshman Honors English:

This course, which has a curriculum similar to Freshman CP English, requires students to analyze literature in more depth and to write with more focus. This course is offered to students who have demonstrated advanced skills in English on the placement test and who have been recommended by their middle school teachers and counselors.

Freshman English (CP):

This course introduces students to various forms and types of literature, while developing the necessary skills to enjoy and appreciate reading. Students will be taught techniques in analyzing and interpreting literature on symbolic, critical and figurative levels. A strong emphasis of the course will be essay writing, with a focus on narrative, augmentative and expository writing. Students learn to develop a thesis based on literature and support it using textual evidence. In addition, these courses will include MCAS preparation and Accelerated Reader self-selected readings that will prepare students to take the ELA MCAS test by improving their reading comprehension and emphasizing test-taking strategies. Students will be required to maintain a notebook.

Freshman Foundations of ELA:

This course is designed for students with defined reading and writing problems. Students individual needs will be diagnosed and work will be assigned to meet these needs. This course includes developmentally appropriate yet challenging whole texts in original versions. Essay writing will focus on literary analysis. Students learn to develop a thesis based on literature and supported by textual evidence.

Sophomore Honors English:

This course, which has a curriculum similar to Sophomore CP English, requires students to analyze literature in more depth and to write with more focus. Students will acquire skills in research and become familiar with MLA format. This course will also emphasize test-taking strategies, reading and critical thinking skills that will prepare students for the ELA MCAS exam. This course will help students transition into the AP Language and Composition course.

Sophomore English (CP):

This course is designed to give students knowledge of great writers who, because of the aesthetic value of their work, are authoritative in world culture. This study provides students with a sense of themselves as citizens of the world through the shared experiences of literature. Students analyze and interpret literature representing many genres, time periods, and cultures. Literature by authors from throughout the world will be considered. A strong emphasis of the course will be informational texts and essay writing, with a focus on narrative, argumentative and expository writing. Students are also introduced to research skills, including documentation of sources. This class will prepare students to take the ELA MCAS test by documentation of sources. This class will prepare students to take the ELA MCAS test by improving their reading comprehension and emphasizing test-taking strategies. Students will be required to maintain a notebook and to participate in the Accelerated Reader Program, which encourages independent reading.

Sophomore Foundations of ELA:

This course is designed for students with defined reading and writing problems. Students’ individual needs will be diagnosed and work will be assigned to meet these needs. This course includes developmentally appropriate yet challenging whole texts in original versions, as well as informational texts. The focus is on World Literature. Essay writing will focus on narrative, expository and persuasive essays. Students learn to develop a thesis based on literature and support using textual evidence. During this year, students will continue portfolios of their best writing and will study test taking strategies, reading and critical thinking skills that will prepare students for the ELA MCAS exam.

Junior Honors English:

This course, which has a curriculum similar to Junior CP English, requires students to discuss and analyze literature in more depth. Students will also be required to write with more focus and attention to the requirements of MLA format and standard research requirements. Students may be required to read additional selections from the supplementary book list. Through this course, they will be prepared to transition into the AP Literature and Composition course.

Junior English (CP):

This course is designed to enlighten students with the knowledge of great British writers and their lives and work, and to explore the complexities of the English language. Students will study pieces of literature from “Beowulf” to the present and explore the historical influences on literature. They will continue to develop skills in narrative, argumentative and expository essay writing and literary analysis. In addition, the course will include resume writing and mandatory research assignments. SAT preparation and independent reading, through the Accelerated Reader Program, are part of the class. A notebook is required.

Junior Foundations of ELA:

The focus of this course is British literature and writing skills. Included are essay writing and oral communication. Students will enjoy reading developmentally appropriate yet challenging whole texts in original versions using a variety of methods and materials.

Junior AP Language and Composition:

The AP English Language and Composition Course is designed to provide students with advanced college level instruction in writing by examining a wide variety of texts, media and images across genres and literary periods. Students will use rhetorical and literary theories to deepen their textual appreciation and expand their higher order thinking skills. By studying the structure and style of writing, they will learn to read more critically and to write more effectively. The class will abide by the rules of the College Board.

Senior Honors English:

This course, which has a curriculum similar to Senior CP English, requires students to discuss and analyze literature in more depth. Independent work is the focus, particularly with regard to research and writing requirements. MLA structure is enforced. Students will be required to read additional selections from the supplementary book list and participate in Accelerated Reader quarterly assignments. Through this course, students will be prepared to transition into the college or career workforce.

Senior English (CP):

These courses are designed to give students knowledge of great writers who, because of the aesthetic value of their work, are authoritative in world culture. This study provides students with a sense of themselves as citizens of the world through the shared experience of literature. Students analyze and interpret a variety of literature representing many genres, time periods, and cultures. Literature by authors from throughout the world will be considered. Students demonstrate an understanding of these works through extended oral and written responses. These courses also require a major research project which may integrate occupational and other academic studies using the Internet for at least one source. Included are essay writing, business communications, and job acquisition skills.

Senior Foundations of ELA:

The focus of this course is world literature and writing skills. Included are essay writing, oral communication, and research skills. Students will enjoy reading developmentally appropriate yet challenging whole texts in original versions using a variety of methods and materials.

Senior AP Literature and Composition:

In this class, students will read a variety of pieces with a plethora of different themes that address racial, economic, gender, and class discrimination. Furthermore, they will examine each piece as a work of art to be scrutinized for motifs, symbols and imagery and discuss how these elements contribute to the work as a whole. In May, with the guidance of the teacher, their peers, their own initiative and the supplementary material provided, they will be able to analyze works at the same level as a sophomore college student. The course will rely heavily on at home reading, class discussion (novels, plays, poetry and essays), journal entries, and analytical essays. The class will abide by the rules of the College Board.

Introduction to Creative Writing:

This creative writing course will introduce students to the fundamentals of writing in a variety of genres including poetry, short story, short-short, flash fiction, memoir, graphic novel, and script. Students will read, critique, and analyze different genres as they learn the style and language of writing in a cooperative writer’s workshop. The course will place emphasis on editing and revision in a safe environment. Students will produce multiple types of creative writing and leave with a portfolio of their work.

Literature in Film:

The Literature in Film course provides students with the opportunity to further develop analytical and critical thinking skills using the visual medium of film. In the course, students will become familiar with various genres of film and film terminology while viewing, discussing, and writing about film.

Teachers

Marianne Morrissey
Kristy Acevedo
Erin Dube
Lynne Gifford
Amy Gracia
Paul Guilbeault
Kelly Haggerty
Matthew Keane
Lisa Koczera
Meghan Lacasse
Brian Lacasse
Brandon LeBlanc
Susan LeBlanc
Laura McLean
Nicholas Mitcheson
Anders Newcomer
Sheryl Piazza
Lindsey Surprenant

Teaching Assistants

June Meunier
Monica Richard
Gloria Monty