The goal of the English Department is to help students attain a liberal arts perspective through the comprehensive study of and exposure to language and literature, especially as a reflection of human values and cultures, a presentation of the historical development of ideas, an opportunity to respond to and appreciate different life experiences, and the development of communications skills. 

Objectives:
  1. To provide a wide variety of literary experiences through the study of American, English, and global literature.
  2. To develop an appreciation of content, purpose, and structure in literature.
  3. To provide training and practice in grammar, vocabulary development, and composition skills that enable the students to communicate effectively.
  4. To provide, through language and literature studies, the opportunities for inquiry, collaborative learning, and critical thinking.
  5. To integrate technological tools into all areas of the English learning experience.
Requirements:
Four credits in English are required at St. Joseph’s Academy.
  • One credit of World Literature is required of freshmen. 
  • One credit of American Literature is required of sophomores. 
  • One credit of British Literature is required of juniors. 
  • One credit of English electives is required of seniors. 
Note: Seniors who are NOT taking EN 160 are required to take two elective one-semester courses: one must be a writing course, and one must be a literature course.

Courses Available for 2018-19

List of 19 items.

  • EN 100 World Literature

    (1 credit, freshmen)
    In this course framed around a global perspective of literature, freshmen study grammar, basic composition skills, including an introduction to the essay form, literary genres, classical mythology, novels, and vocabulary. All units of study focus on essential questions that relate to all humanity across cultures.
  • EN 101 American Literature

    (1 credit, sophomores)
    In this survey of American literature, sophomores study literary movements, major writers and selected works from the colonial period through the 20th century. In addition, they further develop grammar and vocabulary skills and continue to work on more advanced essay skills, including the writing of a research paper based on the MLA format.
  • EN 102 Reading Plus

    (.5 credit, elective)
    also offered as an independent study course
    This class is an elective and will not take the place of other required English classes. The course is designed to elevate reading levels, deepen comprehension and analytical thinking about texts, and increase vocabulary, speed and fluency through specific skill sets for students in grades 9-12. Students will set goals and plan strategies for their own improvement and document progress. A minimum total of 35 hours of time will be spent on the Reading Plus program in class and a minimum of two years of comprehension and vocabulary growth can be expected, as well as doubled reading speed. Though this class is open to any student who wants to improve reading speed, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and analysis skills, priority will be given to students showing a need, based on standardized test scores and benchmark assessments. Class is limited to 25 students. As an independent study course, students will be required to report weekly with the course instructor and be responsible for weekly deadlines.
    (Prerequisite: department recommendation)
  • EN 110 Honors World Literature

    (1 credit, freshmen)
    In this course framed around a global perspective of literature, freshmen study grammar, basic composition skills, including an introduction to the essay form, literary genres, classical mythology, novels, and vocabulary. All units of study focus on essential questions that relate to all humanity across cultures. As a part of the department’s honors program, the course includes independent supplementary reading and research and extensive writing. 
    (Prerequisites: required test scores, and department approval)
  • EN 121 British Literature

    (1 credit, juniors)
    In this survey of British literature, juniors study important literary movements, major writers and selected works from the Anglo-Saxon period through the 20th century. In addition, they continue the practice of composition skills with particular emphasis on the research paper and further vocabulary study. Juniors also review grammar in preparation for the PSAT and the ACT.
  • EN 130 Honors American Literature

    (1 credit, sophomores)
    In this survey of American literature, sophomores study literary movements, major writers and selected works from the colonial period through the 20th century. In addition, they further develop grammar and vocabulary skills and continue to work on more advanced essay skills, including the writing of a research paper based on the MLA format. As a part of the department’s honors program, the course includes independent supplementary reading and research and extensive writing.
    (Prerequisites: required average, minimal qualifications on diagnostic grammar, reading, and essay tests, and department approval)
  • EN 136 Modern American Classics in Fiction

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    This course answers the question “What makes a great American novel?” that is, one that will continue to receive critical acclaim and be considered a classic throughout the years as a part of America’s cultural heritage. At the same time, students will define the American Dream and explore how its definition has evolved throughout modern fiction. Students will read required works, participate in class discussions of those works, complete written assignments including literary analysis papers, and view films of additional narratives of the authors chosen for study. Works of such authors as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Edith Wharton, John Steinbeck, and others are a focus.
  • EN 137 Literature of Controversy

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    Writers and works that have been banned or censored or that deal with controversial issues are the focus of this course. Readings from modern and contemporary writers of national and international consequence deal with such subjects as the role of women, the repression of minorities, the struggle for political freedom, war and the challenges of scientific progress. Students study a variety of genres: novel, short story, poetry, drama, essay, and film. The class responds to the issues through group discussion and in a variety of writing assignments.
  • EN 140 Honors British Literature

    (1 credit, juniors)
    In this survey of British literature, juniors study important literary movements, major writers and selected works from the Anglo-Saxon period through the 20th century. In addition, they continue the practice of composition skills with particular emphasis on the research paper and further vocabulary study. Juniors also review grammar in preparation for the PSAT and the ACT. As a part of the department’s honors program, the course includes independent supplementary reading and research and extensive writing practice.
    (Prerequisites: required average, 70th percentile score or better on honors test, department approval)
  • EN 141 Creative Composition

