English Department Courses

Language Arts Course Progression

Quick Guide to English Department Electives

English 9H: This program is an enriched course for able students focusing upon analytical reading and discussion as taught thematically through the pursuit of great literature. Expository writing is the hallmark of this advanced class. Students practice process writing with emphasis given to strategies for higher thinking in reading, writing, shared inquiry and performance. A research paper is required.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply, see your Guidance Counselor

English 9CP: This course teaches students to write effectively and correctly, to read accurately as well as critically, and to express in writing and in speech an understanding of all genres of world literature. Instruction emphasizes the writing process in a variety of modes, which include narratives, expository writing, creative writing, and a research paper. Grammar and vocabulary are taught within a reading/writing context.

English 9: This course parallels the English 9CP course in context but emphasizes the acquisition of reading and writing skills. The focus is placed on reading comprehension, vocabulary development and expository writing. Other skills include note taking, analysis of various literary genres and development of managerial skills in a multitask classroom.

English 10H: In addition to more stringent requirements in reading and writing assignments, Honors English 10 offers an in-depth study of the heritage of British and World literature. The program stresses extensive and intensive reading, creative and critical thinking, English usage and the mechanics of English, and performance assessment. Emphasis in writing is on the critical analysis of literature and the literary essay.

Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply, see your Guidance Counselor

English 10CP: British and World literature is the focus of English 10CP. There is emphasis on writing strategies, vocabulary improvement, and performance assessment. The writing program stresses the writing process and offers students writing experiences in personal essays, journals, expository essays, and creative pieces.

English 10: This course parallels the English 10CP course in context but continues to emphasize the skills required for the effective use of standard English. Grammar, usage, content and structure in expository writing comprise the focus of this course with opportunities for literary analysis, creative writing and performance.

AP English 11/Language & Composition: This college-level course is a year-long analysis of important historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. The readings will challenge students to comprehend college-level texts and analyze what they have read using sophisticated rhetorical strategies.  Students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Examination in literature. The course is aligned with our Grade 11 American Literature courses.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply; see your Guidance Counselor.

English 11H: This course concentrates upon major works of American literature studied within a historical context. There are more stringent requirements in writing skills. Emphasis is on critical analysis and the interpretation at a more sophisticated level. Rhetorical devices and uses of style are explored. Critical thinking skills and performance assessment are stressed, and expository and creative assignments are literature-based.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply, see your Guidance Counselor.

English 11CP: In English 11CP, literature is studied in a thematic approach with an emphasis on American literature. Writing essays of critical analysis using the writing process continues to be stressed. Syntax and vocabulary development is part of that process. Creative work based on models from literature and performance assessment is also an integral part of the curriculum.

English 11: This course parallels the English 11CP course in context but continues to address the skills required for clarity of expression in both expository and creative writing.  Grammar, usage, content and structure comprise the focus of this course with varied opportunities to explore the major themes of American literature.

English 12 and English 12 CP: English 12 CP takes a thematic approach to canonical texts in addition to relevant nonfiction texts.  Classroom activities support these themes through critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, writing, and performance assessment.  English 12 parallels the English 12CP course in context but continues to emphasize the essay structure and expression of ideas with clarity and purpose. 

English 12 CP or English 12 Honors as Senior Topics I:

Comedy in Literature and Culture:  Offered at the CP or Honors level, this semester course is paired with Madness in Literature.  It explores the role of comedy and humor in literature, as well as in the contemporary American "pop" culture. Students will consider the social and political impact of humor, as well as its various forms, including: satire, parody, absurdism, and observational humor. The course will consider contemporary texts as well as each text's social and historical context in various literary genres. Analytical, expository and creative writing are emphasized, as well as reading and discussion. Madness in Literature:  Offered at the CP or Honors level, this semester course is paired with Comedy in Literature.  It explores the human psyche through a wide range of literature, including fiction, memoir, poetry, film and current events.  Students will research an assigned mental disorder and use this research as a “diagnostic tool” as a basis for character study.  The course will also examine “madness” in the context of writing style through close readings of nonlinear tests and poetry.


English 12 CP as Senior Topics III:  Mythology: This CP semester course is paired with The Law in Literature and Film. Mythology is designed to explore the mythological elements in all of man’s history.  Cultural heroes and folklore from a variety of civilizations including Greek, Egyptian and Norse will be introduced. The students will study comparisons of different societies and draw parallels to the historical times and contexts in which they were written.  Students will read, analyze, and respond to various texts as well as produce academic papers and creative projects. The Law in Literature and Film: This CP semester course is paired with Mythology.  It explores the representation of the legal system in literature and film. Students will grapple with fundamental issues of the human condition. They will also consider how popular literature and film manipulate the public’s interpretation of the law. By exploring literature and film that focuses on the law, this course aims to introduce students to important aspects of our legal system and encourage them to formulate opinions about essential questions regarding human rights.


 English 12 CP as Senior Topics IV: Contemporary Literature

This CP semester course is paired with The Short Story.  Contemporary Literature will explore graphic novel (comic books), memoir, science fiction, and literary adaptation alongside more traditional text with the goal to help students to understand the importance of both alternative forms of literature as well as develop a greater understanding of the styles of literature available in the modern literary canon and how they can create a difference in understanding the society in which they exist. The Short Story:  This CP semester course is paired with Contemporary Literature. In addition to gaining a strong knowledge of classic and contemporary short stories and their authors, students attending this course gain an understanding that fictional literature can be used as a lens to help us better identify and define what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in our culture and society today. The selected examples used in this course, both classic and contemporary, are the vehicles which will help students to better understand today’s many complex social values and expediencies.


