English Department

  • The English Department believes that language is the foundation of all learning and is essential to the acquisition of knowledge in all content areas. Therefore, our mission is to enable students to use language precisely-- reading, writing, listening and speaking—in an integrated way. We aim to instill in our students a lifelong appreciation and love for language as readers, writers, and effective communicators in accordance with NJSLS.

    The department is committed to providing a rich language curriculum that enables students to explore, take risks, and create. We are responsible for developing varied activities which foster sensitivity and respect for others, celebrate diversity, and encourage pride in accomplishment. 

    At each level, courses are dedicated to presenting the knowledge necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of our complex world. Our students must become problem solvers and decision makers. Our curriculum emphasizes the many facets of information processing and provides opportunities for students to use and apply these skills. We encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and self-assessment. The development and refinement of language skills will enable students to become productive thinkers who consider ideas from many perspectives, make connections, and transfer and apply knowledge to new situations. 

    Since the primary goals of an English Language Arts curriculum are recursive in nature, all four units for each grade level have been vertically articulated. In other words, students in each grade level focus on the same units of study; however, each year highlights a specific set of skills and understandings, which scaffold in sophistication. The four thematic “threaded” strands that course through all four years are: Influences on Perception, The Human Condition, Ideal Relationships, and The Emotional Response. 

    All four units begin with essential questions that are designed to guide students’ thinking. These questions recur throughout the introductions to each unit, at the end of each unit, and before and after the study of each literary selection. Students will have opportunities to revisit these questions in light of new information about a literary period or a new reading or writing experience. All summative assessments will be designed with student understanding and appreciation for the complexity of each of these essential questions. 

    It should be noted that while each unit in the curriculum is designed with specific targeted areas of attention and skill sets in mind, this is not to say that teachers and students will be limited to only these foci. Since the teaching and learning of English Language Arts is a recursive process, many of these understandings and skills will be revisited, reinforced, and strengthened throughout other times in the school year. 

    There can be courses where students may have proficiency in the content from prior or out-of-school programs or experiences. If a student seeks to enroll in a course and has not taken the required pre-requisite at Livingston High School, the student must demonstrate his/her comparable proficiencies to the department supervisor. Students may not enter into a course without successful completion of a required pre-requisite or department supervisor approval. Upon supervisor approval, students will be notified if they are permitted to enter into the requested course.  

    Mr. Kevin Wittmaack
    7-12 Supervisor of ELA/English
    kwittmaack@livingston.org 

  • English for Success 1 (116), 2 (117)
    Prerequisite: Recommendation by ESL teacher and School Counselor.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grades 9-12

    This is a skill-building course for newly exited ESL students and advanced English language learners. The purpose of this course is the (1) to develop skills in communicating and understanding English language; (2) to foster the understanding of American culture through literature and media; and (3) to highlight the importance and contribution of students’ diverse backgrounds to the school and American community.  This course can be a substitute for a standard English class.

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  • General English 1 (171)
    Prerequisite:  This course is assigned at the recommendation of the Child Study Team and is a Resource Center Level course.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 9

    General English 1 is a course is designed to meet the goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP. Instruction is specialized to promote progress toward the acquisition of curricular standards.  There are course proficiencies appropriate to each student’s performance level.  Assignments include reading novels, a short story collection, and an anthology.  Skills required for State mandated assessments for graduation and real world application skills are also reinforced throughout this course.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 1 (CP) (112)
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 9

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    This required English 1 course for ninth graders is organized around four basic essential questions that serve as an introduction to the thematic sequence of the high school English curriculum.  They are as follows:  How do our age and experience affect our thinking and decision making? To what extent can you really understand someone?  What makes a good friend?  What makes something tragic?  Additionally, each marking period/unit will spotlight a different writing genre (narrative, expository/research, persuasive, and literary analysis), a different literary element (character, setting, point of view, and theme), as well as a different oral speaking project.  Each of these skill sets will serve as the foundation for all subsequent grade levels.

