Upper School English

Boston Trinity Academy’s English department educates students to be mature thinkers, discerning readers, and effective writers. Students explore questions of character, virtue, maturity, and courage as they explore writings such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Homer’s The Odyssey, and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.. They develop the ability to articulate their thoughts clearly and creatively through essays, debates, and class discussions. Above all, students are encouraged to love and appreciate the power of the written word to shape ideas, culture, and society.

Students are required to take either English 12: American Literature or AP Literature and Composition during their senior year.

English 10: World Literature

World Literature teaches students to read diverse texts closely and think critically about the environments from which they are drawn. Through reading, discussion, and essay writing, students recognize and evaluate the themes of each piece and explore how historical and cultural context inform their meaning. Students learn to effectively analyze literature and write with depth and clarity. They study proper grammar, spelling, and usage and develop vocabulary in preparation for the SAT.

English 11: European Literature

European Literature encourages students to read closely and understand how the structure of texts creates meaning. Through readings, discussion, debate, papers, and performance, students explore the philosophical questions posed by Europe’s most influential writers, including Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Dante Alighieri, and Oscar Wilde. They write thesis-driven essays closely analyzing the language of the texts and learn to revise their writing to clearly express their ideas. Throughout the course, students explore the different ways that each text responds to life’s great questions.

English 12: American Literature

American Literature exposes students to the complex psyche of important American writers and thinkers. Students analyze theme, mood, and tone through the literary constructs of diverse authors. They communicate this analysis through in-class writing, full-length essays and large group classroom discussion. Students also engage in creative and reflective writing to further explore the idea of the American dream in their lives. A focus on writing conventions, editing, and vocabulary aids students in writing their college essays and supplements.

AP Literature and Composition

The AP English Literature and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level course in literary analysis. The course deepens students’ understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider each work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students analyze and interpret literary works by annotating texts and writing expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Through weekly AP test based assignments students are prepared to succeed on the College Board AP examination in May.

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