English Department Courses

The mission of the Notre Dame English Department is to prepare our students for the demands of college reading and writing, nurturing and ease of expression, and a love for the written word.  Through the literary selections, students learn empathy and reach a deeper understanding of the universal human experience through diverse voices, time periods, and cultures.

English is taken each year.  Every student will demonstrate his ability to write by constructing a five paragraph essay by the end of the first semester of English I.  Notre Dame High School also offers a Developmental Reading and Writing Course to which Level 1 English students are recommended by their counselors.  In an effort to prepare our students for college entrance exams, practice SAT/ACT tests are administered.  Grammar and writing skills are taught and/or reinforced at all Levels, as are vocabulary and critical reading skills for both fiction and nonfiction selections.  Academic papers and projects are assigned to further our students’ acquisition of the necessary research, presentation, and technology skills.  Novels, which students must examine critically using print and online resources, are assigned in class.


#E13A/B English I Moreau Honors     
     1 Credit Level 3                NCAA

This Honors English course is one component of the inter-disciplinary Moreau Honors Program that integrates the English, World Cultures, and Faith Formation courses through long-term projects, and class interaction.  The purpose of this course is to provide an accelerated and enriched course for students of superior ability and achievement.  The course emphasizes the following skills: thinking and synthesizing, critical reading, journal writing, research methods, and collaboration.  In addition to the required grammar units, outside reading, and research paper, this course surveys the elements of tragedy and entails extensive reading and independent thinking. Constructing a research paper and journal writing are course requirements. Students must also pass the Freshman Writing Assessment during the first semester.
Requirements for placement:  previous record: high verbal scores on the entrance exam: signature of school counselor

#E12A/B English I     
     1 Credit Level 2                NCAA

The central purpose of this class is to emphasize the fundamentals of writing.  Students are taught the fundamentals of grammar, parts of speech, parts of a sentence, parts of a paragraph, and paragraph structure.  There is a concentration on structure of paragraphs and essays.  The necessity of proper citation and the structure of an MLA formatted research paper are taught. Students must also take a Writing Assessment at the end of the first semester. During the second semester, students are taught the skills needed to further develop their writing through the practice of pre-writing, composing rough drafts, and the construction of a thesis statement.  Various forms of literature, such as the short story, novel, and poetry will be utilized throughout the semester.   Constructing a research paper and journal writing are course requirements.
Requirements for placement:  freshman status

#E01A/B Developmental Reading and Writing
     1 Credit Level 1    
   
The Developmental Reading and Writing course is designed for those students in English I Level 2 who need to strengthen their skills in reading and writing.  The goal of this interaction is to coordinate assignments so that students’ work in content areas is supported and reinforced. Though building reading and writing skills is a primary purpose of the course, note taking, proofreading, sequencing, avoiding common errors, and library/media/technology skills are also taught.  
Requirements for placement:  freshman status: previous record: entrance exam results: signature of school counselor

#E23A/B English II Moreau Honors
     1 Credit Level 3                NCAA  

This course provides accelerated study for students of superior ability and achievement.  English II Honors builds on the cross-curricular program of Moreau Honors English I in that ethical issues and themes from the sophomore Faith Formation course are traced throughout the literature read in English. Students develop critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through assignments that require them to make independent connections across time periods, literary genres, and academic disciplines. Students are required to prepare and present oral reports, speeches, and recitations from memory, as well as develop audio/visual presentations. Vocabulary is assigned frequently. An academic paper, journal writing, and a grammar unit are requirements of this course.        
Requirements for placement: 85 in English I Honors: 90 in English I LV2 and successful completion of writing assessment: signature of English teacher

#E22A/B English II            
    1 Credit Level 2                NCAA

Designed to acquaint students with a variety of authors, themes, and literary genres, the course’s emphasis is to have students recognize literary devices and themes as they occur in literature. Vocabulary is assigned frequently and short themes are assigned to perfect the students’ writing abilities.  This course uses novels and a variety of genres and shorter selections.  In addition, an academic paper, journal writing, a grammar unit, and oral presentations are required.
Requirements for placement:  sophomore status

Juniors are required to take two semesters of English. English III, Level 4 is a two semester class which fulfills this requirement.  American Literature Level 3 and 2 are one semester classes.  Students in these classes must take a second English class and can select one course from the English electives.

#E34A/B English III 
    1 Credit      Level 4                NCAA

This is a college Level course offered to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Language and Composition examination, which is offered in May.  Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Exam. This course requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite sources and text to support their arguments. Students taking this course must be prepared to read and analyze text to examine its rhetorical elements, literary techniques, and stylistic devices and write about how those elements impact texts. This course is intended for the student who is capable and willing to manage a substantial amount of writing.  Grammar, standard written English, and vocabulary preparation are stressed.  Academic papers, the dialectical journal, and projects are requirements of this course.
Requirements for placement:  90 in English II Honors, 95 in English II LV2: 90 overall average: signature of English teacher.