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  • English 1 Humanities (CP) (112H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with Modern World History Humanities and Visual Arts Humanities/Performing Arts Humanities courses.5 Credits of a 15 Credit Program

    This package of interdisciplinary courses will link four subjects (History, English, Art and Music) to explore the historical, literary and cultural influences that have shaped modernity. Students will be immersed in a variety of texts, including literature, non-fiction, electronic media, film, music, and fine arts in order to create their own original print and non-print works. These courses are designed to synthesize concepts in Modern World History, the acquisition of literacy skills, and an appreciation and application of the Fine and Performing Arts as a way of developing a cohesive understanding of the human experience from the Renaissance to the present.  Selection of 9th grade Humanities will require three dedicated class periods and will fulfill the Social Studies, English and the Visual/Performing Arts standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey. 

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  • English 1 Honors (110)
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 9

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    This required English 1 course for ninth graders is organized around four basic essential questions that serve as an introduction to the thematic sequence of the high school English curriculum.  They are as follows:  How do our age and experience affect our thinking and decision making? To what extent can you really understand someone?  What makes a good friend?  What makes something tragic?  Additionally, each marking period/unit will spotlight a different writing genre (narrative, expository/research, persuasive, and literary analysis), a different literary element (character, setting, point of view, and theme), as well as a different oral speaking project.  Each of these skill sets will serve as the foundation for all subsequent grade levels. At the honors level, greater depth and breadth of content will be covered at an accelerated pace. Students will read more complex texts, assignments are more intensive and complex in that they promote expansion of concepts, creative problem solving, and critical thinking.  Interest in literature and learning, analytical insight in class participation, analytical insight in written assignments and disciplined work habits are key criteria for success in the Honors level.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 1 Humanities Honors (110H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with Modern World History Humanities and Visual Arts Humanities/Performing Arts Humanities courses.
    5 Credits of a 15 Credit Program - Full Year - Grade 9

    This package of interdisciplinary courses will link four subjects (History, English, Art and Music) to explore the historical, literary and cultural influences that have shaped modernity. Students will be immersed in a variety of texts, including literature, non-fiction, electronic media, film, music, and fine arts in order to create their own original print and non-print works. Frequent and lengthy assignments will be used to analyze the impact of historical themes on contemporary issues and artistic expressions. Students will be expected to complete more independent, supplemental reading in this Honors course.  These courses are designed to synthesize concepts in Modern World History, the acquisition of literacy skills, and an appreciation and application of the Fine and Performing Arts as a way of developing a cohesive understanding of the human experience from the Renaissance to the present.  Selection of 9th grade Humanities will require three dedicated class periods and will fulfill the Social Studies, English and the Visual/Performing Arts standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey. 

    Comments (-1)
  • General English 2 (172)
    Prerequisite: This course is assigned at the recommendation of the Child Study Team and is a Resource Center Level course.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 10

    General English 2 is a course is designed to meet the goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP. Instruction is specialized to promote progress toward the acquisition of curricular standards. There are course proficiencies appropriate to each student’s performance level. Assignments include reading novels, a short story collection, and an anthology. Skills required for State mandated assessments for graduation and real world application skills are also reinforced throughout this course.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 2 (CP) (122)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 1.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 10

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    English 2 will investigate four new questions that build upon themes introduced in English 9.  These questions (How do our Social Class and Family Affect our Thinking? To What Extent do Individuals Control their own Lives? What Makes a Hero? and What Makes Something Frightening?) will be used as a springboard to help strengthen students’ reading and writing skills and provide additional preparation for State mandated assessments for graduation as well as the SATs.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 2 Humanities (CP) (122H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with US History 2 Humanities.5 Credits of a 10 Credit Program - Full Year  - Grade 10

    These interdisciplinary courses will link two subjects (History and English) to investigate the intellectual and political history, as well as the economic, literary and cultural influences that helped develop a unique American identity. Students will have a dedicated period for both English and History, and will have an Art and Music teacher assigned to both sections for supplemental lessons. These courses are designed to facilitate students’ understanding of US History through the study of literature, non-fiction works, electronic media, film, music and fine and commercial art. Students will use diverse textual and cultural resources to understand broad themes in US History beginning with Pre-Columbian societies and continuing through the beginning of the 20th century. Students will fulfill the Social Studies and English standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 2 Honors (120)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 1.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 10

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    English 2 will investigate four new questions that build upon themes introduced in English 9.  These questions (How do our Social Class and Family Affect our Thinking? To What Extent do Individuals Control their own Lives? What Makes a Hero? and What Makes Something Frightening?) will be used as a springboard to help strengthen students’ reading and writing skills and provide additional preparation for State mandated assessments for graduation as well as the SATs. At the honors level, greater depth and breadth of content will be covered at an accelerated pace. Students will read more complex texts, assignments are more intensive and complex in that they promote expansion of concepts, creative problem solving, and critical thinking.  Interest in literature and learning, analytical insight in class participation, analytical insight in written assignments and disciplined work habits are key criteria for success in the Honors level. 