Humanities 12H: This class serves as a celebration that will bring together the studies of art, music, philosophy and religions of the world, as well as select texts and films in one last year of self-exploration and critical thinking.  What works of art and philosophy will improve one’s personal repertoire and help in self-discovery?  The objective of the class is for students to recognize, understand, and love Michelangelo, Picasso, Vivaldi, Camus, Hess, Delacroix, Descartes, Shakespeare and many more of the greatest minds of our time.  This course provides the knowledge that becomes an exciting bridge to ultimate success. Students who enjoy project-based assessments, creativity, rhetoric and performance will benefit from a Humanities Honors experience. This rich exploration will educate students in becoming involved citizens and the captain of their personal journeys.


AP Literature and Composition 12: This course aligns to an introductory college-level literary analysis course that engages students in the close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a works structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.  We will study classic and contemporary works ranging from Shakespeare to Khaled Hosseini; Charlotte Bronte to Toni Morrison.   We will look at works thematically with units such as Aristotle and HamletJane Eyre and Feminism, Southern Gothic Literature and Poetry, Art and Writing. Assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works. 

Broadcast/Journalism (1-3):

Students will learn to produce broadcast, digital and print coverage  of various newsworthy happenings and editorial content, primarily at Fair Lawn High School, and including the school district and community-at-large. In addition, students will prepare broadcast segments to submit for school publication.  Second-year journalism students may apply for the honors level advanced journalism course that will comprise the editorial board.  These students will work collaboratively as editors to make decisions about what stories to pursue and to support the overall reporting, writing, editing, and publication process. This course may be taken as an optional eighth course.

Prerequisite for the CP level course: None; Prerequisite for Honors Level Course: B- in English and department application available from guidance counselors.


Power Writing: Emboldening your creative and formal writing prowess

By creating a positive and productive writing workshop, students in Power Writing will exercise their talents and confidence in all types of writing. Poets, songwriters, journalists, editorial writers and storytellers are urged to consider a complete workout in a course that strives to provide an abundance of "free", progressive writing opportunities.  The idea that writing is a process is emphasized and achieved by embracing the revision process, as well.  Together we will explore vast world of writing genres, from creative to academic while honing your writing skills in your daily writing endeavors. Students who would enjoy improving their writing, enjoy writing on their own and want to explore other genres, and those interested in pursuing a career in writing, should strongly consider taking this course.  This course is open to all students grade 9-12.


Film Study and Production

In Film Study and Production, students will shoot and digitally edit short films and study movies as an art form.  Besides creating short works, students will watch a variety of films with the aim of becoming more active, discerning, and critical viewers.  Students will study great movies from Citizen Kane through Star Wars, and great directors like Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Charlie Chaplin, and Quentin Tarantino.  This course is open to students in grades 10-12.



Children’s and Young Adult Literature

The beautiful Princess and the handsome Prince.   Witches, wizards and warlocks. Mermaids and talking animals, ghosts and goblins. Fantasy, Romance and Dystopian worlds.  This CP level course will offer a study of children’s literature and examine how these stories reflect society’s view of childhood, gender roles and relationships.   This class will also read young adult novels that deal with contemporary topics such as dealing with authority figures; facing illness and death; dealing with peer pressure, understanding cultural diversity and facing the realities of addiction.  Come join us as we read works by Neil Gaiman, John Green, Stephanie Meyer and more.  Students in this course will also create their own children’s book and write their own young adult short story. This course is open to students in grades 10-12.



Drama 1: This course is designed as an enjoyable way to introduce and acclimate students to the stage and familiarize students with the vocabulary and language of actors. Students learn stage position, actor's positions, basic techniques pertaining to the use of the stage, and especially how the actor can best communicate ideas to the audience. Fundamentals related to defined movement, motivated movement, miming, as well as improvisational techniques are incorporated. Many vocal techniques including diction and clarity, rate, projection, expression, pitch and variety are also practiced. All students take the stage either alone, with partners, or in groups in order to practice these techniques. Major projects include the staging and performance of solo pantomime to music, a monologue, basic two-person scene work, and in a small group - the writing and staging of a selected scene.

Drama 2: In this course, students will build on elements learned in Drama 1. Students will do more extensive scene work, rehearsing and performing the works of more challenging playwrights such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Edward Albee. Students will also study various acting methods including Stanislavsky's, Meisner's, Uta Hagen's and David Mamet's. Students will study William Shakespeare as an approach to acting that will involve breathing techniques, line and scene study, breaking scenes into French units, the marking up of scripts, and character and play analysis. Additionally, students will study with the Artist in Residence through an affiliation with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Students will receive specific instructions are designed by the Artist, and will host an Open House for their parents in which they will share what they have learned. Likewise, students will attend two performances at New Jersey Performance Arts Center.

Prerequisite: Drama 1

Drama 3 Honors and 4 Honors:  Drama 3H and 4H students will produce and direct their own short plays and will head up other classroom projects throughout the year.  In preparation for their play, students will be responsible for the creation of a Production Book, an exhaustive notebook in which directors will plan in advance all aspects of their production. These items will include a rehearsal schedule, philosophy of the play, casting requirements, audition packet, posters, playbill, division of the script into French units, an analysis of the "Spine" and motivation of each major character, and plots for costume, lighting, sound, and props. Upon completion of the Production Book, the producer/director will then cast the play and begin rehearsals. The production will ultimately be staged in school for classmates and invited guests. The drama classes are also responsible for presenting the Suicide Awareness program to the freshman classes.  
Prerequisite: Drama 2



Directions to FLHS

Fair Lawn High School

14-00 Berdan Ave.     GOOGLE MAPS

Fair Lawn, NJ 07410