Language Arts

The English Department of Bishop Kelly is dedicated to helping students develop the skills necessary for life-long learning. These skills include reading, writing and verbal expression. Critical thinking skills are developed through the analysis of literary techniques. Writing assignments that deal with these literary techniques create the foundation for evaluative writing across the curriculum. Students are provided with opportunities to express their individuality through discussion and reader response assignments. In addition, the English curriculum is designed to promote self-esteem and awareness of each student’s humanness through literary selections that represent the many aspects of our humanity.

Courses and Prerequisites:


Grade Level: 9

Course ID# 200 – Two Semesters (FY)

The primary goal of the ninth grade curriculum is to help students focus on their emerging independence as individuals who have responsibilities to family, community and society-at-large. Students will consider pertinent works from the three major literary genres of poetry, prose and drama as they attempt to establish relationships between themselves and selected fiction and non-fiction works. To best express their understanding of those relationships and their responses to them, they will practice their communication skills through listening, expository writing and vocabulary enrichment. Students will work towards mastery of the five-paragraph essay.

+ENGLISH 10: AMERICAN LITERATURE (Beginnings to 1914)

Grade Level: 11
Prerequisite: English 10

Course ID# 220 – Two Semesters (FY)

The junior curriculum will continue the study of the development of the American identity through the exploration of literature from 1914 through the present time. Major works of American fiction, non-fiction and drama will be included in addition to selections from the core text. Students will continue to develop their analytical skills through the writing of a number of papers. Vocabulary and grammar will continue to be addressed regularly.


Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: French 2 or Counselor Approval

Course ID# 1520 – Two Semesters (FY)

Students at this level will use their increased skills to listen to and relate stories, explanations of language structure, and descriptions of lives and activities of their classmates and react in French. As a continuation of the classroom procedures of the previous years, instruction will be done in the target language. Beyond the study of culture in daily life a certain amount of literature, philosophy and history will be studied, in addition to an introduction into the work of well-known French artists.


Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: English 11

Course ID# 230 – Two Semesters (FY)

The first three quarters of Senior English is a British survey course that deals with the eight main literary periods in British literature: Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, 17th century, Restoration, Romantic, Victorian and Modern. Students will learn the historical context of each period and will write literary analyses dealing with works that are representative of each period. The fourth quarter of Senior English will be an examination of contemporary world literature as it reflects the voices and cultures of a diverse global community.


Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: A or B in English 11 and Application Required

Course ID# 240 – Two Semesters (FY)

The College Board, instead of publishing a set curriculum, offers the following suggestions for key elements in an Advanced Placement English course in Literature and Composition: The course should include intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Reading in an AP course should be both wide and deep. Students should read works from several genres and periods–from the sixteenth to the twentieth century–but, more importantly, they should get to know a few works well. They should read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity to absorb its richness of meaning and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context should provide a foundation; however, critical perspectives are also brought to bear on the literary works studied. Writing is also an integral part of the AP English Literature and Composition course. It should focus on the critical analysis of literature and should include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. The goal of writing should be to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do.


Grade Level: 9

Course ID# 201 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 202 – Second Semester (S2)

This class is designed to provide students with experiences in organizing their thoughts and materials in an orderly manner and effectively relaying these to an audience. Students will be taught to deliver several traditional speeches in addition to practicing their speaking skills. Additional communication skills will be gained through a variety of units dealing with other communication issues such as nonverbal, interpersonal and gender in communication.


Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Course ID#231 – First Semester (S1)

This one-semester course is open to students who are interested in exploring artistic forms of written expression. Whereas the emphasis in the traditional English classes is on expository writing, in this class it will be on poetry and short fiction. In addition, the students will read a selection of stories, poems and plays. Rather than writing research papers and engaging in literary analysis, the students will produce their own poems and prose in order to cultivate their own style and voice. There will be a considerable amount of class time devoted to writing and sharing. The intent of this course will be to assist students to become better writers by encouraging them to write creatively and write often.


Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Counselor/Instructor Approval

Course ID# 221 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 222 – Second Semester (S2)

Reading and Study Skills are the foundation for life-long learning. This course consists of one or two semesters of instructional strategies to strengthen these skills. Students are encouraged to develop sound reading habits for study and for pleasure. Students are taught content area reading comprehension skills. These include the areas of vocabulary building, pre-reading, and post-reading. Students

are taught how to apply specific study skills in their other classes. Some of these skills include time management, organization and responsibility, note taking, mnemonics, and test taking strategies. Students also participate in critical thinking activities to further enhance their reading performance.


Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Course ID# 211 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 212 – Second Semester (S2)

The drama program at Bishop Kelly High School is designed to provide students with experiences on the stage including projects, improvisation, pantomime and scene work. Students will also engage in a variety of other activities including: set design, costume design and stage makeup and analysis of plays.


Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Instructor Approval/Application required

Course ID# 250 – Two Semesters (FY)

Competitive speech is designed to give students opportunities to develop skills in research, critical thinking, and oral communication. Students will participate in a variety of activities including mock trial, speech events, and various forms of debate. In addition to classroom participation, students will have the opportunity to compete in local interscholastic speech and debate tournaments.

+DIGITAL MEDIA (formerly Video Productions and Journalism)

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Instructor Approval/Application required

Course ID# 260 –Two Semesters (FY)

The new Digital Media class is a two-semester course which encompasses all aspects of video production and online newspaper journalism. The goal of this class will be for students to learn the fundamentals of sound journalistic practices. Students will be taught to write editorials, features, news, and sports articles that will then be featured in BK Spotlight news videos and in an online version of the Knightbeat newspaper. Students will also create the Bishop Kelly Video Yearbook as a culminating project during spring semester. Those who enroll in this course must be willing to attend some extra-curricular activities as well as to work on magazine articles/production outside of school hours when necessary.


Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Instructor Approval/Application required

Course ID# 270 – Two Semesters (FY)

The primary goal of this course is to train students to a level of competency which will enable them to prepare a school yearbook for publication. Yearbook staff members will learn to design pages with a combination of copy, pictures and graphics that best reflect the history of a year in the life of the school’s students. The secondary goal of the course is to allow the staff to experience the satisfaction of contributing to a team effort, while learning to meet deadlines and learning the art of compromise. All students will be using a digital camera, and all must become adept at working with the publishing software that is the basis for the yearbook’s production. Students gain more value from the experience if they are able to be on the staff both the junior and senior years.


Matriculating International Students

Course ID# 280 – Two Semesters (FY)

Transitional English is designed to bridge the change from studying English in a foreign environment to being a successful foreign student in an English-speaking environment. In addition to an orientation to the school and community, this course focuses on the continuing development of oral and written language skills as well as introducing the specialized vocabulary necessary for success across the curriculum. The major literary genres will be addressed at a pace commensurate with the abilities of the particular participants. Individualized attention will be given to specific language needs.


Grade Levels: 12

Course ID# 232 – Second Semester (FY)

Senior Seminar is a student directed course for the disciplined and independent student who does will in a seminar environment. Each year, the instructor chooses a subject or area of focus and presents it within interdisciplinary humanities approach. A variety of mediums are utilized including lecture/discussion, students presentations, film and supplemental reading. The topics for Senior Seminar have included: America in the 60’s, The Renaissance, Contemporary Global Conflicts, The History of Russia in the 20th Century, Baseball as an American Icon, and American Cinema.