    (.5 credit, juniors or seniors, writing course)
    Students become authors in this class that concentrates on the development of creative writing skills. They will step outside of the box of typical academic writing and explore their creative sides. A special emphasis is placed on strategies for creating good imagery and appealing to sensory details by showing-and-not-telling. Students will learn the importance of word choice, characterization, and creating effective dialogue. Techniques for brainstorming and editing their own, as well as their peers’ works, will be implemented. Since learning to give and receive constructive criticism is a key part of life, students will review each other’s work in a forum in order to give voice to their opinions and this will also allow authors to hear feedback about their creations. Students will compose many unique pieces including a reflective journal, a personal vignette, memoir, short story, as well as several short essays and poems. At the end of the course, students will create a portfolio that will display the creativity they have shown throughout the semester.
  • EN 142 Shakespeare

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    This course invites students to expand their horizons, increase their skills and enjoy the plays of Shakespeare. Students will investigate comedy, tragedy, and history plays through reading, discussion, film and acting. In addition, students will respond to the plays in writing, through journals and literary analysis papers.
  • EN 143 ACP/College Prep Writing

    (.5 credit, seniors, writing course)
    This is a course for students who want to gain confidence in their writing skills before going to college. It is designed as a “lab” course in which students work through the writing process in class to revise and polish final drafts. Students will write different kinds of papers (two to five pages) such as narration, description, analysis, argument and persuasion. The persuasion paper reviews research skills. Time is spent on review of problem areas in grammar and on sentence development. Readings are short examples of the types of papers being written at the time.
  • EN 145 Intro to Journalism

    (.5 credit, juniors or seniors, writing course)
    Students discuss the role of the press in modern society, its influence, and the concept of responsible journalism, drawing from the mediums of print, online, and broadcast. They learn the fundamentals of reporting, including interviewing, and how to write in journalistic style through the writing of news, feature, sports, and editorial pieces. The class is very “hands’-on”, and through a variety of activities, members of the class are both students of journalism and practicing journalists, with the potential to have their work appear in the school newspaper The Voice.
  • EN 149/SS 649 Honors Voices of Human Rights

    (.5 credit English, .5 credit social studies, seniors, literature or writing course)
    This is a cross-curricular English and Social Studies course. The course will discuss major violations of human rights around the globe over the past 40 years - with an emphasis on genocides. It will also cover violations in North Korea, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, and current conflicts. The overwhelming theme/response to all aspects of this course is outrage at how these violations could occur in our modern world and disbelief that this is the first time many are hearing about them. For each conflict studied, students will read, discuss, debate, engage, and attempt to find solutions for these large scale problems. Additionally, a large part of this course will be the culminating project. This project will impact all aspects of academic growth, and it will be worth it. 
    Note: This is an honors class, but ALL students are welcome---there is no test or academic minimum to receive honors credit.
  • EN 151 Film Appreciation

    (.5 credit, seniors)
    Students will leave this course with a comprehensive way to look at films that goes beyond saying, “I liked it”. Much like a literature class, Film Appreciation is designed to look at the many choices behind the creation of a piece of work. Students will look at the purpose behind aesthetic decisions of screen writers, directors, and cinematographers. Additionally, students will study a basic history of film from the silent era, talkies, the Gold Age of Hollywood, to the present innovations of technology and blockbuster movies. The course will discuss the collaborative process of film-making, important moments and movie-makers, and personal reactions to films.
  • EN 152 Introduction to Irish Literature

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    Students examine a variety of critically acclaimed works (prose, poetry, and drama) in Irish literature. Students will read a variety of writers including the more popular male and female names such as Yeats, Joyce, Wilde, Shaw, Enright, Donoghue, O’Faolain and some lesser-known, yet significant writers. Important historical and cultural events will be identified and analyzed in order to offer increased understanding of Irish literature’s evolution. The goal of the course is for the students to become more familiar with a particular group of writers who have contributed a great deal to the corpus of world literature. Students will be evaluated through quizzes, tests, research and a minimum of three essays.
  • EN 153 Human Family **NEW**

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    As Maya Angelou’s poem says, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike”. This course will examine perspectives, themes, and voices from those often underrepresented to understand the commonalities and the differences that make up the human experience. Groups are marginalized, oppressed, and often silenced based on many factors. This course will explore some of those factors through short stories, novels, speeches, plays, and film. It is also important to understand multiple viewpoints, and understandings while aligning with common themes. The goal of this course will be to explore current and past injustices to understand how power can shape perceptions and see how people can resist, fight, and change the way people are viewed. The real goal is to celebrate diversity by embracing, studying, and experiencing it.
  • EN 155 Bearing Witness: Holocaust Literature of Extraordinary Lives **NEW**

    (.5 credit, seniors, literature course)
    This course allows students to study extraordinary lives of the Holocaust through several different genres of literature, including memoirs, novels, poetry, primary documents, and short stories in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust and its implications in the contemporary world. Students will learn of the origins of Anti-Semitism and analyze the development of the Holocaust and its effects through the lenses of Nazis, women, children, and “others”. The class requires in-depth critical analysis, challenging introspective responses both verbal and written, group discussion, and reflection, evaluation of primary documents, use of multiple modes of technology, personal leadership and a lengthy culminating reflective project “bearing witness” to one’s personal journey through the course.  
  • EN 160 AP/ACC English IV

    (1 credit, seniors)
    The first semester of the AP/ACC course is designed to develop students’ skills in writing effective, college-level exposition. Written work consists of essays of several paragraphs as well as a research paper. Class work includes careful reading and analysis of expository essays and non-fiction works. The second semester provides the student with a serious study of imaginative literature and gives a comprehensive introduction to the principal forms of fiction, poetry and drama. Writing assignments focus on the personal essay, the literary paper and research projects.
    (Prerequisites: required average and department approval, 70th percentile score or better on honors test)

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

The following co-curricular activities are available in this discipline. For more information, please click the link.
 

Departments

English Department

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St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.

St. Joseph's Academy

2307 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-394-4300
Fax: 314-965-9114
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