    Comments (-1)
  • English 2 Humanities Honors (120H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with US History 1 Humanities.
    5 Credits of a 10 Credit Program

    These interdisciplinary courses will link two subjects (History and English) to investigate the intellectual and political history, as well as the economic, literary and cultural influences that helped develop a unique American identity. Students will have a dedicated period for both English and History, and will have an Art and Music teacher assigned to both sections for supplemental lessons. These courses are designed to facilitate students’ understanding of US History through the study of literature, non-fiction works, electronic media, film, music and fine and commercial art. Students will use diverse textual and cultural resources to understand broad themes in US History beginning with Pre-Columbian societies and continuing through the beginning of the 20th century. Students will fulfill the Social Studies and English standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey.

    Comments (-1)
  • General English 3 (173)
    Prerequisite: This course is assigned at the recommendation of the Child Study Team and is a Resource Center Level course.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 11

    General English 3 is a course is designed to meet the goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP. Instruction is specialized to promote progress toward the acquisition of curricular standards. There are course proficiencies appropriate to each student's performance level. Assignments include reading novels, a short story collection, and an anthology. Skills required for State mandated assessments for graduation and real world application skills are also reinforced throughout this course.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 3 (CP) (132)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 2.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 11

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    While English 3 is designed for students to build upon question strands that emerge from those examined in grades 9 & 10, this junior-year course will also emphasize, but not be limited to, the study of a variety of American literary works. Units are also centered upon questions that represent some of our country’s major concerns over the past two hundred years. These include: How do time and place affect our thinking? Is “liberty and justice” attainable for all? What makes a good citizen? and What makes something beautiful? Each thematic unit will contain literature in each genre – novel, drama, poetry, non-fiction, and short story – spanning the history of our nation. As with the preceding grade levels, each unit will also be accompanied with practice in a particular writing genre, study of a specific literary element, and opportunities to develop and perform various oral speaking tasks. 

    Comments (-1)
  • English 3 Humanities CP (132H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with US History 2 Humanities.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of United States History 1.
    5 Credits of a 10 Credit Program - Full Year - Grade 11

    This interdisciplinary course will link four subjects (History, English, Art and Music) to explore the historical, literary and cultural influences that have shaped the United States. Students will have a dedicated period for both English and History, and will have an Art and Music teacher assigned to both sections for supplemental lessons. Students will be immersed in a variety of texts, including literature, non-fiction, electronic media, film, music, and fine arts in order to create their own original print and non-print works. These courses are designed to synthesize concepts in Modern American History, the acquisition of literacy skills, and an appreciation and application of the Fine and Performing Arts as a way of developing a cohesive understanding of the human experience from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Art and Music teachers will supplement instruction and enrich content. Selection of 11th grade Humanities will require two dedicated class periods and will fulfill the Social Studies and English standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey. 

    Comments (-1)
  • English 3 Honors (130)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 2.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 11

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    While English 3 is designed for students to build upon question strands that emerge from those examined in grades 9 & 10, this junior-year course will also emphasize, but not be limited to, the study of a variety of American literary works. Units are also centered upon questions that represent some of our country’s major concerns over the past two hundred years. These include: How do time and place affect our thinking? Is “liberty and justice” attainable for all? What makes a good citizen? and What makes something beautiful? Each thematic unit will contain literature in each genre – novel, drama, poetry, non-fiction, and short story – spanning the history of our nation. As with the preceding grade levels, each unit will also be accompanied with practice in a particular writing genre, study of a specific literary element, and opportunities to develop and perform various oral speaking tasks. At the honors level, greater depth and breadth of content will be covered at an accelerated pace. Students will read more complex texts, assignments are more intensive and complex in that they promote expansion of concepts, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. Interest in literature and learning, analytical insight in class participation, analytical insight in written assignments and disciplined work habits are key criteria for success in the Honors level.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 3 Humanities Honors (130H)*
    *Must be taken in conjunction with US History 2 Humanities
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of United States History 1.
    5 Credits of a 10 Credit Program - Full Year - Grade 11

