The mission of Brother Martin High School is to form young people through a holistic education that fosters academic excellence in a caring, disciplined community which integrates Catholic tradition and the charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to meet the needs of a changing world.
A student must take an English course during each year he is enrolled at Brother Martin. This requirement reflects not only the fact that most college programs demand an average of four years of English but also the conviction that proficiency in the language arts is indispensable to learning. The skills of reading, oral and written self-expression, and research are valuable tools in the study of any subject. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the English curriculum, students are expected to buy workbooks, handbooks and paperback books as supplements to the state-provided texts.
This course is designed to introduce basic fundamentals of grammar and usage, including sentence formation and preparation of a topic sentence. From there, students learn the organization and development of a paragraph. Students are introduced to the basic literary terms as found in the literature anthology and young adult novels. A language unit is included as well as weekly vocabulary study. Incorporated into this class are the study habits and skills that enable the student to be a successful learner both inside and outside of the classroom.
This course serves as an introduction to basic high school English skills. The course centers on the following: the development of basic composition skills, instruction in the use of a precise and connotative vocabulary, the development of literary interpretation skills and the application of these skills to selected literature. Attention is given to library skills, use of the dictionary, note-taking skills, speech skills, and the mechanics of writing.
English I Honors
This course is a course which covers the material in English 1100 in greater depth by introducing the writing of expository and persuasive paragraphs, the history and development of the English language, advanced vocabulary study, major types of literature, and various approaches to understanding poetry, fiction, and drama. The student must be able to work independently and produce projects generated from this work.
This course extends and and refines the basic skills taught in English I by: 1) formally introducing the concepts of unity, conciseness and coherence in paragraph and theme writing; 2) introducing students to the structure and formation of a multi-paragraph essay; and 3) continuing the enrichment of the students vocabulary. Principles of grammar, usage and sentence structure continue to be stressed. The students writing is monitored to determine individual strengths and weaknesses.
English II Honors (9th)
This ninth grade course for the accelerated student is an extension of English I Honors (eighth grade), requiring an accelerated pace for reading, writing, and the study of literature. Through class discussion, small group work, and individual projects, the students develop their analytical skills and demonstrate their motivation to pursue advanced coursework. Students successful in this course become candidates for the Advanced Placement classes.
English II Honors (10th)
This course is a course that builds on the basic skills provided in freshman English by enlarging basic composition skills to include paragraph development and essay design. The course emphasizes the basic skills of unity, conciseness and coherence in the construction of a multi-paragraph essay. Literary interpretation and analytic skills are developed in reference to specific literary types and styles. The course continues vocabulary building. This course requires independent work with projects generated from research.
This course is a full-year junior level course containing a thematic survey of American literature with a writing component that investigates both the different rhetorical modes of expository writing and writing about literature. The writing of a formal research paper is required for completion of this course.
English III Honors (10th)
This course is for accelerated tenth graders and focuses on a broad scope of literature covering topics in both American and World literature. The writing component will move students into more sophisticated and complex writing with a strong focus on sentence construction, argumentative writing, and literary criticism. Students will also develop a stronger vocabulary base and standardized testing skills, especially for SAT and AP tests. Lastly, students will continue to develop research skills through research projects. Students successful in this course become candidates for the eleventh grade Advanced Placement course.
English III Honors (11th)
This course is a course for juniors in American Literature which covers the material in English 1300 in greater depth with more emphasis placed on interpretative and analytical skills. In the composition component of this class greater attention is paid to developing the students style and voice and to instruction in writing the argumentative and critical essay. As in all English Honors courses, the student is expected to do independent work and produce projects generated from this work.
English III Honors AP
This course is a full-year, entry-level college course incorporating extensive study of language and those rhetorical devices that make for effective writing. Some readings in American Literature, preparation classes for ACT/SAT tests, and study of nonfiction writing prepares the student for his next AP course. Students must take the Advanced Placement Language Exam that may qualify them for three hours of college credit.
This course is a full-year senior level course combining a thematic survey of English literature with a writing component that builds on the work begun in English 1300 by intensive study of the revising and editing process, by concentrating on how to choose accurate and forceful words and by in-depth instruction in writing the argumentative and critical essay. The writing of a scholarly research paper is a requirement for completion of the course.
English IV Honors/English V Honors
This course is a course in British Literature which covers the material in English 1400 in greater depth with more emphasis placed on interpretative and analytical skills. In the composition component of this class, greater attention is paid to developing the students style and voice and to instruction in writing the argumentative and critical essay. The student is required to do independent work and produce projects generated from this work. The writing of a scholarly research paper is a requirement for completion of the course.
English IV Honors AP/English V Honors AP
This course is a full-year course for seniors modeled on the College Board curriculum. Students in the course do extensive reading in British, American, and European literature. In addition they write analytical responses about the works they study and engage in scholarly research. Students must take the AP Literature exam that may qualify them for three hours of college credit. The writing of a scholarly research paper is a requirement for completion of the course.
Creative Writing (Prose)
This semester course focuses on the writing of prose. This course is about the imagination and the role it plays in the formation of personal narratives and short stories. The purpose of the course is to engage students in the effects, forms and techniques that drive memoir, autobiography, biography and short fiction. The class will study various non-fiction personal essays and short stories by masters in the field. Through peer critique, the class will revise and refine works of both genres to express personal and universal opinions, beliefs and themes. (This course will be offered if a sufficient number of students request it. Class size may be limited.)
Creative Writing (Verse)
This semester course focuses on the writing of verse. This course is about the imagination and the role that poetry and dramatic writing can play in ones life. It encourages creativity that produces songs and stories and is the vehicle for self-expression and relationship. The class will produce poetry, dramatic writings, scripts and other verse forms. (This course will be offered if a sufficient number of students request it. Class size may be limited.)
Mr. Thomas Leggett, B.A., Department Chair
Mr. Joseph Barnitz ’02, B.A.
Mrs. Cynthia L. Bellina, M.Ed.
Mr. Christopher Biehl, M.Ed.
Mr. Ryan Gallagher ’00, M.A.
Mr. Drew Haro ’03, B.A.
Mr. Guy Nelson
Mrs. Susan Newburger, B.A.
Mr. Jéan-Paul Pierre, B.A.
Mrs. Andre Price, B.A.
Ms. Christine Sanderson, M.A.
Ms. Melanie Scott, B.S.
Ms. Sasha Sevin, M.R.E.
Mr. Dean Songy, M.A.
Mr. Ian Supak, M.Ed.
Guide to Grammar and Writing
This site provides information on common grammatical errors in addition to definitions/explanations of writing styles and terminology.
Writing Tips: Sentence Builder
This site explains the different parts of speech and their correct uses.
The Tongue Untied
The Tongue Untied is an online text book with various grammar and writing style lessons.