English & Literature

“Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.”
– T. S. Eliot


English mastery in reading, writing, and speaking is the mark of an educated person. But these multifaceted skills require many years to reach a high level. An essential component of superior English skills is the study of a classical language, so our Latin curriculum supports and enhances the English skills of our students. Students study English grammar and vocabulary in both English and Latin classes, beginning in 2nd Grade.

Another factor in the development of superior language skills is the study of good literature, which provides models of correct English and excellence in writing. The ear and eye are trained by constant exposure to good English usage. Students learn best by imitation.

Our classroom reading selections are carefully chosen to increase in reading difficulty each year.  Books are read slowly and thoroughly in class, accompanied by our literature guides, which include our own selection of poetry. Poetry is intense and requires careful, slow, and repeated reading. Poetry requires thought and is especially effective in developing comprehension and thinking skills. Students who are properly prepared can begin the study of Shakespeare in the 8th Grade.

We choose the very best literature and poetry for each age, works that model heroes, virtues, and high ideals. Our literature program does more than develop reading skills – it inspires students to love what is good and noble in life.

English grammar, usage, and composition are taught yearly in K-12. The ability to write with clarity, beauty, and power is further developed by our logic and rhetoric courses, which are an extension of English and count as English credits.

On a more practical side, the development of a legible and attractive cursive hand is a high priority. Unless serious attention is given to penmanship in every grade and class, illegible, careless writing plague students and teachers alike throughout their school years.

View the book list for English Studies here.

“Modern literature is full of allusions to the classics, and one who knows nothing of the great authors of antiquity is cut off from great authors of the modern world as well.”
Dean Roscoe Pound
Harvard, 1930