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Semester English classes challenging yet intriguing

Junior and seniors have switched to semester English courses this year, choosing from “The American Dream,” “The Art of Argument,” “Folklore and Mythology,” “Stage and Screen” or “Women and Literature.” All the classes now have a mixture of juniors and seniors.

Most students are happy with the change, but an unexpected situation came up with registration. Some students find themselves not taking any English classes this semester but with two in the spring.

Those with two English classes this semester feel overloaded with double the number of essays and assigned readings. However, those without it find themselves lacking English instruction altogether.

Senior Brytne Nicole Andrade said, “I really don’t like having these semester classes. Right now I have both of my history courses this semester and next semester I will have both English classes. It’s especially hard because I have to go in on my own time to get help with my college essays.”

Despite the challenge, students now can decide on which English courses they would like to take. Upperclassmen can take English classes based on their interests; they also have the option to take more English courses.

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition student Kauaolikokalani Arelliano said, “I like that I am preparing myself for college in AP Lit, but I like the content in my Folklore and Mythology course.”

English department chair Jill Sprott said that the changes were done to give students the opportunity to learn and read about new topics.

Sprott said that the course topics were selected through “student interest. Things that they wrote a lot about. Some people asked, ‘Can’t we study fairy tales?’ We also looked at teachers’ strengths and what they had studied.”

English teachers also did not want too many preparations, which would have happened if they had separated the two grades.

Sprott said, “We made sure that the standards were the same straight across for juniors and seniors.”

The English department hopes that because these semester classes resemble those in a college system that Academy students will benefit greatly.

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