The Tilton School English Department understands that we all acquire and hone language skills at different rates, and in different ways. We are motivated to developing critical thinking and communication skills at each student’s pace. Through reading a variety of texts, and by participating in different expressive projects, students cultivate improved skills in English necessary for future endeavors.
The English Department invites students to engage in a range of experiences in close and sustained reading, and a wide array of writing and performance projects to help them develop essential skills. In addition, at every level, students can opt to engage in more advanced and/or additional projects to earn “honors distinction.
Identity and Discourse — Exploration of Self Through Literature
This course is designed to build student capacity in the Five Essential Skills, with a particular focus on inquiry, communication and creation. The course “anchors” student reading with the following texts: All American Boys, American Born Chinese, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Julius Caesar, and The Merchant of Venice. The course emphasizes the close reading of literary texts, encouraging students to ask questions about characters, their conflicts and the thematic understanding emerging from these conflicts. Further students will reflect upon such questions as “Who am I becoming?” “How do I know?” and “What changes do you want to make in the world?” The course emphasizes writing clear and effective sentences, well-developed and polished argumentation, reflection, and poetry along with public speaking presentations. Finally, the course encourages technical precision in punctuation, diction and syntax.
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye
Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Angels & Monsters Within — Advanced Study in Literature & Composition
This course deepens the students’ exploration of self by probing the question of “good and evil.” Reading literary texts from ancient to Greece, through the Renaissance and into the contemporary periods, students will continue to hone their close-reading, composition, and public speaking skills. Ultimately, students will develop their own understanding of living a “good” life through a year-long examination of collective and personal morality and ethics through a close study of literature’s most iconic angels and monsters.
This course broadens the student’s understanding of his or her place in a complex, culturally diverse world. Through the language and backgrounds found in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama from around the globe, students examine the development of universal codes and unique perspectives. Using historical contexts and an interdisciplinary approach, students develop their understanding of this material and gauge their own involvement through argument, exposition, and presentation modes of discourse. Students who choose the “honors” option for this course will have additional responsibilities to convey a deeper skillset.
Please Note: Electives and Alternatives are based on student interest, and some courses may not be offered in a given year.
Taken in addition to, but not in replacement of, a full year English course, Critical Reading & Writing Workshop (CRW) is designed for students who could benefit from more targeted instruction and practice in reading and writing skills. An intensive, seminar-style course, CRW will help students develop effective analytical and communication skills. Close readings of short texts provide valuable insights into purpose and audience. Revision and reflection of student writings allow for greater focus on more formal mechanics. Practice of posture, poise, pace, and pronunciation produces positive outcomes in public speaking. Through modes such as argumentation, description, comparison and contrast, personal narrative, cause and effect, and textual analysis, students will gain greater confidence in their abilities.
Creative Writing opens an opportunity for students who wish to create and share original works of memoir, poetry and fiction.
1st Trimester — Memoir
2nd Trimester — Poetry
3rd Trimester — Fiction
Students may enroll in any one or all of the trimester courses in creative writing. Further, enrolled students will publish their creative projects in the school’s literary magazine Rambler.
This course helps students refine their reading and writing for college success and civic engagement. As curious, critical, and responsive readers of mostly nonfiction, this course requires students to be flexible, reflective responders with audience and purpose in mind. Learning to identify and to analyze rhetorical modes and literary devices, students discover a writer’s intentions to elicit a reader’s response to a particular situation. Context is crucial, and students work to polish their own understanding of formal and informal written and spoken language.
Students who choose the AP option will have “Advanced Placement English Language and Composition” on their transcript and must take the spring AP exam.
All students will create pathways for deep, purposeful, self-directed learning, fueling lifelong discovery, creativity, and growth, unleashing the skills, passion, and courage to address the world’s most challenging problems.
This course encourages critical and responsive reading of fiction, poetry, and drama. Learning to identify and to analyze literary devices within unique genres, students discover a writer’s thematic and emotional intention and connect these intentions to contemporary politics at home and around the world. Context is crucial, and students work to polish their own understanding of cultural perspectives and of formal written and spoken language. Students who choose the AP option will have “Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition” on their transcript and must take the spring AP national exam. All students will create pathways for deep, purposeful, self-directed learning.
At Tilton, the ESOL Program is designed to serve our international students who require additional support for English proficiency before entering the standard English curriculum. The program, delivered through the Center for Academic Achievement, supports students who will use their English in continued college or university studies, in future jobs, and in personal endeavors. ESOL courses provide students with instruction in the English language, exposure to the American classroom and culture, and exercise of the study skills requisite to success in a rigorous academic setting.