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.

AP English 12: Advanced Placement English is a seminar-styled course. It emphasizes reading, analyzing, articulating, and writing about philosophies of man as revealed through the literature. It also explores the schools of literary criticism that enrich literature study. Students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Examination in literature. The course brings together writers and genres from diverse cultures, time periods, and literary traditions.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply, see your Guidance Counselor

Humanities 12H: This class serves as a celebration that will bring together many different disciplines in one last year of exploration and wonder. The curriculum for the class asks the essential questions: What are the most important works of literature, art, and music throughout the ages? Which of these great works has the most potential to positively affect an individual's lifelong love of learning? It provides a myriad of writing experiences and performance assessments. This exploration will educate students in becoming citizens of the world and enrich their lives by humankind's greatest works.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply, see your Guidance Counselor

English 12CP: This course centers on themes such as gender, death, dying, family, and tolerance. The various texts and opportunities for research support these themes through critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, writing, and performance assessment.

English 12: This course parallels the English 12CP course in context but continues to emphasize the essay structure, addressing grammar and mechanic contextually.  The focus is placed on oral and written expression of ideas with clarity and purpose.  Students will examine key issues in today’s society and the relevancy of these issues to the students’ lives.

English 12 CP or 12 Honors - Senior Topics I: Comedy in Literature and Culture: This CP semester course is paired with the semester course, 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, fiction and non-fiction, as well as each text's social and historical context. Various literary genres will be analyzed, including essays, memoirs, plays, novels, television shows, movies and comic strips. Analytical, expository and creative writing are emphasized, as well as reading and discussion.

English 12 CP or 12 Honors- Senior Topics I: Madness in Literature: This CP semester course is paired the semester course, Comedy in Literature and Culture.  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.

These semester courses are part of a yearlong sequence (Senior Topics I).
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply.  See your guidance counselor.

Senior Topics II is no longer offered.  

English 12 CP – 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 between the gods and goddesses of different societies and draw parallels to the historical times and contexts in which they were written.  Students will read, analyze, and respond to selected articles, stories, and novel excerpts as well as write academic and creative papers and projects.

English 12 CP – Senior Topics III:  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’ll 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. 

These semester courses are part of a yearlong sequence (Senior Topics III). 
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply.  See your guidance counselor.

English 12 CP - Senior Topics IV: Contemporary Literature: This CP semester course is paired with the Short Story semester course. It explores the graphic novel form in terms of its value in the literary canon. The course will begin with the more commonly represented superhero genre and move on to explore the use of graphic novels as allegory and direct representations of society and culture.  Students gain an understanding of how to analyze visual media through the course readings and supplementary multi-media texts.  In addition, this course examines science fiction through some of its most influential works. In the context of contemporary society, students will investigate how critical studies of popular culture have a distinct place in the study of literature.

English 12 CP - Senior Topics IV: 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 the authors who penned each, 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.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply.  See your guidance counselor.

These semester courses are part of a yearlong sequence (Senior Topics IV).
Prerequisite: Prerequisites apply.  See your guidance counselor.

Film Study and Production: In this course, 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.

Broadcast/Journalism 1, 2, 3: Students will learn to produce broadcast, digital and print coverage of various newsworthy happenings, primarily at Fair Lawn High School, and including the school district and community-at-large. Students will learn to produce The Crimson Crier, FLHS’ newspaper, using InDesign, an Adobe Systems layout and design program that has become the Gold Standard for various professional publications, including newspapers, magazines, corporate newsletters and brochures.  In addition, students will prepare broadcast segments to submit for school publication.  These courses are open to all students.
This course is open to students in grades 9 -11.

Journalism Editorial Board Honors: Students in this honors level advanced journalism course will comprise the editorial board of The Crimson Crier.  These students will work collaboratively as editors to make decisions about what stories to pursue and assist less experienced student journalists on how to report, write, and edit stories for the newspaper. These students will be responsible for laying out The Crimson Crier using InDesign, collaborating on story placement, headline and cutline writing. Also, they will work closely with the photo editor on cropping and placing pictures to produce an engaging newspaper.  Additionally, these students will decide what stories/events should be filmed and edited for potential school broadcast and assist less experienced journalists on video story-telling and video editing.  
Prerequisite: B- in English and department application available from guidance counselors.

Women and Gender Studies in Literature and Visual Arts (CP or Honors Level): This interdisciplinary CP or Honors level course explores ways in which the study of women and gender studies intersects with race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation and how this study shapes all human experience. This will be accomplished through exploration of various works from literature, art and film. This course will also provide a critical and analytical investigation of independent feminist film and mainstream media, examining how women are represented in popular culture and how they represent themselves. This course introduces students to the history of feminism, and gender studies, as well as its contemporary theories. During the course of their inquiry, students not only learn how to use gender as a category of analysis, but also reflect on the manifestation of gender in their own lives, and to understand the meaning of gender identity and norms of femininity and masculinity. Through discussion and analysis this course can lead to a range of personal and intellectual discoveries for the inquisitive scholar.
This course is open to students in grades 10-12.  
Prerequisite: for the CP level course: None.  
Prerequisite for Honors Level Course: A- or higher in English CP or B- or higher in English Honors  

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

Power Writing: By creating a comfortable and collaborative environment, students in Power Writing will develop their skills in all aspects of the writing process, from the first brainstorming session to the final publication.  As a class, we explore a variation of writing genres from academic to creative to real world applications.  More specifically, students will produce persuasive essays, reaction papers, personal narratives, short stories, poetry, advertising campaigns, letters of complaint and praise, and speeches.  This course serves the needs of every student, regardless of skill level.  Students who either feel that they want to improve their writing, enjoy writing on their own and want to explore other genres, or are interested in pursuing a career in writing should strongly consider taking this course.
This course is open to students in grades 9 -12.


Directions to FLHS

Fair Lawn High School

14-00 Berdan Ave.     GOOGLE MAPS

Fair Lawn, NJ 07410