#E33A Honors American Literature
    0.5 Credit Level 3                NCAA

This course approaches American Literature chronologically and is for students who have demonstrated superior ability and achievement in English II.  There are extensive supplementary readings, and the focus is on more sophisticated and more frequent writing assignments. Students use and practice vocabulary on a regular basis.   Academic paper and dialectical journal are requirements of this course.
Requirements for placement:  85 in English II Honors: 90 in English II LV2: signature of English teacher

#E32A American Literature
0.5 Credit Level 2 NCAA

Intended to give students a view of American literary heritage through the various genres, this course approaches the readings chronologically.  Vocabulary, and grammar study are emphasized.  A study of common errors made in composition is also undertaken.  Composition centers on sophisticated writing dealing with analysis of character development, style, and other literary elements.  Writing is a focal point of this course, and students are required to keep a dialectical journal. In addition, a minimum of three compositions will be assigned each semester.  Academic paper and dialectical journal are requirements of this course.
Requirements for placement:  junior status

Junior English Required Electives

#E52A Composition of Language: An Introduction to Linguistics
     0.5 Credit      Level 3                NCAA

Why do we say what we say, when we say it?  This question is at the center of linguistics, the discipline that deals with human language in all of its many varieties.  This course provides an introduction to the concepts and tools of linguistic analysis through hands-on application and problem-solving.  In the beginning, students will learn how to accurately represent the sounds of the world’s languages, the ways parts of words contribute to their overall meaning, and the hidden structure of sentences.  Later in the course, students will explore the way languages change over time, the connections between language and the brain, and the role socio-cultural factors like class, race, and gender play in the way we speak.  While the emphasis will be on English, students will apply their skills to another language of their choice through a term-long project. Additional assessment will include problem sets, quizzes, and exams.
Requirements for Placement: Junior status: previous average of 85 in English II, L3 English class, or 90 in English II, L2: signature of English teacher

#EE4A American Reflection
     0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA

In this class, students will gain the skills necessary to conduct college-Level research as they examine important events in American history and the literature surrounding them in order to see how they reflect change in America. Literature in this course will include not only books and short stories, but also news, opinion columns, political speeches, music, political cartoons, short stories, movies, and anecdotes. The choice of event is left to each student, and it will form the basis for a semester-long research project that will culminate in a paper and presentation on the connection between the chosen event and its reflection in American literature.  By the end of the course, students will be equipped to conduct the type of research that will be required of them in college classes.
Requirements for Placement: junior status

#EN2A Exploring Bildungsroman (Young Adult) Literature 
     0.5 Credit Level 2    

This course will explore the genre of bildungsroman literature (or coming-of-age literature) and how the literary characteristics and specific features or YA Literature not only represent, reinforce, and/or critique ideas and representations of adolescents and adolescence, but also grapple with the themes and issues found within the society in which the fiction is produced.  In addition, this course aims to support the development of informed and critical lifelong readers.A variety of books will be selected such as New York Times bestsellers and winner of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Alex Awards. 
Requirements for Placement: junior status

#EE5A Literature of Mythology and Folklore  
     0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA

In this Level 2 course, students will develop a thoughtful perspective on mythologies and folklore from around the world. They will engage in an exploration of different theories of the cultural meanings and functions of myth, past and present. In addition, students will be introduced to various ways of interpreting and experiencing myth and folklore as texts with oral origins. In this course students will produce projects, essays, and dialectical journal entries.
Requirements for placement:  junior status

#EE3A Communications - American Rhetoric
     0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA     

This course is devoted to the study of the foundations of speech, verbal and nonverbal messages, and effective listening. It also introduces students to the major areas of human communication, emphasizing public speaking, small group, and interpersonal skills.  The students focus on public speaking by preparing and delivering informative, process, and persuasive speeches that mimic real world situations such as delivering a presentation, introducing a speaker, giving instructions, or persuading a group.  Students in the class practice critical thinking and listening skills by evaluating speeches in a variety of contexts.  Students will use their recordings to reflect, set personal goals, and make changes in order to deliver speeches in a clear, concise, audience-appropriate manner. 
Requirements for placement: junior status

Seniors are required to take two semesters of English. English IV, Level 4 and Seminar in Academic Writing are two semester classes which fulfill this requirement.  Honors World Literature Level 3 and World Literature Level 2 are one semester classes.  Students in these classes must take a second English class and can select one course from the English Required Electives.

