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Bishop Canevin A Jesuit-inspired High School

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English Department

Department members:

Mrs. Karen Kennedy

Mrs. Marguerite Miller
Mrs. Charlotte Smith, Dept. Chair
Ms. Rita Yunker
Ms. Amy Smith, IU Reading Specialist


Program Overview

The English program at Bishop Canevin seeks to promote the skills of critical reading and analytical writing through the exploration of various works of literature. In keeping with the Ignatian value of eloquentia perfecta, the English curriculum is designed to foster effective instruction and practice in persuasive and analytical composition, critical discussion, and meaningful collaboration. Each year, the English Department places students according to their ability levels and learning needs. Incoming freshmen are initially placed according to the entrance exam and performance in grade school. For upperclassmen, placements are reassessed at the end of each year. To advance a level, a student must have a 96% average and a teacher recommendation. Electives are offered to students during their sophomore, junior, and senior years.


1. FRESHMAN ENGLISH will be a skills-oriented introduction to the major genres of literature. Students enter high school with different levels of competence in language arts, as evidenced in their placement tests, and this course is designed to provide the practice and support needed for success throughout high school. Students will be given an introduction to major literary genres (myths, short stories, novels, drama, and poetry) as well as the writing process.


2. SOPHOMORE ENGLISH will focus on American Literature. This course is a chronological approach to essays, short stories, poems, plays, and novels that are part of the American experience. Reading, writing, public speaking, and vocabulary building will be emphasized throughout the year. Students will complete multiple paragraph and essay length assignments. In addition, SAT preparation is begun, along with digital literacy.


3. JUNIOR ENGLISH will focus on World Literature and the expression of understanding through the writing process. Writing is heavily emphasized, particularly the idea of writing as process, exemplified through the practice of maintaining writing portfolios. Students will improve their writing skills by revising their work and by completing an independent literary analysis. Vocabulary building and grammar are continued in preparation for the ACT and SAT exams.


4. SENIOR ENGLISH will focus on British Literature, exploring all major genres and eras. Students will be required to analyze, discuss, and write about literature for the purpose of developing a more in-depth awareness of theme and style. Students will continue to practice vocabulary and SAT skills, while also preparing for college-level writing by composing an independent research paper. Interview techniques, resumes, digital responsibility and other real-world competencies will be emphasized.



  • Oracle members have received publication in the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Anthology, sponsored by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Literary Magazine activity)
  • BC2 celebrates “Poem in Your Pocket” Day and Teen Read Week (Library Club)
  • Outstanding Speech and Debate Honors Society - 2017 National Qualifier
  • Opportunities to write for The Mosaic, Yearbook, or be on the photography staff
  • Electives in AP Composition and English Literature, Public Speaking, and Introduction to Theatre