English Department

The English Program at ACS is dedicated to providing a safe and dynamic environment for learning and growth, focused on developing a deep understanding of literature, language and writing as outlined by the AERO standards for core competency. Students are taught according to the standards of the International Baccalaureate, the Lebanese Baccalaureate, and American College Prep programs as each student’s situation requires. Students are given the tools to apply analytical thought to previously-published works and relate them to their own lives and experiences, while developing their own style and voices as writers.

English Co-Curricular

In addition to the academic curriculum, the English Department offers a variety of co-curricular activities such as Aleph Be (the school's newspaper), Zephyr (a magazine of student work), Knight Writers (a co-curricular where “budding” writers can use their talents to help their peers becomes better writers).

English Courses

For more information on courses, please click on the link below for the appropriate grade level.

English 9

The English Language arts program for Grade 9 is designed to allow students to explore and interact with a broad range of literary genres. Through the course of the program, literary selections will focus on providing a sequential foundation to facilitate a broadened perspective of literature, human thought and the “humanity” found in each individual. Students will have the opportunity to view the world through different cultures and different perspectives and to recognize that there is a common link among humans regardless of distance, time, or culture. The program aims to promote an appreciation of the wealth and subtleties of the English language and lead to an awareness of linguistic structures. It seeks to facilitate the clear expression of ideas, to aid clear, concise presentation of argument and to assist in the understanding of both oral and written discourse. Selections for the program have been carefully considered in order to ensure students are able to connect and expand upon the development of specific themes and literary concepts. The courses also engage students in the in-depth study of an author, and explore the notion of what it means in literary terms to identify someone as a great author.

Main Texts

  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Odyssey by Homer

Texts

  • Stand by Me Directed by Rob Steiner
  • The Body by Stephen King
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
English 10

The English Language Arts program for grade 10 continues to build on the previous year’s focus on developing strong written, oral and critical thinking skills. The main goal is to provide a solid foundation to prepare students for the IB, Honors, and LB programs, while ensuring that they are ready for college level academic studies. Through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama and non-print media, students will explore the many forces that define human identity—both internal and external. By examining how the written and spoken word is used to influence and manipulate thought, actions and perceptions of self, students will understand the immense power of language as a tool for expression and persuasion.

Main Texts

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • A selection of short stories, vignettes, poems and non-fiction.

Supplementary Texts

  • Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Strange Tale of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Self-selected, grade appropriate novels.
English 12

English 12 invites students to engage with literature and life as they further develop their critical analysis and oral presentation skills while honing their own voice and writer’s craft. Reading extensively across the genres, students will write about and in the form of texts under review, to include non-fiction essays and feature journalism, novels and linked story collections, and feature films. Whether exploring novelists’ and filmmakers’ responses to war, or essayists’ evocations of post-disaster rebirth and meditations on place, students will both analyze and employ these artists’ rhetorical and literary techniques in essays, stories and oral presentations of their own. Early assignments will support development of students’ college application essays; the course overall will complete their preparation for college writing and beyond.

Texts

  • Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  • Dave Eggers, Zeitoun
  • Keith Spera, Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal and the Music of New Orleans
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Films: Spike Lee, When The Levees Broke; Hal Ashby, Coming Home; and Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now

Non-fiction essays from selected authors including Tom Wolfe (from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby), Adam Gopnik (from Paris to the Moon), Mahmoud Darwish (from Memory for Forgetfulness) and Naomi Shihab-Naye.

Non-fiction essays including E.B. White, “Once More to the Lake;” Annie Dillard, “from ‘The Present’ in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek;” Least Heat-Moon, “A List of Nothing in Particular;” assorted restaurant reviews (New York Times and Chicago Tribune).

IB English Literature

IB English I

The IB English Literature course is built on the assumption that literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world. Through the study of a wide range of literature, the course encourages students to appreciate the artistry of literature and to develop an ability to reflect critically on their reading. Works are studied in their literary and cultural contexts, through close study of individual texts and passages, and by considering a range of critical approaches. In view of the international nature of the IB and its commitment to intercultural understanding, the course does not limit the study of works to the products of one culture or the cultures covered by any one language. The study of works in translation is especially important in introducing students, through literature, to other cultural perspectives. The response to the study of literature is through oral and written communication, thus enabling students to develop and refine their command of language. (Language A: Literature Guide)

Texts

  • Farewell My Concubine - Lillian Lee
  • The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  • A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
  • The Awakening - Kate Chopin
  • No Exit - Jean Paul Satre

IB English II

The IB English Literature course is built on the assumption that literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world. Through the study of a wide range of literature, the course encourages students to appreciate the artistry of literature and to develop an ability to reflect critically on their reading. Works are studied in their literary and cultural contexts, through close study of individual texts and passages, and by considering a range of critical approaches. In view of the international nature of the IB and its commitment to intercultural understanding, the course does not limit the study of works to the products of one culture or the cultures covered by any one language. The response to the study of literature is through oral and written communication, thus enabling students to develop and refine their command of language. (Language A: Literature Guide)

Texts 1st Semester

  • Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  • Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy
  • Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield

Texts 2nd Semester

  • A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams
  • Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Edward Albee
  • The Homecoming - Harold Pinter

IB English Language and Literature

The Language A: Language and Literature course comprises four parts—two relate to the study of language and two to the study of literature. The study of the texts produced in a language is central to an active engagement with language and culture and, by extension, to how we see and understand the world in which we live. A key aim of the course is to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts, which, it can be argued, is rarely straightforward and unambiguous. Helping students to focus closely on the language of the texts they study and to become aware of the role of each text's wider context in shaping its meaning is central to the course. Textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, will be a key focus and students will learn about the role of culturally determined reading practices and help them to develop an understanding of "critical literacy". The study of literature in translation from other cultures is emphasized because it contributes to a global perspective, thereby promoting an insight into, and understanding of, the different ways in which cultures influence and shape the experiences of life common to all humanity. (Language A: Language and Literature Manual)

IB Year I : Main Texts

  • The Thief and the Dogs - Mahfouz
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Frankenstein - Mary Wollenscraft Shelley
  • Master Herald and the Boys - Fugard
  • The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

IB Year II : Main Texts

  • Collected Poems by Stanley Kunitz
  • The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
  • A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
  • Selection of Non-Fiction Texts
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