    This interdisciplinary course will link four subjects (History, English, Art and Music) to explore the historical, literary and cultural influences that have shaped the United States. Students will have a dedicated period for both English and History, and will have an Art and Music teacher assigned to both sections for supplemental lessons. Students will be immersed in a variety of texts, including literature, non-fiction, electronic media, film, music, and fine arts in order to create their own original print and non-print works. These courses are designed to synthesize concepts in Modern American History, the acquisition of literacy skills, and an appreciation and application of the Fine and Performing Arts as a way of developing a cohesive understanding of the human experience from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Art and Music teachers will supplement instruction and enrich content. Selection of 11th grade Humanities will require two dedicated class periods and will fulfill the Social Studies and English standards required for graduation by the state of New Jersey.

    Comments (-1)
  • AP - English Language and Composition (131)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 2.
    5 Credits -  Full Year - Grade 11

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    This rigorous course is open to junior students and is recommended on the basis of ninth and tenth grade work of superior quality, teacher evaluation and performance on an in-school writing task. The main emphasis of the course is written literary analysis, frequent in class discussion, techniques of research, and a focus on the works of American authors. Students will examine a writer’s purpose and the use of rhetorical devices, including tone, diction, audience, organization, and style. In response to a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, they will write a variety of expository, analytical, and argumentative papers. It is expected that all students take the AP English Language and Composition exam in May.

    Comments (-1)
  • General English 4 (174)
    Prerequisite: This course is assigned at the recommendation of the Child Study Team and is a Resource Center Level course.
    5 Credits - Full Year -  Grade 12

    General English 4 is a course is designed to meet the goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP. Individual remediation is part of each lesson. Instruction is specialized to promote progress toward the acquisition of curricular standards. There are course proficiencies appropriate to each student's performance level. Assignments include reading novels, a short story collection, and an anthology. Skills required for State mandated assessments for graduation and real world application skills are also reinforced throughout this course.

    Comments (-1)
  • English 4 (CP) (142)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 3.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 12

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    This required senior-year course is comprised of world literature focused on major themes of writers of all periods and cultures. The essential questions in this final year of high school English are designed not only to ramp up in terms of intellectual sophistication, but are also accompanied by a variety of works requiring a degree of emotional maturity. Questions such as: How do Race and Gender affect our thinking and decision making? What are the ingredients of a perfect world? What makes for true love? and What makes something comedic? are used to promote independent thinking, critical analysis, and college readiness skills. The end of the year culminates with an independent study project presented by each student to their peers that explores an area of personal interest and the formulation of an original thesis. 

    Comments (-1)
  • English 4 Honors (140)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 3.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 12

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    This required senior-year course is comprised of world literature focused on major themes of writers of all periods and cultures. The essential questions in this final year of high school English are designed not only to ramp up in terms of intellectual sophistication, but are also accompanied by a variety of works requiring a degree of emotional maturity. Questions such as: How do Race and Gender affect our thinking and decision making? What are the ingredients of a perfect world? What makes for true love? and What makes something comedic? are used to promote independent thinking, critical analysis, and college readiness skills. The end of the year culminates with an independent study project presented by each student to their peers that explores an area of personal interest and the formulation of an original thesis. At the honors level, greater depth and breadth of content will be covered at an accelerated pace. Students will read more complex texts, assignments are more intensive and complex in that they promote expansion of concepts, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. Interest in literature and learning, analytical insight in class participation, analytical insight in written assignments and disciplined work habits are key criteria for success in the Honors level.

    Comments (-1)
  • AP - English Literature and Composition (141)
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 3.
    5 Credits - Full Year - Grade 12

    Completion of a summer reading assignment is required for this course.
    Building upon the skills learned in AP English Language and Composition, this senior-year AP course will introduce new skills of oral and written literary analysis, oral argument in class, techniques of research and writing about literature. With an emphasis on full-length works of fiction as well as poetry, this class will emphasize structural analysis and the use of literary devices, including figurative language, diction, symbolism, and tone. While enrollment is open, students are recommended to take AP English Language and Composition or English 3 Honors in their junior year. It is expected that all students take the AP English Literature and Composition exam in May.

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