8th GRADE ENGLISH
Eighth Grade English focuses on grammar, vocabulary and the basics of paragraph and paper organization; the class also seeks to develop reading comprehension and basic analytical skills as they apply to literature. Much of the reading is designed to relate to or complement the material being studied in the Eighth Grade History course, and some of the writing assignments are also cross-disciplinary. The class is designed to challenge middle school students and prepare them for GMVS’ rigorous 9-12th grade English and History curriculums. All eighth graders take this class unless enrolled in English as a Second Language. This class does not count towards any GMVS graduation requirements.
LANGUAGE ARTS (9th grade)
Language Arts is a full-year course designed to teach students the writing and reading skills they will use throughout high school and college. Students learn to structure essays and use a writing process to organize ideas. Students learn grammatical rules needed to communicate clearly. Critical reading skills and vocabulary are taught through textbooks, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Students are required to write and read extensively.
LITERARY CLASSICS (10th grade)
This course is designed as a literary complement to European history. This course emphasizes reading of novels and plays that touch upon relevant historical and political themes and events. Readings include works by Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Orwell, and others. Students are expected to write numerous papers. Improving vocabulary and reading skills are also component's of the course.
AMERICAN LITERATURE (11th grade)
As the product of native and colonial cultures, American Literature embodies a diverse collection of work. Students in this survey course will trace some of the significant trends in our literary history by exploring the work of major authors. We will read texts that demonstrate pre-Civil War ideals, modern themes of moral confusion and disenchantment, characteristic of the early 20th century, and even some contemporary works that show surprising parallels to their early predecessors. Class discussion and written assignments are critical components of this course, and there is continued emphasis on vocabulary acquisition. Students are challenged to develop their analytical writing throughout the year.
CRITICAL READING & WRITING ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES - THE ACADEMIC ESSAY: ENG400 (.5 Credit).
This course is designed to help prepare students to write at the university level and for the job world beyond by providing instruction in developing persuasive arguments, organizing texts at the sentence and paragraph levels, understanding a range of prose styles, and conducting critical reading and research. We will approach the academic essay by way of a critical reading process. How do writers structure their essays in support of a claim? What thinking moves do they make? How do they incorporate other voices? Students will learn to recognize formal strategies that facilitate complex thinking and put them to use in their writing. Classes will feature energetic and interactive discussions, frequent peer conferences, and formal written assignments. Our texts will range from academic and journalistic essays to longer forms of non-fiction, and we will focus on examining and writing about a series of issues that are relevant to students' immediate lives and the contemporary world, doing our best to develop a clear understanding of the complexities in each case as well as an articulate individual response to the issues in question.
CREATIVE NON-FICTION: ENG401 (.5 credit).
Creative nonfiction is a genre that includes a variety of expository forms, including memoir, food and travel writing, biography, and literary journalism among others. In this course students will read a weekly selection of essays and memoirs as well as write prolifically on topics of their own interest. Guiding questions for this seminar include: what affect does audience have on voice? How does new media challenge a traditional notion of audience? How do writers assemble readable narratives from facts? Students will write one essay of significant length per week, will keep a weekly journal, and will complete a variety of weekly independent and in-class writing exercises. Students will be required to workshop their writing with classmates and with the teacher, and they will also be required to publish finished work to a broad public audience on a frequent and regular basis.
20TH CENTURY AMERICAN NON-FICTION: ENG405 (.5 Credit).
In our senior level humanities seminar we examine public policies, historical events, legal and political structures, and trace their influence over American popular culture. We read and watch a mix of primary sources and media of the time to better understand the evolution of the era and reflect on the meaning of our society today. Topics covered include: a brief history 1945-1960, suburbanization, demographics, elections, civil rights, The Great Society Programs, women's liberation and the Viet Nam War. Students demonstrate their understanding through class discussion, journals, homework assignments, quizzes and final project.
ADVANCED WRITING SEMINAR: ENG406 (.5 Credit).
In this class students will investigate and evaluate expository and fictional writing. As this is a post-graduate class, enrolled students are expected to already have a solid command of grammar, usage and mechanics. We will focus on the writing process for essay and paper topics typically found at the college level. Opportunities for practice and revisions of different types of writing will abound. Daily assignments will examine clarity, argument, and style in published and student works. We will analyze and enjoy “good writing” daily.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: ESL100 (1 Credit)
The English as a Second Language course at GMVS is specifically designed for international students attending an English based academic program for the first time. The course has two primary objectives: to supplement and expand students’ interpersonal communication skills in English so that they are happy and successful members of the GMVS language community; and to develop students’ skills in using English for Academic Purposes so that they participate effectively in our academic environment. This includes listening and note taking, academic writing, English rhetorical organization, discussion skills, public speaking, use of academic register and developing language proficiency. Course design is based on the needs of the students.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE - SUPPORT: ESL150 (0 Credit)
If a student also takes an English class with native speakers (Language Arts, for example), ESL support is offered as a complement with that class and one credit will be awarded for the two classes. ESL- Support will not have the same homework demands as an ESL class for credit. The assignments of the English class are used as a basis for ESL specific lessons.