Chair: Ms. Mica Bloom

All Yeshivah of Flatbush students are enthusiastically encouraged to actively read, ask probing questions, look at the world with profound curiosity and make intellectual discoveries. English at the Yeshivah focuses on studying sophisticated literacy, mastering language in both personal and public formats, and developing an appreciation for a multitude of genres of literature. Each year’s curriculum is designed to intensify previously learned skills while broadening the student’s exposure to the realm of literature. Our curriculum also gives students the skills and tools to be able to write effectively in college and beyond.

Freshman English focuses on advancing reading, writing and vocabulary skills. During the first semester, students read novels, short stories, nonfiction, and poetry that concentrate thematically on coming-of-age, building relationships, and overcoming adversity. The second semester includes literature circles, an examination of Greek theater, and Shakespeare. Writing assignments include summaries, essays, poems, narratives, and an in-depth research paper.

Sophomore English focuses on developing and strengthening analytical skills in both reading and writing. During the first semester, students examine Gothic literature by reading novels, short stories, nonfiction, and poetry from the time period. The second semester includes a variety of reading materials but focuses on plays and playwrights, from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Ibsen. Writing assignments include summaries, essays, poems, and a major paper that includes both research and literary analysis.

Junior English focuses specifically on solidifying formal and informal forms of written expression. Twice a week, students meet in small writing workshops to brainstorm, plan, write and edit their writing portfolio. They are expected to effectively complete literary analyses of innumerable forms of literature including nonfiction, and write essays, poems, and, at the end of the year, the college essay. Students write extensively and read full-length novels, memoirs, and plays as well as a wide range of poetry, short stories and nonfiction selections designed to build upon the literature, composition, vocabulary, and other communications skills addressed in 9th and 10th grade. There is a heavy focus on American literature, including an examination of the American Dream from a variety of perspectives.

AP Language and Composition – 11th Grade

AP English Language and Composition replaces 11th grade English for students who qualify for this course. According to the College Board, the course is “designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes." Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing."

Senior English focuses on preparing our students for college and the workforce. With an emphasis on complex reading, students are expected to be able to comprehend and analyze various forms of literature including essays, nonfiction, fiction, memoirs and poetry. A strong focus will be on formal written expression through essays and literary analyses. In preparation for college, students are expected to complete a research paper along with a formal oral presentation to defend their thesis.

AP English Literature and Composition – 12th Grade

AP English Literature and Composition (12th grade) typically replaces 12th grade English for those who qualify. According to the College Board, this course is “designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone."

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