#E44A/B English IV
     1 Credit Level 4                NCAA

The course is designed to involve students in the study and practice of writing and the study of literature.  A critical approach is fostered with the view to developing a true appreciation of literary works and a facility for critical response, both oral and written.  The course is intended for the student who is capable and willing to manage a substantial amount of reading and writing.  The course relies heavily on student preparation and presentation of the materials presented. Grammar, standard written English, and vocabulary preparation are stressed. Academic papers, the dialectical journal and projects are requirements of this course. This is a college Level course offered to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition examination, which is offered in May.  Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Exam.  English IV, Level 4 is a UConn ECE approved course for college credits. 
Requirements for placement: 85 in English III Level 4; 90 in Honors American Literature Level 3; 95 in American Literature Level 2; 90 overall average: signature of English teacher

#EN5A/B Seminar in Academic Writing
     1 Credit Level 3        

This two semester course begins with an evaluation of the structure of various kinds of writing.  Students are taught the importance of rough drafts and revisions to their final compositions.  The focus of the course is for students to become practiced in writing and revision for diverse purposes and audiences.  Seminar in Academic Writing is a UCONN ECE approved course for seniors.
Requirements for placement: senior status: 85 in American Literature LV3; 90 in  American Literature LV2 signature of English teacher

#E43A Honors World Literature
     0.5 Credit Level 3                NCAA

This English course is taken during the first semester during which students will write the College Essay.  This course uses longer works from mostly European authors, such as novels and plays, to hone 21st century learning skills.  Longer writing assignments are required and will develop students’ critical reading, thinking and writing skills.  Vocabulary study will support understanding of diction within the readings. Students will also prepare for the SAT and ACT tests.  Academic paper and the dialectical journal are requirements of this course.

Requirements for placement:  85 in American Literature Level 3: 90 in American Literature Level 2: 85 overall average or above: signature of English Department Chair

#E82A World Literature Level 2
0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA

This English course is taken during the first semester during which students will write the College Essay.  This is a survey course which stresses 21st century learning skills and covers poetry, short stories and excerpts from longer works.  Readings are chosen from the literature of the Ancient World, Asia, Russia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and will be the basis for several writing assignments.  Vocabulary study will support understanding of diction within the readings.  Academic paper and the dialectical journal are requirements of this course.
Requirements for placement: senior status

Senior English Required Electives

#EE2A Arthurian Literature and its Influences
     0.5 Credit Level 3                NCAA

In this honors course, students will follow the path of magical characters in western literature.  Readings will include Greek myths, King Arthur stories including “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and other selections. Harry Potter and Jedi Master Yoda will also be discussed.  Assessments in the course will include projects, essays, and dialectical journal entries. 
Requirements for placement:  senior status, 85 in the honors Level 3 English class for sophomore or junior year: 90 in the Level 2 English class for the sophomore or junior year: signature of the Junior year English teacher

#EN6A Latin American Literature
0.5 Credit Level 3                NCAA 

When the fantastic and magical occur in the world of an otherwise normal story, and nobody thinks it’s strange, that’s Magical Realism, a popular genre of Latin American Literature.  Students in this Level 3 course will read works from the major authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende, as well as other authors they influenced (Paul Auster, Louise Erdrich, Alice Hoffman, Salman Rushdie).  Students may also look at Magical Realism in movies and other art forms.

Requirements for placement:  senior status; 85 in the honors Level 3 English class for sophomore or junior year; 90 in the Level 2 English class for the sophomore or junior year; signature of the Junior year English teacher

#EE8A African American Literature 0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA 
This course explores African American literature from the Middle Passage and Reconstruction to the Protest Movement and Modern and Contemporary literature. Students will have the opportunity to reach a deeper understanding of how African American literature has changed and shaped both American culture and identity. Representative authors include: Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and August Wilson.
Requirements for placement: senior status

#E72A   Literature into Film
     0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA

This Level 2 course offers students the opportunity to study literary devices taught in their English classes through the medium of film.  In addition to the study of literary terms and essay writing, it is the goal of the course to foster an appreciation of film.  Students will be required to write analytical essays throughout the semester.  As a final project, each student will write a screenplay for an assigned work of literature.
Requirements for placement: senior status   

#EN4A Gothic Literature and Graphic Novel
     0.5 Credit Level 2                NCAA

Terror.  Monsters.  The supernatural.  Gothic literature has been a major literary genre since the 18th century.  Graphic novels have become a popular and respected medium to tell these stories.  This course will read graphic novel versions of Gothic literature selections including Dracula, Frankenstein and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.  Students will study Gothic elements like a thrilling psychological environment, good versus evil, horror and other elements of dark fiction. Traditional texts and graphic novels will be employed. 
Requirements for placement: senior status