• Welcome to AP English Language!



    • To foster intellectual curiosity 
    • To improve students’ critical thinking skills 
    • To expand reading skills by emphasizing close reading of texts (fiction and non-fiction) 
    • To hone and further develop formal writing skills especially in the area of argumentation/persuasion 
    • To enhance students’ speaking skills 
    • To prepare students for the AP Language and Composition exam 




    A nation’s literary tradition is a principal expression of its cultural identity




    What is America’s literary and cultural identity? 





    ·         Oral presentations:  debates/presentations 

    ·         Essay writing (in class and out of class) 

    ·         Socratic seminars 

    ·         Close reading of texts including interrupted readings 

    ·         Practice AP examinations 

    ·         Vocabulary development including standardized test strategies (Vocabulary will be text based and supplemented by a “word of the day.”) 
    J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer
    William Shakespeare, The Tempest
    Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” and The Scarlet Letter
    Thomas Paine, Common Sense (excerpts) and  The Crisis
    Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
    Abraham Lincoln,  The Gettysburg AddressFirst Inaugural AddressSecond Inaugural Address
    F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
    Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
    Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail



    ·         Divergent drives to colonization 

    ·         Establishment of American themes ( Returning to Puritan roots) 

    ·         Transcendentalism: Hope and disappointment 

    ·         Challenges to freedom: The cases of women, minorities and early industrial workers 

    ·         The Lost Generation: Materialism and disillusionment 

    ·         The struggle for racial equality; class struggle in Modern America


     Grading Policy 
    Please note that as the year progresses and students develop their skills, it is expected that the quality of their analysis and  written and verbal expression should improve. The readings and ideas illuminated by the texts also become more complex from quarter one to quarter four.  This means students must work harder to earn similar grades.

    A point system is used to calculate grades. Students will be assessed on their mastery of content and acquisition of skills in the following ways:

    ·         tests – assess students’ understanding of major concepts and development of critical thinking skills. (50 pts.) 

    ·         quizzes – assess students’ comprehension ability and vocabulary retention.(10-30 pts.) 

    ·         essays – assess students’ development of writing skills and critical thinking.(50 pts.)

    ·         Socratic seminars (formal discussions) – assess students’ speaking skills and critical thinking. (30 pts.) 

    ·         homework – assesses students’ progress in reading, writing and vocabulary building. 

    ·         presentations --  assess students’  critical thinking and speaking skills. (30-50 pts.)

    A student’s average will be determined by dividing a student’s earned points by possible points for the quarter.  For example, if a student earns 250 points in quarter one and 300 points are the most possible for that quarter, his average is 83.   


    EXTRA HELP:  Extra help is available Tuesdays after school unless otherwise posted;  I am, however,  always willing to give extra help at other times to meet your scheduling needs.  Just see me.