The WMA English department offers a curriculum that merges the best writings of the Western tradition with contemporary global literature, creating a comparative approach. Students are encouraged to consider the themes of canonical works, frame them within a global context and explore how they might speak to today's global concerns. The goal of the English Department is to expand students’ horizons by introducing them to the world's best writing in fiction, poetry, drama and all forms of nonfiction. A major aim of the program is to develop critical and creative thinkers who see beyond cultural stereotypes and biases. Our program focuses intensely on writing and our progression offers students mastery of the tools needed to structure and write a compelling analytical and argumentative paper. The English department encourages collaboration through daily discussion of the texts. This Socratic approach fosters dialogue and debate, which in turn strengthens verbal skills. The art of rhetoric is also introduced and public speaking is a component in each grade level course. Seminar-style classes oblige students to be prepared, engaged and ready to participate fully in class discussion. An intensive focus on process writing ensures that students are well prepared for the rigors of college.
Students must be enrolled in English every trimester. We require successful completion of English 9, English 10 (or Honors English 10), English 11 (or AP Language & Composition) and 3 credits from Grade 12 trimester courses (or AP Literature & Composition). Grade 12 students taking electives must take Writing Seminar and/or Research & Writing along with other English electives to equal three credits. ESL students are expected to complete courses through English 11 for a diploma.