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Success in the modern world depends more than ever on communication skills. The St. John’s Prep English Department helps students acquire the skills necessary for successful communication: reading, thinking, analyzing, and writing. Through literature, writing assignments, and class discussions, we introduce students to the important issues and ideas that will help them to explore their own identity and the nature of the world around them.  

Students entering the High School advance their communication skills through reading, thinking, analyzing, and writing. Each year  features a signature focus. Ninth grade English begins with an overview of the study skills necessary for success at St. John’s Prep. Through exercises which involve reading and composition assignments, students learn note-taking, outlining, and organizational skills. The literary focus of the ninth grade exposes students to the study of the four major genres: novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. Tenth grade English is divided into a study of archetypes in literature and the study of tragedy. Eleventh grade English presents a comprehensive study of American literature, and twelfth grade centers on a wide-ranging study of British literature.

The difficulty of course readings and writing assignments varies by level. For example, an Honors class may read five books per quarter, while an Accelerated class may read three, and a CP class two. Similarly, while all students will write often each quarter, the degree of difficulty in the assignments reflects the level of the class.

English Courses

The course includes a comprehensive introduction to classical rhetoric, focusing on persona, audience, rhetorical appeals, and rhetorical schemes and tropes.

AP English Literature focuses on a class experience where the students are able to learn and to teach at the same time in an atmosphere of both lecture and discussion.

Formal literary terminology as well as analysis and personal interpretation will be presented as the student is introduced to quality works in the major genres.

Students learn how to write in a variety of genres: description, narration, exposition and persuasion. 

Students will be introduced to a number of new and more sophisticated concepts in the study of mythology and tragedy.

the course stresses paragraph development, multi-paragraph essay writing, more sophisticated stylistics, and the study of vocabulary in context. 

The English 2 Honors course is a challenging and varied course of study that emphasizes literature and composition.

Using either a chronological or a thematic approach, this course stresses the evolution of themes and styles in American literature, emphasizing a challenging reading curriculum.

This course introduces the student to the themes and ideas prevalent in the development of American literature.