English & Language Arts

High School students read a book they created to preschool students.

High School students read a book they created to preschool students.

Each student has great potential to become an effective communicator.  Therefore, we are dedicated to nurture and challenge all our learners to achieve an appreciation for God’s gift of language.  God spoke the World into being.  At the Tower of Babel, God confused the languages, and students have been confused in learning language ever since.  We pursue mastery in language skills because it opens for us the Divine Revelation God has given through His Word, opens to us the voices of peoples past and present, as well as allows us to effectively express ourselves.

Sacred Heart’s English Language Arts Department, alongside all our other academic departments, endeavors to develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in order to equip students for learning in all curriculum areas here at Sacred Heart, to prepare them for collegiate studies ahead, and to enable them to communicate effectively in their everyday lives, work environments, and greater community for the glory of God and His Church on earth.

In our studies, we encourage wonder in students to explore their own and others’ written and oral language, offer students a solid knowledge base, and encourage application of this knowledge in their lives.  We evaluate their application of knowledge and skills through discussion, written and oral works, and individual as well as group activities and projects.

Our curriculum covers World, American, and British Literature.  We explore composition through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, and business and technical writing.  Reader response, literary criticism, research skills, public speaking, debate, interviewing, listening skills, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are all studied.  These reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills increase in complexity and depth across the six years of curriculum.

English 7 and English 8

The purpose of this course is to continue to help students build their knowledge of English skills–reading, writing, listening and speaking–and English knowledge—literature terms, types of writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Students should expect regular assignments, frequent quizzes, and comprehensive exams.  It is absolutely necessary that students keep up with their work as it is very difficult to catch up once one gets behind.

The purpose of the 9-12 Language Arts courses are to develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in order to equip students for learning in all curriculum areas here at Sacred Heart, to prepare them for collegiate studies ahead, and to enable them to communicate effectively in their everyday lives, work environments, and greater community for the glory of God.

At Sacred Heart we try to tailor learning methods to fit each student. For Senior English the students read Beowulf, and then must complete a project based on the story. Sometimes it's a skit, movie, storybook, painting, diorama or other creation. Song writing is also encouraged as seen above! Last year one very ambitious senior wrote a piece of music based on the epic poem.

At Sacred Heart we try to provide multiple learning options in order to try to find a fit for each student to show they know the material. For Senior English the students read Beowulf, and then must complete a project based on the story. Sometimes it’s a skit, movie, storybook, painting, diorama or other creation. Last year one very ambitious senior wrote a piece of music based on the epic poem.

English Language Arts 9

The primary focus of this class will be on the study of public speaking, novels and short stories, vocabulary, and writing skills.

English Language Arts 10

The primary focus of this class will be on creative writing, critical thinking, world literature, literary analysis, grammar skills, and vocabulary development.

English Language Arts 11

The primary focus of this class will be on American Literature, its ages and authors, literary terminology, literary criticism, creative writing, grammar review, and vocabulary building.

English Language 12

The primary focus of this class will be British literature, business and technical writing, research skill development, and college preparation.

Creative Writing (elective)

The purpose of this course is to develop as a community of writers who experiment, craft, revise, and tinker with our work.  Students will be expected to make a commitment to their work and take pride in what you write, making an honest and diligent effort to work as a writer in this community.  Do not worry about your creative skills at the beginning of this course; our class is dedicated to improving your craft no matter what your level of expertise.  Students will perform daily writing practice pieces, of which they will choose particular pieces to develop further through the revision process in writing groups.  Our textbook will lead us through example pieces and writing theory as well as me providing mini-lessons on matters of craft and holding one-on-one conferences about your writing pieces.  All final writing pieces will be compiled into a working portfolio at the end of each quarter.

College Composition I through Northland Community Technical College

Sacred Heart students who qualify are also able to take College Comp I through Northland Community Technical College (NCTC) in East Grand Forks, receiving both High School credit and college credit.