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.
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 on the Renaissance Place STAR Reading placement test.
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 for analyzing and interpreting literature on symbolic, critical and figurative levels by reading works such as Homer’s The Odyssey, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A strong emphasis of the course will be essay writing, with a focus on narrative, argumentative and expository writing. Students learn to develop a thesis based on literature and support it using textual evidence. Students will also learn the basics of MLA through conducting a mini-research assignment and oral presentation. 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 ELA Strategies
The grade 9 ELA Strategies courses are designed to contribute to preparing students for the tenth grade English Language Arts (ELA) MCAS test. The course will focus on test-taking strategies and will emphasize improving critical reading skills, increasing vocabulary use and using textual evidence in writing. Students will learn these skills via the use of such strategies as understanding prefixes/suffixes, annotating texts and evaluating styles of essay writing.
Sophomore Honors English
This course, which has a curriculum similar to Sophomore 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 will be required to read additional selections from the supplementary book list. Through this course, students will be prepared to transition into the AP Language and Composition course.
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, including works by Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Confucius. A strong emphasis of the course will be informational texts and essay writing, with a focus on narrative, argumentative and expository writing. Students will continue to improve their research skills, in accordance with MLA guidelines, which will result in a research project. Over the course of the year, students will also prepare 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 requires students to read and test on one self-selected novel per quarter.
Sophomore ELA Strategies
The grade 10 ELA Strategies course is designed to contribute to preparing students for the tenth grade English Language Arts (ELA) MCAS test and the grade 11 English class. The first and second trimesters of the course will focus on test-taking strategies and will emphasize evaluating essay prompts, organizing an essay and developing a thesis statement and topic. The third trimester will focus on MLA formatting and research strategies.
Junior AP Language and Composition
The AP English Language and Composition Course is designed to provide students with advanced college-level writing instruction by examining a wide variety of texts, media, and images across genres and literary periods. Students will apply rhetorical and literary theories to deepen their textual appreciation and expand their higher-order analytical and argumentative skills. They will develop researching skills as they compose, cite, and revise their work. By studying the structure and style of writing, they will learn to read more critically and write more effectively. The class will abide by the rules of the College Board.
Junior Honors English
This course, which has a curriculum similar to Junior CP English, requires students to discuss and analyze literature in more depth and with a more rigorous pace. They will be required to work and think independently and participate in student-driven class discussions. Students will also be expected 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.
This course is designed to enlighten students with knowledge of great American writers and their lives and work and to explore the historical influences on literature. Students will study non-fiction pieces of literature from noteworthy Americans, such as William Bradford, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Frederick Douglass, and they will explore the changes in American life and literature from the early settlement to the present. Students will also analyze fundamental fictional pieces of American literature and poetry. 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 following MLA guidelines. SAT preparation and independent reading, through the Accelerated Reader Program, are part of the class. A notebook is required.
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.
Senior Honors English
This course, which has a curriculum similar to Senior CP English, requires students to discuss and analyze literature in more depth and with a more rigorous pace. Students will work more independently and participate in student-driven class discussions. Students will also be expected to write with more focus and attention to the requirements of MLA format and standard research requirements. Students will be required to read additional selections from the supplementary book list.
This course is designed to give students knowledge of great European writers with a focus on British Literature. Students will study great European writers and their lives and work, and they will explore the complexities and evolution of the English language. Students will study pieces of literature beginning with Beowulf and continuing with Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romantic Poetry. In doing so, they will explore the historical and cultural influences on literature. Students will analyze and interpret a variety of literature representing many genres and time periods across Europe. Students will demonstrate an understanding of these works through various styles of writing, including expository, argumentative, and narrative essays. Students will also follow MLA guidelines in conducting both mini and sustained research assignments. They will also be responsible for completing CVTE portfolio requirements, such as an updated resume and goals essay. They are also responsible for reading and testing on one self-selected novel in the first, second, and third quarters for the Accelerated Reader program. A notebook is required.
Research and Writing (Elective)
The Research and Writing elective focuses on developing research skills that will result in a written expository research paper and an oral and visual presentation. Students will deepen their understanding of research through evaluating sources for credibility. They will identify important information in their sources, take notes, create an MLA format outline and Works Cited page, and then write a research paper that responds to a well-developed thesis statement. Students will also prepare and deliver a presentation on the same topic. In doing so, they will learn the dos and don’ts of presenting, practice their presentation skills, and learn how to present research to a different audience through a different medium. This course will deepen students’ understanding of the research and writing process and is especially helpful for those thinking of continuing their education.
Women in Literature (Elective)
The “Women in Literature” course is designed to increase students’ understanding and appreciation of literature written by women in various genres, which may include short stories, novels, essays, poetry and drama. Through discussion and writing activities, students will analyze the literature from different cultures and time periods to illuminate how contrasting societies define women’s roles. The course explores how writing from a woman’s perspective values women’s lives and raises questions about a women’s role in nature, family and society.
Literature in Film (Elective)
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. Students will learn to interpret film as a text by analyzing character development, setting, themes, cinematography, lighting, and sound. In addition, students will read a variety of texts throughout the year such as fiction, non-fiction, and scholarly journals that will be utilized to make comparisons between film and literature.
Meghan Lacasse (Skills USA Co-Chapter Advisor)